Sunday, September 1, 2013

It's My......Party?

I have a "big" birthday coming up very, very soon and the question always arises about how I plan on celebrating.  If you'd have asked me several years back what I wanted to do for my 40th, I can guarantee I would have said a huge bash with all of my friends.

Yet, the closer I got to the actual date, the more that idea didn't seem to really be "me."

Some of my friends did the whole big, surprise party thing-and it seems it never *quite* turns out how they'd hoped. There are either people left OFF of the list that they wanted there, or others ON the list they didn't really expect. There's also the other issue that a party that size, with that many friends from all walks of life, ends up feeling like a wedding where you don't really get to delve deeply into any one conversation, as you're trying to be polite and get to small talk with everyone.

I quickly vetoed that idea. I want to be able to truly connect with the people that matter the most to me, on that day. I see my birthday as setting the tone for the year ahead, and I like to share it with individuals that I know are going to reflect and support where I see myself going.

I know other friends that did wild and crazy trips, like Vegas. Again, to each his or her own, but that's really, really, not me. I'm a Mom, too, and my birthday wouldn't feel right if I didn't celebrate with my kids as well as my friends.

Honestly, last year I felt like I had the most incredible birthday I'd had in as long as I could remember. I celebrated with different groups of friends on different days and it made it seem like my birthday was a week long. Claire surprised me with front and center Celtic Thunder tickets, and then we hilariously waited in the shadows of a back entrance and met them and got autographs! How can you top that, really?

Here's the real crux of it for me, on my birthday, I just like to be remembered, and it's nice to have people in my life that want to do things that they've put some thought into and that they think are "me" or that they know I'd love, but would never do for myself. It doesn't have to be anything "big deal" and in fact, I specifically told my husband that I don't want anything expensive or extravagant. For me, really and truly and not just to be a cliche cheese ball, it comes down to the thought that went into something-even the smallest gesture can touch me if its meaningful.

That said-a weekend away with my husband is at the top of my list sooner than later!

I was talking to Claire about my birthday and about not wanting anything over the top, but still wanting to celebrate in a way that will stay with me. I was saying it didn't have to be anything grand, but I just want to mark the occasion, because this last year for me has been literally, life changing.

She made a great point. She said that I definitely SHOULD mark this birthday, not just for the sake of my turning 40, but for the fact that for the last year, I've set a bunch of goals for myself, monthly scary challenges, and big obstacles (emotionally and physically)-all things I've wanted to accomplish "before 40"-and I DID every single one of them. I met every goal and created new ones along the way. So, in more ways than just my date of birth, this turning 40 thing is kind of a big deal.

I've really been at a launching point of a whole new me, and 40 symbolizes how far I've come and the wide, open future where I'm going.

What does that celebration look like, then?

Well, last year made my heart burst with happiness....So I'm looking at more of the same. I have plans with my different groups of friends, my Mom, and my family. One of my girlfriends in the US just had a "big birthday" and decided to make it a month long party. I like that idea! I think my September is going to be a great, big, "intro to 40!"  I think it's going to be great to set the tone for the blazing journey ahead!

I'm doing 40 MY way!

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