As I become a year older this March, now my 69th birthday, I am a bit perplexed at how fast time moves and changes who we are. None of us are quite the same person we were a year, 5 years, 10 years ago. We keep changing and adapting our minds and bodies without realizing it. Frankly, I don’t feel 69 and I kind of don’t enjoy being called a senior unless there is a good discount for it.

I remember not making a big to do about birthdays. In fact, many birthdays I would just go about my workday, not paying much attention to this yearly ritual. But as I get older and wiser, birthdays and anniversaries are important milestones in our lives, and we must celebrate them.

Much like birthdays, anniversaries offer us the opportunity to look back and reflect and celebrate events and achievements that matters in part because they shape who we are. Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries defines our humanity… whether it’s a simple meal with friends, a night out on the town, or a gift to yourself or others. You get to choose.

A Renewed Look at Celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries

Going forward, let us rethink how to celebrate life’s most momentous events and milestones.  Let’s begin with some ground rules to consider.

1. First, birthdays and anniversaries are a perfect time to reflect on your journey in life and what you aspire to do. With every year that passes by, what is it you most desire and why not start it on your birthday? What better time now than to recommit to that one important resolution that will make this year’s celebration different and special.

2. Birthdays and anniversaries are also opportunities to be social or to socialize. “Gatherings” of any kind, two or more can be easily started  and may even include strangers. Remember, you will never be 30, 50, or 70 again. Once it passes, you missed the opportunity to celebrate in whatever venue you choose. Don’t deprive yourself of a lasting memory.

3. Last, birthdays and anniversaries require splurging and indulging yourself. Yup, you got to spend money on yourself and on others. The options are endless at whatever price range you are willing to invest in. But there can be no regrets. Now, let look at the possibilities.

Ways to Celebrate

As I approach my 69th birthday (and my blog’s two-year anniversary) I am ready to splurge on myself. Yes! The freedom to indulge—to allow yourself to think, feel and do whatever you please.

I asked my family and friends for ideas on how they like to celebrate their most momentous events. I combined them with a bit of daydreaming and brainstorming to offer this list of possibilities.    These ideas do not need to occur on the exact day of your birthday. They just need to happen within a small window of time.

1. Splurge for an all-day spa to include the works — facial, body scrub, massage, manicure, reflexology, and a hearty lunch with a glass of champagne.

2. Buy yourself a new dress or preferably buy or commission a special piece of jewelry that will remind you of this year’s milestone.

3. Sign up for an adventurously unique experience from zip lining, skydiving to driving a Ferrari or a Lamborghini or learning to scuba dive or snorkel.

4. Find your inner creativity by signing up for a class. Anything from gourmet cooking lessons to learning to draw, explore photography, pottery or play an instrument. How about learning to play golf, tennis, or take dancing lessons to learn salsa, tango, or hip-hop?

5. Create some unique party opportunities for family and friends, such as inviting a private chef to cook for your guests and possibly include a cooking lesson.

6. For wine lovers, set up a wine tasting party with friends at a vineyard where you can bring or order food to taste and learn about wines and purchase a few bottles to continue the celebration.

7. Another option would be to make your own wine where you get to collaborate with a winemaker to create a custom batch of wine. You get to design the label and walk away with a couple of cases of your own wine commemorating your birthday or an anniversary and to invite friends over for dinner and wine.

8. If you are a wonder luster like me, the opportunities for travel as a gift to yourself are innumerable. Book a trip to some place you yearn to be. If you need a companion, drag someone with you or maybe do a solo trip to allow you to explore life differently and to know yourself. Here are a few travel ideas to help rethink how to celebrate all future birthdays and anniversaries:

^Book a weekend in New York City and take advantage of local tour guides to learn about the city’s many unique neighborhoods. Book tickets for a Broadway play or museum and check out the local bars and cafes for drinks and foodies.

^Go on a safari in Africa or Asia

^Attend Spain’s La Tomatina festival, the biggest food fight in the world.

^Check out the northern lights in Sweden or Finland, if you don’t mind the cold.

^Fly a hot-air balloon at the annual Albuquerque or Turkey hot balloon festival.

^Take a camel riding tour in the middle East.

^Go Glamping in the Grand Canyon for a weekend

^If you’re a foodie, there are plenty of food festivals to go to from New Orleans to LA, Miami, Mexico City and even Vietnam.

 When it comes to traveling, there are endless opportunities to celebrate your birthday. I am waiting for my passport to arrive to jump on a plane as I am fed up with this year’s winter freeze and I want more than anything to celebrate my birthday.

Final note, as you are thinking about your birthday plans remember these lyrics from no other than Tiffany & Co.

Why birthdays are important

They acknowledge steps along the road.

They let us savor the joy, yet again.

They inspire laughter and shenanigans.

They embrace pageantry and tradition.

They ask us to close our eyes and make a wish for the future.

                                                                                              Happy Birthday to Me 

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