If you are friends with me on Facebook or real life, you know that exactly one week ago I turned 29 (yes, only one year left in my 20’s #freakingout). As per usual, I invited everyone I like to a birthday dinner (sadly not on the actual day because of my travel plans) and most people came, which always makes me feel good.
Some of them came bearing gifts. I had not asked for them, but I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I wasn’t secretly hopping up and down inside at the thought of all the pretty packaging and colorful envelopes that I would get to open later on that night.
None of the gifts were incredibly amazing or expensive, but just the knowledge that my friends had thought enough of me to pick me out ANYTHING was an awesome feeling (and yes, I will be writing thank you notes).
Since then, I have seen several other people have birthdays that have popped up on my newsfeed, and a couple of them have decided to “donate” their birthdays to some charity or another. For those of you unfamiliar with the practice, Facebook gives you the option of directing your friend list to a cause you support and donating money to it in lieu (I’m assuming) of giving you a present directly.
Now, this may seem like it Is a fine and noble cause, and I suppose you would be right.
But I will never, ever give up my birthday. Not even to supposedly save puppies.
Why, do you ask?
- I don’t want to pressure my friends into supporting anything that they do not take their own initiative to support. I don’t feel like my causes should become anyone else’s causes unless they truly understand the reasoning behind it and fully agree. Asking for money to be donated to an arbitrary (to them) cause to ‘celebrate’ my birthday is not something I’m willing to get behind.
- I don’t have the time to research all of the different charities that might catch my (and my friends’) dollars. I know that there are so many scams out there, as well as some charities that are better than others. While the title or pictures or cause overall might lure people into supporting one over the other, I know that more in depth investigation is warranted prior to donation just to make sure that every cent is being used wisely.
- It’s my damn birthday. This is, of course, my most selfish reason. But I have come to love my birthday every year, and plan it out months in advance (mostly because I love planning, but also because I simply adore anticipation). I truly believe that it is healthy to allow ourselves to celebrate ourselves. Rather than hope that someone else will take the reins and throw me a party that I will love, I take charge of my own happiness and get the job done myself. And I have to say, my birthdays for the past three years have been amazing as a direct result of this philosophy.
Everyone deserves a day where they are celebrated not for their accomplishments, not for their connections, not for their skills, but simply because they are THEM. When you give yourself permission to embrace YOU on one day out of the year, this trickles into the other 364 days, and you are more willing to make choices that benefit YOU.
All I know is that for me, March 31st will forever remain a day that is mine and mine alone. Oh, and if my future children decide they want to try to make an appearance on my same day, I’m gonna clench like my life depends upon it. I’m not too good at sharing. ;o)
What do you think of my philosophy? Let me know in the comments!