If you have followed along for a while, it will surprise precisely no one, that I love a birthday. I love a birthday for a few reasons, I love celebrating all things big and small, whilst my love language is ALL of them, gifts is high up there. Birthdays and getting a year older are always a good point to stop and reflect a little on the year that's been so yeah I like a birthday.
I'm a big believer in celebrating all the things. They don't have to be big and sometimes I think it's better to celebrate the small things, to find the tiny, beautiful things that deserve a bit of celebration. There's always time for a glass of prosecco to celebrate any and all of the things.
I've waxed lyrical about love languages and thoughtful gift giving.
I loved this article about how to become a truly excellent gift giver
This is my favourite lines and sums up what gift giving is all about to me, gifts don't need to be big or flashy, they need to be thoughtful and Can I make them feel seen?
"Making someone feel seen gets to the reason why we give people gifts in the first place. The way that we express love to people through gift-giving is by reflecting who they are back to them, and also by showing them, who we see them as,”
Read the full article here
Birthdays were a big deal growing up. Not because we did anything grand but coming from a big family, it was YOUR day. You got to choose what meal you wanted cooked for your birthday and there would always be lots of conversation and changing of minds of what meal. Not me though. I ALWAYS knew what I wanted. Eggplant stew - kinda like ratatouille and to this day, any time someone in my fam cooks this for me and it goes straight to my heart.
Food is also very much a love language tied in with gift giving. I love gifting some deliciousness from the markets or cooking or eating or even just talking about food or recipes. And again it doesn't need to be fancy, an eggplant parma at the pub is just as special as the jars of cashews that my Nan use to buy me when I was younger.
Growing up in a big family, birthdays were also the time when you had 3 WHOLE DAYS to enjoy your presents. After that it was "encouraged" that you had to share, if one of the siblings asked but for those 3 days, your gifts were your own. #bigfamilyrules
I know lots of people don't like to celebrate birthdays and I get it. Whether it's the attention or the passing of years or many other reasons, I appreciate and am grateful for the years that I get.
Many years ago I was in a car accident and I was very lucky that day. As I was recovering from the car accident Heath Ledger died around the same time. And whilst I don't do really gossip or care about celebrities (give me real people any day!) I remember being struck by Heath's death and thinking how lucky i was. I had another reminder this year and I am super grateful and lucky for every year that I get and I do believe that each passing year deserves to be celebrated in some way.
So I've been trying to think on what the big lessons or learning have been for me this year. In some ways they are constant lessons for me but always good reminders.
DO THE THING
I feel like this is a lesson I will continue to learn. Over and over. Do the easy thing. Do the hard thing. Do the thing you're procrastinating about. Lordy, sometimes I spend SO long thinking about the thing, thinking about it way more than it actually takes to DO the thing. Whatever it is. Stop talking about it. Just do the thing.
DO THE THING #2
Part of my 2023 challenges was to go to 40 events/things over 2023 and I've really loved doing this. I've done courses and gone to theatre and shows, storytelling, comedy and gigs - I've done so many things. I've done the things and this has very much been a highlight of the past year.
Enjoy where you are
There's a guy I work with and he is a panicker. He goes to worst case scenario very quickly. I made him a card that says "You do not have enough information to panic about this" and he comes out to tell me when he nearly panicked but then remembered that he doesn't have enough info so he didn't panic and I kinda love this because slowly but surely, he's bringing himself around to the present moment.
I've had one of those years where things have been different month to month. Some have been slow months and some have passed by in mere moments. I'm reminded to enjoy where I am, knowing that things will alway change and that I don't have enough information to panic about whatever comes next and that whatever comes next, I'll deal with and it will be fine.
It's the people - always
People will alway make everything better.
I have excellent people around me, people that love and support and believe in me and my gosh, we all need to be loved and supported and believed in.
As one of my wise friends said recently "We all need believers - life gets a bit f'ed otherwise" and it's so true. It's so important to both believe in others and to be believed in.
I am very grateful for these reminders - let's see what the next year brings!