Why I Created A Birthday Ritual
And you should too
This article was first published on Coffee Times Medium. Reproduced with permission from the Author - Aarti Tailor.
My birthday is coming up soon, and to be honest I am one of those people that used to dread it. I dreaded it because I didn’t like getting older. There I said it.
Maybe that puts me in a Peter Pan state of mind but realistically; on my actual birthday do I ever wake up feeling different? As if I had undergone a major shift in my sleep? No. So I never know why I fill myself up with so much dread.
Maybe it’s the pressure of celebrating it but I have always had this sense of doom around my birthday. But this year I want things to be different. I want to embrace the day with open arms and use this time to reflect and plan.
When we really think about a year, we have our personal calendars that we can follow, so really the days leading up to our birthdays are actually our personal year coming full circle. Then we go on to face the next year of our lives a year older and (hopefully) wiser.
I want to start introducing a new ritual in the days leading up to my birthday, similar to one that I would do before New Year’s Eve too.
A lot can happen in a year, and it is safe to say that this year had been one where I endured a lot of hardships but I don’t regret any of them, for without them I never would have experienced growth. I like to look back and make a note of all the big and small moments that defined my year, things that made me happy even the things that made me sad and angry so that I can learn from those moments.
The next thing is to set goals for myself. Setting goals to achieve in the upcoming year creates awareness of what I expect of myself in a year's time and where I can create change in my life. I can also draw upon the experiences of my past year to understand what I liked, what I didn’t like, and generally which path I want my life to head down.
Once I have gotten clear on my goals, I can then start to plan the necessary steps to get there. Creating a strategy is like laying down solid foundations so that I can give myself the best chances of bringing these goals to fruition. I don’t want to be setting myself up to fail and by planning my next steps I can give myself something to work towards.
When I view my birthday in this way, as a time of renewal and evaluation it makes me hopeful for the year ahead rather than focusing on the fact that I am a year older.
This is a great ritual to do before your birthday, but really an evaluation like this can be done at any time.
There is nothing wrong with aging and it is in fact an exciting time because we move through life with even more experience and lessons from the past which will shape our future.
Age truly is just a number. We are only as old as we make ourselves feel.