Today is my 37th birthday.

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I currently have an incredible friend watching both kids while I hide in a coffee shop to work on this blog.

The best part about today (and this weekend), is that I made a small realization on how important it is to invest in myself.  Life is short, and taking the opportunities for freedom, exploration, or FUN are so valuable.

I never used to make a big deal about birthdays or find any real reason to expect any fanfare.  That was, until I had children and realized what an amazing and special day it really is.  There is no other person like you in the world, and no other person with your family, your birth story, the love you have, or the experiences that make you who you really are.

We are each so unique and special, and this day is a reminder of that.  But do these realizations always have to be limited to our birthdays?

NO.  Don’t let that be the case.  You have dreams, thoughts, desires, and passions for things in this world.  Those desires need to be fed and fostered, or that unique individual (aka: you) might be lost in the the chaos of family and work.

Take a day, plan it out, and CREATE something about that day just for you.  In case you need some ideas:

  • Reach out:  Ask a friend, your hubby/wife, a neighbor, a babysitter, or a relative to help you in some way or another:  We are a culture that is fueled by collaboration.  Most people, especially those that love you, want to help and contribute to your overall happiness.  If you have a person you trust that is invested in your being YOU, reach out to them.
  • Ask yourself: “What would I like to do with 3 free hours?”  Then plan it.  Plan the date, the time, the location, and COMMIT.  Sometimes planning is the most difficult piece, but is the most valuable in assuring follow through.
  • Explore a new place:  We are creatures of habit.  Step outside your comfort zone and jump.  You’d be amazed how a small change can shake up your thought patterns and awaken a buried section of your brain that has been bored and dormant.
  • Try and new type of exercise:  Once again- it will stimulate both your body and mind, and possibly spark something amazing inside.
  • Get outside:  Nature is inspiring.  ‘Nough said.
  • LET GO OF THE GUILT:  This is key.  Taking breaks from our regular life is necessary- not something we should feel bad about.  If you are working, you need a break from work. If you are working for your kids at home, you need a break from your kids.  If you are constantly maintaining a house- you need to take a break from your house.    Take a moment to acknowledge that the break feels odd and selfish, and then LET THE GUILT GO.  Throw it in the trash, walk out the door, and take some time for yourself.  Taking breaks is natural and healthy. It is not natural and healthy to never take a break.  That is what leads to stress and mid-life crises.

Your work, marriage, family, and household will all be happier and healthier when you have taken the time to invest in your own health and happiness.

I hope it doesn’t take until your birthday to create some space and time for something that makes only you happy. Invest in YOU, and we all win in the end.