My Unbirthday Wish To You

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

“Statistics prove that you have one birthday,
one birthday every year
But there are three hundred and sixty-four unbirthdays
Precisely why we’re gathered here to cheer!”
-The Mad Hatter and The March Hare from “Alice In Wonderland” (The Unbirthday Song)

Let me begin by saying that I LOVE birthdays.  I love my birthday, I love your birthday, I love my husband’s birthday, I love my friends’ birthdays, I love celebrity birthdays.  I also love any excuse to eat cake and dance.  Your birthday is a beautiful day to celebrate you!  It is the day you were blessed to arrive in this world and begin your journey.  This date is a reminder each year that you are here, that you have done so much, and that you have so much more left to do in your life.  Be thankful and grateful for this date!

While I enjoy a good birthday, my own birthday can also make me feel a little anxious as I reflect on my life and the thought of being another year older.  Birthdays tend to sneak up on us, especially as we get older.  All of a sudden just because one day went by, we have to add a whole number to our age.  If I’m being honest, this underwhelms me and overwhelms me at the same time. I feel underwhelmed because I don’t feel any different than I did the day before, and if I am going to commit to an entirely different age, then I should feel something different, right?  On the other hand, I feel overwhelmed because I think, “okay…now that I am (a day) older, I should now be… [insert about 100 different goals that I haven’t yet accomplished in my life].”

While in that moment it feels as if one day has caused us to suddenly be an entire year older, the reality is that it was actually the other 364 days that landed us at that point.  Three hundred sixty-four days that, in my opinion, always seem to go by in the blink of an eye.

So here I am, celebrating my first unbirthday of my 31st year.   An “unbirthday” can be defined as the other 364 days of the year that are not your actual birthday, as celebrated by The Mad Hatter and The March Hare in the Disney Classic Alice In Wonderland  (if you have never heard “The Unbirthday Song”, I strongly suggest taking a moment to listen and watch!  It will instantly brighten your world, I promise).

I remember being younger and watching this “tea party” scene, and being entranced with the catchy song and the pure joy of these characters celebrating just another day in their whimsical lives!  I mean, talk about making life a party!  Cake, tea, fireworks, music, dancing, and friends on just another random day??  Sign.Me.Up. Maybe that Mad Hatter and March Hare were onto something when they were dancing around that long table in Wonderland celebrating their “unbirthdays.”

Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler

Now we are most likely not going to throw “Mad Hatter” tea parties to celebrate our 364 unbirthdays each year (although can you imagaine??), but we can view these days as being a different kind of special.

Our actual birthdays are milestones; book ends to celebrate the end of one year of life and the beginning of another.  But our 364 unbirthdays make up the journey of our lives.  Each day we are are growing and changing in some way.  Though it might not feel like it on your birthday, you are a different version of yourself than you were a year ago.  With each passing unbirthday, you have evolved into….well, you!  Growing and changing is a guarantee of unbirthdays, even if you don’t necessarily experience a life changing event to reassure you of this change (ie. graduating, going to college, getting married, getting a job, buying a house, etc.).  The key is to find ways to celebrate you on these unbirthdays in some way and recognize this growth, no matter how small.  If we are more introspective and mindful of how we are growing and evolving on our unbirthdays, we might not feel so blindsided and shocked when we are suddenly another year older on our actual birthdays.  Instead, we can celebrate gaining another year in this world, and truly appreciate who we have become.  As a result, we might begin to feel less of that anxiety that sometimes arises with getting older.

Life gets crazy.  We all have our own responsibilities and routines that make the days come and go, sometimes a little too quickly.  So, here are 3 wishes I have for you that might make these unbirthdays stand out a little more from day to day:

I wish…

…for the word “yet” to appear more in your inner-dialogue.
It’s so easy for us to begin thinking about what we haven’t done in our lives as opposed to all that we have accomplished, especially as our birthday approaches.  By using the word “yet” at the end of these thoughts, we give ourselves the opportunity and permission to continue to work towards these goals.  The thought goes from not having accomplished something, to not having accomplished it….yet.  So, let’s cheers our teacups for what’s to come!

…for you to party through life with your Mad Hatters and March Hares.
The people in our lives make up so much of our personal worlds.  When you celebrate your birthday, you are surrounded by the people you care about, whether this means talking to them on the phone, receiving a special message, or being graced by their presence.  Keep those people close throughout your year, and reach out to them more often.  Fill your world with their presence.  Find your Mad Hatters and March Hares, for life is best experienced with others!

