Yesterday was my birthday.  I am absolutely one of those people who love celebrating their birthday.  I usually make it a birth-week or a birth-month celebration depending upon if it is a milestone birthday.  This year is not a milestone, so I’ll celebrate for a short week or two.

In case you were wondering, I still went to work yesterday.  While some people may think that this is excessive or selfish, I think it is actually self-care.  Growing older has never bothered me because I believe that age is a mindset.  My birth certificate would reveal that I am 41, but I feel 20 years younger. The only difference is now I have a mortgage, a coaching business, and a few more responsibilities than I did at 21.

As previously said in my blog, “The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines selfish as ‘concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s one advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others’.”  While my birthday celebration is for my advantage and pleasure, it is not without regard for others.

I always invite my friends and family to join me. If they can, great. If they cannot, I don’t get upset.  I celebrate regardless.  I don’t have any expectation for phone calls, cards, flowers, or presents, etc.  My only agenda for a celebration is to be fun for me and for those who choose to join me. 

While this may seem “me-focused”, I don’t see it as being selfish.  This can be confusing. When a friend tells me that they want to celebrate by taking me out anywhere, I think about them.  I don’t say “let’s go to a fish restaurant” if I know they don’t like fish.  I don’t take advantage and I don’t have expectations. 

I believe this is the line between selfish and “me-focused”.  It is acceptable to be “me-focused” without being selfish.  After all, I am celebrating my birthday. 

The reason, I love my birthday so much is that my birthday is a celebration of my life and my accomplishments.  This is self-care.  Leading up to my birthday, I take stock of my life.  Where have I been in the past, and how far have I come? What can I continue working on?  What would I like to start working on?  Am I happy? It’s akin to a New Year’s resolution almost seven weeks later.  And you all already know, how committed I am to my New Year’s resolutions.

On Monday morning, I was standing in my kitchen, looking around my home, and I said to myself, “I’ve gotten here all on my own”. “I made this happen, and I couldn’t be prouder”.  Life hasn’t always been easy for me.  I have had my challenges. I have worked hard and I keep working hard in a never-ending quest for self-improvement. I am proud of how my life has evolved, and that is truly worth celebrating. That is the essence of why I value my birthday.

When February comes around each year, I get excited, and I get ready to enjoy.  Some people have Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, or the Fourth of July as their favorite holiday. My holiday is my birthday, and that isn’t selfish.  Celebrating yourself is not selfish, it’s self-care.