How to celebrate growing up

When I turned 30 my life wasn’t over, it was just beginning. Our society puts unnecessary pressure on coming of age and entering a new decade; as if it’s all downhill when your age ends with a zero. But what does it really feel like to be a year older? Is it something you celebrate or ignore as time passes? Do you reach a point where it’s more trouble than it’s worth to organize an event in honour of your special day? For me, entering a new decade brought with it a new sense of self, a more mature view of who I am and what I want in life. Every year since, I have become more confident in who I am and my purpose is more clear. I make decisions with intention that lead me to live my best life. Why then, wouldn’t I want to be another year older?

With 30 also came a wakeup call: I wasn’t getting any younger. I had one body, one face, one heart and one soul, and if I didn’t start taking care of it now, I was only making for a more difficult life later. At this age, I’ve learned how sacred my time to myself is; how important it is to pause, unwind and reflect if I want to continue moving forward each day. I also recognize the fact that hard work shouldn’t go without reward and what better time to congratulate myself on my achievements then on my birthday? As a result, I began the tradition of gifting myself as a way to celebrate all of the trials, tribulations and milestones I had conquered over the past year. After all, I work hard so I can play well.

For this year’s birthday, I decided on a staycation: an opportunity to check-out of my house and check-in to the Miraj Caudalie Spa at the Shangri-La hotel for a day solo. I booked a couple of treatments including a night at the hotel so I could enjoy a day of no pressure, no expectations, no disappointment. I wanted to be disconnected in order to find some space in my mind and to fill the buckets of my soul. I thought a day spent alone away from it all is what I needed, but when my friends got wind of my indulgent 24-hour stay, they wanted in. So I accepted their self-invitation to join me after my day of solitude for some libations in the swanky foyer - and it was the icing on the cake (pun absolutely intended). I was so concerned about having control over taking care of myself that I had forgotten what it meant to be surrounded by people who care. I felt extremely fortunate and thankful for those who have continued to be supportive, encouraging and just plain fun to be around.

And just when I thought that was enough, the Shangri-La continued to exceed my expectations. I could not have anticipated the generosity and attention to detail from the staff - above and beyond is an understatement. From the spa remembering my sensitive skin concerns, to the receptionist insisting I request a late checkout, to the concierge reserving the ideal place for my friends to meet me for drinks and topping it off with a gift of sweets and treats - I never want to leave! (In fact, I’m sitting in the lobby this minute in an effort to finish this post before I go.) It provided exactly what I was looking for: a place of tranquility, indulgence and entertainment.  

How do you celebrate another year of living? I’ve learned that birthdays are more than just an excuse to invite family and friends together for some food and wine, but rather an opportunity to celebrate your past and toast to your future. It’s a reminder that being on this earth is a miracle to begin with. The fact that the stars aligned for your parents to meet in the first place and then their DNA combined to make you when one small tweak could have changed everything, is truly amazing. There is quite literally no one else on earth like you and you’ve been dealt a hand to have the chance at living a most incredible life. So why not celebrate it?? I can’t wait for this next year and growing to be another year older - just like a good wine, this life seems to be getting better with time.

How do you celebrate your birthday? Let me know in the comments below!