Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 35.
And for the first time in my life I went for a bike ride while the hour still started with a 7.
It felt surprisingly good.
For 35 years, I’ve made it clear to the world that I’m NOT a morning person. I’d rock up to work between 9:30 and 10, and half jokingly, half dead-serious, tell my team not to book interviews for me before 11am unless they didn’t want the candidate to get the job.
Lately though, I’ve been trying on a new version of me. Setting my alarm for the un-Godly hour of 7am (gasp!). And yeah I know, you parents out there are probably thinking, man, she needs a reality check, just wait until she has kids.
I know. I’m getting there. Let me rest in peace at 5 and 6 am for now please.
As I closed out the last few months of my 35th year, I told myself this:
Start taking yourself seriously woman.
Which for me, now includes saying hello to the sun at 7am, getting some fresh air and moving my body by 9, making myself a green smoothie (that’s a whole ‘nother ‘so-not-me’ change) and then getting shit done by noon.
For the record, the last time I have been this ‘disciplined’ in the morning, I was 6 years old, the first one in my house to wake up, at 6am, in the dark, so I could practice the piano before school. It’s not a fond memory.
Neither is the memory of the feeling of ‘having’ to go for a run every single day so that my athletic performance, and world, wouldn’t fall a part.
Here’s a little secret… Since then, I’ve been resisted forming any kind of routine, for fear that once again, the external discipline would mask, and leave room for, the internal chaos to continue.
But recently I’ve grown up a bit. I’m finally willing to see myself for who I am, and my life for what it is.
Instead of drifting in the wind trying to keep a few fledgling business ventures afloat, chagrin-ing pay-day, and making up a million and one excuses as to why ‘this isn’t working’ and ‘I don’t have time for everything’… I realized I could always get up off my ass a little bit earlier each day, get shit done, and have time for everything and more.
Rocket science, I know.
Which brings me to yesterday. 7:59am and I was on my mountain bike, going for a birthday ride, and as I was cycling to the park, I asked myself: ‘Who is this person?’
And then smiled. Hello old friend 🙂
And as I continued to ride, I thought about this:
When it comes to birthdays, we usually do something special for ourselves. A bit of pampering, buy something new, enjoy some guilt-free cake, visit somewhere beautiful, hang out with good friends, whatever floats your boat, right?
But why wait until your birthday?
Why not make it your birthday everyday?
Sure, the bills have to be paid, the kitchen floor scrubbed, and diapers changed. But think about how you spend your day on your birthday. What’s the gift you are giving yourself? My guess is you can find some way to give that to yourself every day.
A few examples to try on:
It’s your birthday and, like me, you want to spend as much time outside as possible. Find a way to get out into nature at least 10 minutes a day, and at least once a week, go get lost in the woods.
Or you’re booking in a massage… Fill your house with candles or essential oils for some daily aromatherapy, and find a way to relax your body on a regular basis… a hot bath, some gentle yoga, or even a massage chair.
You’re taking the day off work…. Maybe it’s time to find some work that you love doing so much you WANT to do it on your birthday. Even if it doesn’t pay the bills right away, volunteer or pick up a hobby that feels better than chocolate cake.
Speaking of cake… if your birthday’s the one day of the year you allow yourself to enjoy delicious food guilt-free, regardless of the calories, then girl, it’s time to start looking at food, your body, and your life differently.
Why limit joy, pleasure, and fulfilment, to just one day of the year?
Start taking yourself seriously. Gift yourself the life that’s waiting for you.
Make it your birthday everyday.