It’s my birthday today. I’m 35 and ready to embark on my 1/3 Life Crisis. Cupcakes all around!
Birthdays are such a great journaling milestone. Big annual occasions have me digging through decades of journals, searching for past landmarks. Since my birthday occurs after the flurry of the holidays and before the beginning of spring, it’s a perfect time for focused journaling, introspection, and metamorphosis.
I know not everyone is in love with birthdays. But I’ve always been a big fan; they’re the only holiday you don’t have to share with anyone else. (Unless you’re a twin, or my parents.)
I’m famous for stretching my birthday out into several days of festivities, milking the attention and free stuff for all its worth. My birthday falls close to Valentine’s Day, so the Page has decided to celebrate “Birthentine’s Week,” showering me with star-gazer lilies, perfume, and pan-seared sea scallops. What’s not to love?
If you’re a birthday hater, I’ll enjoy your share of the cupcakes. But this stuff I’m going to write about can be applied to any annual event — anniversaries, seasons, holidays. I have a special relationship with June 21st, for example. I celebrate it every year. It also happens to be my Moviversary for relocating to Seattle.
In any case, here are some journaling ideas for your birthday (or other annual milestone):
Have a mini-retreat.
I like to schedule an extra-long session on my birthday, sort of a mini-Almanac day. Assess all the parts of my life (in a light-hearted and non judgmental way), dig deeper than I often do in the morning before downing my coffee and dashing off to start my day.
I enjoy a leisurely exploration on the pages of my journal. It keeps me in touch with myself and where I’m at.
Start a birthdays-only journal.
I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile — having one slim volume in which I capture each year in review and only adding to it on my birthday. Using images, photographs, stories and art to create a snapshot of that year.
I’m going to start one this year.
Review the year.
Write about what you were doing last year at this time. Where did you think you’d be? If you have your journals from previous years, find the entries around the time of your birthday. What has changed since then? How have you grown?
Are you doing what you set out to do? Is this what you had planned? Do your goals need updating? Are you ready to tackle a brand new dream?
I have a tradition of making a few predictions for the coming year. Then I reflect on whether or not they happened. Sometimes they do, but it’s fascinating how the Universe often has better plans for me than I could come up with myself.
I’m a big-time planner, so it’s humbling to see how rarely my plans come to fruition. Perhaps it’s time to let go of that illusion of control. 🙂
One thing I did have correct about this year was that my new journaling website would be a smashing success! 😉
Buy yourself a gift.
Although I have a habit of buying myself vehicles on my birthday, a really fabulous pen would do just fine. Birthdays are a great time to splurge on that beautiful journal you’ve been eyeing filled with organic paper and hand-sewn by elves under starlight.
I’ve been intrigued by fountain pens for some time, but have yet to take the plunge and buy one. I think that’s my project for this particular year!
Do you have any ideas for birthday journaling traditions? Share them in the comments below.
Gotta go – those cupcakes are calling…