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Birthday Journaling (NOW with 30% more cupcakes!)

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?

Play fortuneteller.

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. πŸ™‚

One thing I did have correct about this year was that my new journaling website would be a smashing success! πŸ˜‰

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…

20 comments

  1. Happy Birthday! You can keep my share of the cupcakes if I can have your share of the pan-seared sea scallops! Yum!

  2. Happy birthday Kristin!
    I wish you lots of success and cupcakes.

    I love your idea of a journaling birthday and I can’t wait to try it out in April when mine is! πŸ™‚ I’m going to book a table at my favorite cafΓ© and eat a pretzel or two! πŸ™‚

  3. I love the idea of a birthday journal and I’m going to do it. I have a special journal that I write in only on my annual personal retreats, but not on my birthday.

    Happy Birthday!

  4. Oh..and one other thing after reading back over your post. My birthday IS June 21st! πŸ™‚ That day has been signifcant to me for other reasons as well.

  5. I hope that you have a fantastic birthday this year. I hope you get a new car and a new pen and a bunch of cupcakes in between. May your new year be filled with all the love, laughter and light that the universe has to offer. Today I light a candle in your name.

    Happy Birthday!

  6. Happy Birthday! The only reason I hate my birthday is because it IS on Valentine’s Day, and it just kind of sucks. But I’ve learned to live with it and just try and enjoy it. I hope you enjoy your day today!

  7. Happy Birthday to you!
    Love the idea, buy yourself something… heheeheee.
    A birthday journal is a wonderful idea, thanks for the tip. :]

  8. Happy Birthday Kristin! My birthday is right before Christmas so I get the whole holiday/birthday thing. I still love my birthday though, I just get presents for more of the month of December!

  9. Happy birthday, Kristin! No, I don’t have any special birthday related journaling stuff. I’m not that fond of birthdays. Especially when they mean you’re getting older. πŸ˜›

  10. Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

  11. Happy Birthday to you!!

  12. Thanks for all the birthday well-wishings!

  13. I hope I’m not too late to wish you a happy birthday. Did you get a vehicle this year?

  14. Hey, Happy Belated (sorry!) Birthday!!

    I do hope you saved me one of the delicious cupcakes -:)

    You did, right?

  15. My birthdays have always been special, and I usually end up journaling on or around my birthday. My birthday is July 5th so we usually have a barbeque or eat leftovers from 4th of July barbeques.

  16. Belated happy birthday Kristin!
    Iknow, it’s really, really late, but better late than never. Today is the 26th of August, and I’m seeing my birthday on my rear view mirror, because tomorrow is my birthday. I’m starting to make a list of what I would like to do or how should I spend my birthday. Thanks for the idea of using one notebook only for birthdays, I think that’s cool! Thank you also Kristin for your contagious passion for journaling.