How to Have a Perfect Birthday

Flashback to December 2012. January 10, my 26th birthday, is still a few weeks away. Not a milestone, but another year to celebrate nonetheless. I decided to book a trip to Denver to see my sister. It’s easily one of the best decisions I’ve made in years. Over the next six days (who said you only had one day to celebrate?), I had the best birthday ever, and I think I figured out a pretty good formula for all of my future birthdays.

Quit telling yourself you’re old. Dear People Everywhere Especially People In My Age Group: YOU ARE NOT OLD. Telling yourself that you are is not funny or endearing. Banish that word from your vocabulary when it comes to your age. It is about celebration of another year, not lamenting how many have gone by. I don’t care if you’re 80…you’re only as old as you feel.

Try something new. Wanna feel young? Do something you’ve never done before, eat something you haven’t eaten, go somewhere you’ve never been. I love clean slates. On my trip, I tagged along with my sister to capoeira, aka Brazilian martial arts sexy dance fighting, which she’s been doing for six years. I ended up loving it. It made me feel strong, athletic (which DEAR GOD I AM NOT), and empowered. I plan on researching places to do in Connecticut once February rolls around.

Go somewhere with someone you love. Self-explanatory. There is nothing like feeling loved and going on an adventure.

Eat something special. Something exotic, something you may not eat for the rest of the year. Think special, unique, memorable. I had rattlesnake dip (seriously), buffalo tenderloin and sarsaparilla for my birthday dinner. The next day, at Linger, I nearly passed out over the Devils on Horseback, bacon-wrapped dates with goat cheese. As close to perfect as anything I’ve ever eaten.

Don’t drink too much. Who wants to feel like crap the day after? Not me. Take it easy. One thing you can’t drink too much of…sparkling water. My sister and I went through multiple boxes. Hydrate or die, she likes to say.

Treat yo’self. Whether it’s a massage, a dip in the hot tub, or just a glass of champagne, find a way to pamper yourself without apology. Shout-out to my dashing brother and his lovely girlfriend for treating my sister and I to spa treatments at the Oxford Club.

Do something ridiculous. It doesn’t have to be totally insane, just something you didn’t think you’d ever do, or seems too incredible to actually exist. It has to be ridiculous, only to you. Well, we went dogsledding in sub-10-degree temperatures in Breckenridge. One of the coolest, literally and figuratively, experiences of my life.

Reflect on what you want the next 365 days to look like. What do you want to say about your year on your next birthday? What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to do more of? It’s never too late to start dreaming.

Other assorted recommendations: engage in dog snuggling, use a hot tub frequently, watch this video (NSFW at all, FYI), smile and laugh without limits.

4 Responses to How to Have a Perfect Birthday

  1. Absolutely love this and I’ll be taking these into account when I turn 29 in March. Birthdays are special and you’re totally right -we’re NOT OLD!

  2. Sure do like the advice about never saying you’re old. I’m guilty of saying/thinking it way too often. I’M TWENTY-EIGHT.

    • I can totally understand feeling old SOMETIMES…like going to bed early, staying in and reading instead of going out for a drink, getting enjoyment out of clean laundry and an empty dishwasher. But I’ve come to learn these things just make me…me. They don’t make me old, they’re just what I like to do.

      Thanks for the comment! And see you in Vegas!

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