Birthdays are interesting, they vary by culture, society, family tradition and personal meaning. The pivotal birthdays always tend to mean more: entering double digits, becoming a teenager, legal permission to drive, drinking age, voting, 30, 40, 50, and 60. Outside of the “special birthdays” it becomes a personal preference for what birthday holds a significant meaning just like all events in life you get to give them meaning.
I can’t lie I loved turning thirteen and emerging out of the cocoon of childhood and spreading my wings as a teen, although having a strict father meant not much but the year changed.
My sixteenth birthday was super exciting and landed me at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to receive my driver’s license, it also meant I got keys and a car. It was also the day I was employed without pay by my parents as a chauffeur to my three younger siblings!
My eighteenth birthday meant I could vote, but I had two years until the next Presidential election so it was more of a verbal title that collected dust on the shelf for a few years, but it definitely felt cool knowing I could vote and fight for my country in war.
My twenty-first birthday meant cutting up my fake ID (sorry dad) and heading back to the DMV to get my “Over 21” ID.
Since turning twenty-one I can’t say that any birthday really had the esteem of 13, 16, 18 or 21 but turning 36 years old this year is going to slam the first four out of the park! I will never forget the excitement of my thirteenth, 16th,18th and 21st birthdays but my thirty-sixth is a birthday that I have decided has special meaning.
Don’t get me wrong they were four amazing birthdays, collectively they were a grand slam, each signifying each as a home run year, but they packed a certain hype that was created by tradition, society, cultural and family where my 36th birthday is personal.
This is my year…I finally get “it” whatever it is and my 36th year is my year!
I can’t help but wonder what birthdays and new years would be like if we all began to look at them outside of traditions and Hallmark celebrations and gave them a deep and personal meaning.
This year I went through what I call “The Wrap it up and Rip in to it Process” closing up my 35th year and preparing for my 36th!
First, I grabbed a new journal which is a pale pink leather journal that says “DREAM BIG LIVE BOG” in gold lament writing that I love!!! Inside on the first few pages, I wrote a few quotes and verses that I love that really stir my soul to have at hand when I need inspiration, support, uplifting and more! And left a few pages blank to add to as I feel inspired.
About page five I wrote “The Wrap it up and Rip in to it Process: Sending off 35 and Saying Hello to 36 on December 11, 2015 “.
Then I wrote a column of “thank you” all the way to the bottom of the page. Next to each “Thank you” I wrote down all the experiences I gave a “positive” and “negative” meaning to that happened in my 35th year. I used my “gratitude journal” which I keep to reflect back over the last year.
Gratitude in the positive is always an easy one where finding gratitude in the “negative” can be a difficult but once you shift your thoughts around an experience you shift the experience. Some of the experiences were harder to shift than others but I have no desire to be anchored by any negative experience, so Im always willing to go through the pain to get to the good stuff!
Then I made a “More of List” with all the stuff I want more of in my 36th year at the top of the list was joy, which has lead me to theme my 36th year, Submerge my Soul in Joy!
Lastly I set my goals for my 36th year, leaving space to add as the year progresses!
The Wrap it up and Rip in to it Process is definitely a new tradition for me and one I cannot recommend enough for those of you who really want to seize each year and live full out!
Here’s to a year of Submerging My (Your) Soul in Joy!