Posted on: June 16, 2022 Posted by: vufc2 Comments: 0

By Morgan Stoecklein

I’ve never hated my birthday, and I don’t plan to hate it this year. It’s not that I’ve always loved my birthdays, I just haven’t dreaded it in the same way some do. Whether its anxiety over an impending age or the thought of a day filled with constant attention, some of the world’s most humble can’t bear it. I, on the other hand, look forward to my birthday each year.

My friend Ellen wrote a poem about her birthday, but this isn’t one of those kinds of posts. If you’re looking for the sappy stuff, you can check that out here.

There are several factors that could contribute to me hating my birthday this year, reasons that could make it harder than birthdays before, but I’ve never hated my birthday, and I don’t plan to hate it this year.

How do I plan to do this you ask? I’ve whittled it down to 5 easy principles:

  • Have Low Expectations

Does that sound like the most depressing first step to an awesome birthday, or what? I guess what I really mean is, have realistic expectations. One reason birthdays can be stressful is because of the pressure (whether self-inflicted or external) to make it the perfect day, or at least an enjoyable one. Making false assumptions about what your day might be like can lead to disappointment. But having realistic expectations or even sensible hopes about the day can lead to showing appreciation for your loved ones, the ones who take the time to send a text or call you up, to mail a card or bring you your favorite latte. If expectations are low then any gesture, no matter how small, is met with true gratitude.

  • Make Your Expectations Clear

In the theme of expectations, you’ll want to simply make them clear to those around you. If you don’t want any surprises, say it. If you want to spend the day with certain people, tell them. If you don’t care what happens that day, then skip this step and kudos to you for being the most chill person on the planet.

  • Plan it Yourself

Maybe this feels selfish or controlling, but this post is about creating a birthday you’ll love, after all! There’s no better way to make sure the day is a good one then by choosing what you’d like to do, and inviting people you love to do it with you. See below for some ideas to fill your birthiversary.

  • Go with the Flow

Does this point contradict the rest? Maybe. Do I care? No. And neither should you. As much as you plan for your special day, when it comes to the actual day your cares must be cast out the window. Life happens. So, if you plan a pool day and it ends with a torrential downpour, make the most of it at the local YMCA. Heck! There’s always next year, or tomorrow for that matter.

  • Celebrate and Mourn

Another year has come and gone. And another year is before you. What a joy, and what a terror. Most likely it’s a little of both. Someone wise recently told me that at pretty much any given point we’re holding a positive and negative emotion simultaneously. Joy and fear, hopefulness and grief. Use this milestone as a chance to reflect on the year behind you and all the ways you’re feeling about it. And take the opportunity to contemplate the year ahead, and all the ways you’re feeling about it.

Need ideas for your next birthday? Here’s 99 things you can do on your birthday!

  1. Plan a spa day
  2. Go to a show
  3. Sip wine at a vineyard
  4. Attend a movie screening
  5. Make special dinner reservations
  6. Buy yourself a gift
  7. Plan a trip to see a friend
  8. Stay up late
  9. Do Karaoke
  10. Hang by the pool
  11. Try making a new recipe
  12. Binge watch a TV show
  13. Make a bucket list
  14. Tour a brewery
  15. Volunteer
  16. Play a game with friends
  17. Read a new book
  18. Have a “chore free” day
  19. Indulge in a slice of cake
  20. Attend a concert
  21. Reread your favorite book
  22. Hit up an arcade
  23. Take your favorite workout class
  24. Reflect on the past year
  25. Redecorate a room in your house
  26. Invite friends over for dinner
  27. Buy a new plant
  28. Play with puppies
  29. Donate to a charity
  30. Go on a hike
  31. Head to a bowling alley
  32. Spend time in prayer
  33. Enjoy a staycation
  34. Take a pottery class
  35. Set some goals for the next year
  36. Buy yourself flowers
  37. Ride a bike
  38. Peruse the local farmers market
  39. Rollerblade through a park
  40. Complete a bucket list item
  41. Pick out a new outfit
  42. Work on a puzzle
  43. Host a themed party
  44. Book an escape room
  45. Enjoy a meal with a view
  46. Play a round of mini golf
  47. Attend a sporting event
  48. Go camping
  49. Visit an amusement park
  50. Recreate a past birthday
  51. Sleep in
  52. Wander through your local library
  53. Pack for a picnic
  54. Create a new playlist
  55. Visit an elderly relative
  56. Take a joy ride
  57. Meet friends at a restaurant
  58. Book a hotel stay
  59. Craft a fun cocktail
  60. Go skydiving
  61. Do a random act of kindness
  62. Attempt to make a craft
  63. Visit a museum
  64. Attend a comedy show
  65. Write a poem
  66. Reconnect with a friend
  67. Deliver a gift to a neighbor
  68. Explore a new trail
  69. Attend a craft fair
  70. Make a coffee run for friends
  71. Go to the zoo
  72. Sit in the sun
  73. Attend an open mic night
  74. Explore a nearby town
  75. Treat yourself to dessert
  76. Bake a treat
  77. Hunker down to watch a movie saga
  78. Journal about the past year
  79. Set goals for the year ahead
  80. People watch in the park
  81. Create a piece of art
  82. Visit an animal shelter
  83. Go fishing
  84. Get a fresh haircut
  85. Go on a run
  86. Stay at a bed and breakfast
  87. Test drive a dream car
  88. Host a fancy tea party
  89. Play Billiards
  90. Attend a drive-in movie
  91. Watch a TED Talk
  92. Get a tatoo
  93. Tour your own town
  94. Facetime a faraway friend
  95. Plant a mini garden
  96. Dye your hair
  97. Spend the night stargazing
  98. Sit at a local coffee shop
  99. Write a letter

*Morgan’s birthday is on 06/18 in case you’d like to check in and see what she ends up doing :) – she did not know we would put this last piece in here, but perhaps it could be #100 –

100. surprise someone else with an unexpected birthday message?

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