..for you to find your inner “muchness.”
In the 2010 version of Alice In Wonderland, The Mad Hatter states to a now 19-year old Alice upon her return to Wonderland, “You used to be much more….muchier.  You’ve lost your muchness.”  In his own unique way, the Mad Hatter was referring to an essence of Alice from when she was a child that he felt that she had lost since her last visit to Wonderland.  To us, this “muchness” could be a part of our identity, something we used to enjoy, or simply a feeling.  I have personally had a few seasons of my life during which I have felt like I had lost my sense of self.  What I can say to anyone who might be feeling this way is that whatever your “muchness” is to you, it is still there inside of you even though it might not feel like it sometimes.  It never leaves or abandons you!  You might just need to reactivate it and allow it to resurface.  Sometimes all it takes is hearing a song, talking to a particular person, or rediscovering an activity that brings you happiness and activates that inner “muchness,” or self.   Filling your unbirthdays with moments like these can lead to inspiration and rediscovery.

My 31st birthday is over, and it was amazing!  It was the perfect day that included cake, warm birthday wishes from my friends and family, and that pure sense of happiness that makes you feel like a kid again.  For me, another round of unbirthdays has only just begun.  Wherever you are in your own year, I hope that you can find ways to celebrate your unbirthdays more often!  Recognize all of the beautiful things that you are doing each and every day, and appreciate the people who are there to help you celebrate this life!

(Cue fireworks)

A very merry unbirthday to you!!

Live out loud,
Stephanie

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

53 thoughts on “My Unbirthday Wish To You

  1. I soooo love this. I am a birthday fanatic. I don’t think I paid enough attention to Alice in wonderland cause I didn’t catch that part lol. I love this concept though. I will be celebrating some unbirthdays cause they are certainly a preparation for the big celebration.

    1. Thank you, Laureen! Yes, it has been a very long time since I have watched Alice In Wonderland and I don’t remember a lot of the movie, but this song and scene always stuck with me. Thank you so much for reading =)

  2. I love the way you write and how you describe these other very important days of the year. Because you are so right, one day that is called your BIRTHDAY isn’t really the day you get older. It is the other days that led to that day, the days that you made mistakes, failed, and rose again. The days you had successes, great moments, reached important goals, etc. SO YES we should celebrate everyday like it’s a birthday because everyday is a celebration and a gift!

    1. Thanks for reading, Dionna! Yes, so much happens in a year, and it’s so important that we stop and recognize what got us from birthday to birthday =) *Happy Unbirthday* to you!!

  3. I so enjoyed reading this, and it was much needed, as I very recently celebrated a birthday! Like you said, I was elated at first, expecting my day to be bombastic…and it was! And then was depressed at the thought of have I accomplished everything I meant to, at this age? Such a timely read. I’m going to take your 3 wishes to heart, thank you so much for this post, it came when I needed it most 🙂

    1. Happy belated birthday, Jyo! I think those thoughts are very natural for us to have around our birthdays, and it’s good that we do take time to reflect. I’m so glad that you were able to connect with my 3 wishes =) I am continuing to work on them myself!! Thank you so much for reading! Happy unbirthday to you!

  4. Thank you. I used the love birthdays too, but I was viciously abused on my 18th birthday by someone I loved very much at the time. I won’t leave the gruesome details in your blog comments; if you’re really interested I describe them in a post on my blog titled “Eighteen.” My point in commenting is not to try to steal your traffic though , I promise; it’s to say thank you. I attempted suicide on my 28th birthday and have come close to dying on other post-18 birthdays just because of getting too intoxicated. My birthday has become a source of grief and trauma. Lately it has also become a reminder of my deep social isolation and loneliness-something which was bolstered by the normal isolation that occurs in motherhood, but which began with my abuse and the social distancing that comes with that. I have come to hate my birthdays, and that may never change. I have PTSD, and my birthday is now a trigger. But you’re so right; the other days of the year and the real days in which I grow into me and LIVE so, even if I can’t celebrate my own birthday anymore, maybe I should take your advice and do more celebrating of the other days I am alive. After all, I did survive. And that is something to celebrate, yes?

    1. Elizabeth,
      Thank you for this open and honest comment, and for sharing such a personal story. I read your blog post about your eighteenth birthday, and I can understand why those memories come back to you each year on that date, and why the days leading up to it are extremely difficult. I cannot even begin to imagine what you went through. I think it’s incredible that you are taking this experience and telling your story, and being the voice for so many others who have survived similar experiences, through this post and your others. Yes, you ARE a survivor, and that is definitely something to celebrate each and every day of your life! Please know that you are so much more than what happened to you that night, and that you deserve to feel happiness on the day that you came into this world. You have 304 unbirthdays before next year to celebrate *you* and your strength and survival! Recognize and be proud of that part of yourself =) Happy Unbirthday, Elizabeth! I really look forward to getting to know you more through your blog! Thank you again for sharing your story.

  5. Reading this really cheered me up. I also, just had a Birthday this weekend and on my Big day I found out I was having a miscarriage! Went through so many emotions. Thought what terrible news to get on my special day! Being positive for the unbirthday days now:)

    1. Kristin, I am so sorry to hear this. I can’t even imagine how extremely emotional this must have been for you and your family, especially on your birthday. I hope that you are finding strength and peace today, and in all of these days that follow!

