Women are Caregivers
We are used to taking care of most things. Whether we have a paying job or not, we all know our work is never done! One of those things is planning birthday celebrations for our children, spouse, partner, parents, etc. Even if it isn’t an actual celebration, we are buying, signing (or arranging for everyone to sign) and mailing the cards, buying and shipping the gifts, making sure everyone in the family calls/texts the person on their special day. Most of us really enjoy making the day special for our loved ones. And most of us don’t care as much about our own birthday.
Not long after we moved to Florida, my friend Tara asked when my birthday was and when she realized it was soon, she asked what I had planned for the day. “Probably work,” was my reply. Tara said, “I love birthdays. We have to celebrate yours. Plan to have lunch with me that day”. Honestly I felt kind of silly doing that, but I couldn’t get out of it because I had already committed. So Tara picked me up that morning and a small group of us went to an area I had never been to.
It was such a fun day and I had such a great time with these women, strolling down the street, wandering in and out of shops and getting to know these women better while enjoying lunch. And they showered me with gifts– not crazy, expensive gifts, but really thoughtful, delightful gifts! And it felt great!
Start a Tradition
Shortly after that birthday, I started tennis lessons. The tennis pro introduced me to my friend Gina because he thought we would like each other and play well together. He was right! Not long after, Tara started playing with us, along with our friend Mary. The four of us had so much fun playing together, and when Tara’s birthday was coming up, the four of us celebrated in much the same way Tara had arranged for me months before.
Ten years later, only one of us plays tennis regularly, but the four of us still plan an outing around each of our birthdays; February, March, June and October. I adore these women, and we never miss a birthday. The Birthday Girl chooses the activity and plans have ranged from shopping to pedicures to spa to beach. There is always lunch. And gifts.
It’s a tradition we all treasure and it feels great, whether you are the Birthday Girl or the lucky friend that gets to join in the celebration! What started as a kind gesture turned into a fun tennis foursome and and then long-term friendships, along with traditional birthday celebrations. I didn’t expect to have such heartwarming feelings about the birthday tribe and ritual, but I do, and I’m so grateful. What I really mean is that I never felt like I was missing something by NOT celebrating with girlfriends, until I actually experienced the joy!
One more thing… it also occurred to me that celebrating ourselves is healthy and positive for our daughters. I believe it sets a great example for the importance of having girlfriends in your life, celebrating each other with love, friendship, food (and gifts!) on your birthday!
Yesterday we celebrated Tara’s birthday; here is a photo of the four of us…
How do you celebrate YOUR birthday?