  6. I absolutely LOVE this! I’ll admit that I was intrigued by the title mostly because my 25th birthday is Saturday so I’m like “hmm what’s this about?” Your unbirthday are so simple yet great! Thanks for this!

    1. Thank you for reading, Ashleigh =) I am glad you enjoyed! Have a wonderful 25th birthday this weekend!

  7. I love celebrating birthdays as well and I agree that we still have to recognize our growths during our unbirthdays. After all, birthdays are just another reminder that we survived another year of unbirthdays full of learning and growth.

  8. This is such a great post, and such an important lesson. Could you imagine how much happier the world would be if we were focused on celebrating each and every ‘unbirthday’ in some way, even if its just a nice hot cup of your favourite tea or coffee, or a moment spent walking in your favourite park.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca/

  9. This was wonderfully written. You put the anxiety of growing old in words so perfectly and not in a depressing way! For the last couple of years, my birthday is like a dread-day for me. The feeling that I’m in my mid 20s and haven’t accomplished half of what I thought I would by this time. But I’ve also started to realise that every year, I grow more as a person and therefore am closer to those goals. So thankfully there is a ‘yet’ lol. I do need to find my ‘muchness’ again though.

  10. Oh I sooo love this! I personally get birthday blues too. Learning to celebrate unbirthdays would definitely help.

    Thanks for this write-up! A true celebration of life! <3

    1. Tahna, thanks so much for reading! I’m definitely working on curing those birthday blues, too =) Happy unbirthday!

  11. I love this post! All three wishes are so appropriate, but I especially love the 2nd wish ” surrounding yourself with your birthday people- and what a clever way to think about it! I was just talking about this today- as we grow up, our need for SO MANY friends, as least in my experience, dwindles, and the need a few close friends- because of more of a NEED and desire. I like this idea of “my birthday friends” who would I want at my birthday? and focussing on nurturing those relationships through the year, rather than spreading myself so thin. Thanks for the insightful post girl.
    twicedutch.com – Abigail

    1. I completely agree, Abigail. I’ve noticed this with each year that passes, too. Strengthening those relationships with your closest friends throughout the entire year really does wonders for these friendships and your happiness =) Thanks so much for reading and for this thoughtful comment! Happy unbirthday to you!

  12. I have always loved my birthday and have planned it months in advance but this year it sprang up on me out of nowhere, like you said. I was actually dreading even dealing with anyone on that day or with the disappointment of not having anyone available. But now I’ve planned a chill bon fire with a few friends and I’m looking forward to toasting 33 with a few s’mores. Great post!

    1. Isn’t it great, Emilia?? It makes me instantly happy =) Thanks so much for reading! Happy Unbirthday to you!

  13. This is an amazing post. My whole outlook on life has changed since I lost my sister. We were only 11 months apart so well always celebrated our birthdays together. I don’t celebrate my brithday anymore because it hurts so much but now…. I’m going to celebrate my birthdays. I live every day like it’s my last now. Thank you for an amazing post!!

  14. Love this post! I’m all for making the most of every day and not just the special celebrations. Thank you for the reminder! 🙂

  15. I love the whimsy of this post 🙂 My birthday is coming up next week so I am thankful for your un-birthday wishes in the meantime and will remind myself of your 3 wishes for the 364 un-birthdays I have coming up!

    1. Thank you for reading, Denise! I am happy that you enjoyed my three wishes =) I hope you have a wonderful birthday next week!! Until then, Happy Unbirthday!!

  16. This is a very sweet post!! I love birthdays too but I love unexpected fun days even more!! I love celebrating with others just because we are friends or family!! I have Alice in Wonderland and now I think I am going to have to watch it with my daughter 🙂

    1. Yvonne, I completely agree! Sometimes spontaneous, unexpected fun is the best! It is what makes up the days of our lives. Writing this post helped me rediscover Alice In Wonderland, too. It’s such a fun movie! I hope you have fun watching it with your daughter! We have to keep these classics alive, right?? Happy Unbirthday to you!

  17. Stephanie…this section is exactly how I feel today! Thank you for sharing and thank you for your kind comments. 🙂

    I feel underwhelmed because I don’t feel any different than I did the day before, and if I am going to commit to an entirely different age, then I should feel something different, right? On the other hand, I feel overwhelmed because I think, “okay…now that I am (a day) older, I should now be… [insert about 100 different goals that I haven’t yet accomplished in my life].”

    1. Linzi, thank you for reading! Enjoy your birthday and definitely share your beautiful blog with the people closest to you! You have so much to be proud of with your work!

  18. This is so wonderful, I’m so glad I stumbled across this post. I love anything related to Alice and Wonderland, and to find this delightful hidden moral in it makes me so happy 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Nicole! I also love the whole idea of Alice in Wonderland and The Unbirthday Song was definitely an inspiration for me! I’m happy that it made you happy! =)=) Happy Unbirthday to you!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *