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What do you do for yourself on your birthday?

rob333 (zone 7b)
last month
last modified: last month

I've always had several different celebrations, that go on for a week. I go out with work friends (that one happened this week, earlier than usual because my coworker whose birthday is the day after mine is going out of town this week), my "whole" family, alone with my husband, my dad and his wife, my mom only, then my mom and child, etc. I have tried for several years to replace the "my mom only" celebration. I have yet had to succeed. Tried to start a post on the cooking forum yesterday, but I deleted it. I just don't see a way to do something alone on my birthday. My mom is gone, my husband's gone, my child is gone... It's not like me to not be able to celebrate myself at least a little bit. What do you do for your birthday?

Comments (64)

  • Fun2BHere
    last month

    I’m lucky enough to receive BD greetings from various friends and family on my birthday, but I don’t plan any special activities.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Fun2BHere
  • User
    last month

    It’s always nice to have someone wish you happy birthday and to have someone to celebrate with! It’s not necessary, but it is nice.🙂

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked User
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  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Kiddo is gone because they live in another state.

    I'm happy to wish myself a happy birthday. I'm here. I will do something 😉

    And maybe some can't understand, because they have a spouse. Go post somewhere else, and go away. I'm sorry you don't understand compassion. I feel sorry for you, especially if your spouse leaves you. You will suddenly have an understanding, but nobody will be there, because you have no compassion. I don't feel any need to have a pat of my back, but I do feel a need to acknowledge it. And I will. It will never be the same without my Mom. I'm sorry you don't understand losing a parent, but I would have thought you could understand that, at least. Guess you've moved beyond that. Or maybe you didn't have that kind of relationship with your parents, so you don't get it. I wish you understood, but you never will.

  • lucillle
    last month

    I will find a little something that I've wanted and order it ahead of time so that it is there by my birthday, and also maybe a special something for dinner. Maybe you could do the same, Rob. As well as plan ahead of time to have a nice phone call with Kiddo.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked lucillle
  • amylou321
    last month

    If I am scheduled to work that night, I will bring in a bunch of different flavors of mini cupcakes to share with everyone. Coworkers, cleaning people, contractors, truck drivers. It is like elementary school, when your mom brought treats for everyone in your class on your birthday, before the deluge of food allergies hit the youth. If I am off, I really do not do anything special. I do what I want for myself all year. SO is not a romantic and usually just shoves money at me to buy something for myself, and goes to get me doughnuts and dinner or something. This last birthday, I was scheduled to work overtime and a couple of my friends invited me out to eat the night before and they paid for it, which was unexpected and so nice.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked amylou321
  • chinacatpeekin
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I‘m widowed. I go out to dinner at a favorite restaurant with my kids and best friends. I also like to try to do something special during the day, if possible, a museum or a hike or something with friends. I tend to feel some self-induced pressure to have fun on my birthday, so I usually plan it myself to make it less anxiety provoking…for me!

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked chinacatpeekin
  • seagrass_gw Cape Cod
    last month
    last modified: last month

    DH & I have April birthdays that are 5 days apart. In the past (pre-covid) we would take a trip that spanned the week and more of our birthdays - usually to France. Sometimes just a nice weekend in Boston if the Marathon doesn't fall on our dates. Some years we celebrate twice with nice meals out for each of our birthdays. I feel lucky to have someone to celebrate with me. We chose not to have kids.

    For my 50th birthday, DH got tickets for us to see Van Morrison in Dublin - his concerts always sold out when he came to Boston and I had always wanted to see him live. When DH turned 50, I gave him a 3-day event at Lime Rock Park track in the Berkshires with the Skip Barber Racing School. We spent my 60th in Paris. Haven't had any major adventures since 2020...

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked seagrass_gw Cape Cod
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It's so awesome to have someone to celebrate it with!

    I LOVE that you have someone to celebrate with segrass. I hope you embrace it. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Kathsgrdn
    last month

    Nothing. It doesn't bother me at all. What did bother me for a while was after my dad got dementia and later passed away, there was no one left on this earth that worried about me. Before he did go, he forgot to worry about me. That fact hit me when I was driving to visit a friend in Virginia, by myself. If I had happened to tell my dad my travel plans, he would always tell me I shouldn't be out driving like that, that it was dangerous, etc... It was a little annoying I have to say at the time, but now that no one cares, it makes me a little sad. My daughter had made me a cd to take on that trip, some songs I requested and some she just randomly put on there for me that she thought I'd like. I was driving through West Virginia when George Strait's, "Carrying your Love with me" came on, one of her choices, and I just started crying.


    If you don't want to spend your birthday alone, invite a friend out. Or find something you'd like to do on your own. I go see movies by myself, especially if I really want to see them and no one else does or is too busy, or has already seen it. I usually go in the early afternoon, on a weekday. Sometimes I have the entire theater to myself, which is great, unless you're watching a scary movie, then not so great. I will also go out to eat by myself sometimes. I learned to do that when I was stationed in Germany and my two friends/coworkers left for the states. It was either go do things by myself or sit in my apartment all the time.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Kathsgrdn
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    (((kathsgrdn)))

    I think I'm okay most of the time by myself. And I understand what you're saying.

    For me, my birthday is the one that I want to celebrate with somebody, I guess.

    I have never been afraid to go out to dinner or movie by myself, for instance. Honestly, can't say they have anything I don't want to do by myself, prefer to do by myself, except my birthday. Probably just me 😉

  • angelaid_gw
    last month

    I probably wouldn't realize it was my Birthday except for my Facebook newsfeed.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked angelaid_gw
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I lie on all media. I learned a long time ago at work, January 1st XXXX was a dummy birth date and that's what I have on all of my media. So it doesn't work for me.

  • schoolhouse_gwagain
    last month

    In my circle of friends, two of us have the same birthdate, three have a birthday in the same month. We used to go out to lunch but not for some time now. I used to buy myself a cake but don't even do that anymore.


    Like Fun2BeHere, I still get calls from some friends and family - especially if it's a mile stone birthday like this past one when I turned 70!

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked schoolhouse_gwagain
  • Olychick
    last month

    Since my husband died (who always did something nice for my birthday), because I have no siblings or parents, I rely on my friends to celebrate with me. Birthdays were always a special day in my family and I would not like having the day pass without some kind of celebration or gathering. On my 50th, I took a group of girlfriends (12 of us) to a small resort on the WA coast for an overnight party. We drank a LOT of wine, did some fun group activities, had potluck food and laughed our heads off.

    On my 60th, I took a group of friends (I think there were 25 of us) to Roller Derby in Seattle and dinner after. It was SO much fun!

    On my 70th, I bought tix for 20 of us to see Pink Martini:

    here in Olympia and a catered dinner at an art gallery beforehand. I would have invited a few other friends but the tix sell out the instant they go on sale and I couldn't get any more than I did.

    On the non-decade birthdays, I get together with a few friends who live locally. One of my friends will host and invite my other friends for a nice dinner and cake (or pie - one of my friends makes a rhubarb pie in the summer to freeze for my birthday in March). None of us do gifts any more, tho last year the friends who hosted bought all of us beautiful Hellebore plants as party favors. On the decade birthdays, friends who live elsewhere travel for the party. Tho, after my 70th I told my friends if I live until 80, I'm not throwing a party...they have to take over!

    If no one took charge of making a celebration happen, I would not be shy about inviting some friends to go out. I would never spend my birthday alone as long as I don't outlive my friends - but most of them are younger than me, so I'm not worried.


    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Olychick
  • lily316
    last month

    My birthday is next Monday. Today is my grandson's. On Sunday my daughter will have a dinner party for me and my son and his wife will be there. The next day, the actual birthday, she's taking me on the train to the Philadelphia Flower Show where we have gone almost every year. She made reservations at a chic French restaurant for lunch and we'll take the train home in the evening.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked lily316
  • nicole___
    last month
    last modified: last month

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY and many more.... 🎵

    I am married....a built in go-anywhere with me friend. That is true. 💕 But....we spend a ton of time doing our own thing too. Birthdays....I always make each of us a B-day cake and his favorite meal is lasagna. The things we do...like last years big Christmas party....happens on my birthday or around it....every year. My GF Monica...her B-day is 4 days after mine...so we ALL go out for a B-day lunch. Zip lining for our B-day one year was her idea. We mail each other funny B-day cards.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked nicole___
  • laceyvail 6A, WV
    last month

    I invited several friends to go out for lunch with me. We went the day after my birthday because the restaurant we wanted to go to wasn't open on the day of my birthday. And I bought a rather expensive book I really wanted and would never come down in price as well as a new shirt. Quite a splurge for me but it was all fun.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked laceyvail 6A, WV
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I always say something here about my bday so I get lots of bday wishes from all my KT friends! It may seem selfish, because it is... but I love all the well wishes and the warmth I get from knowing that...though DH thinks I just waste my time on line all the time... I do make connections with people from all over who have touched my life, and I hope whose lives I've touched as well, and that it matters.

    I do have DH around and we usually go out for lunch to a restaurant of my choice. But I also celebrate with my friends ... most are individuals as opposed to groups ... so I get multiple bday lunches over my "bday month". This year, my bday is on Easter, so I'm going to spend it with cousins coming to my house which means I'll be cooking and doing lots of work!

    I get what you're saying though, especially as Mom and I used to make our bdays so special for each other, and I miss her a lot on both those days. I can see spending some time with memories of bdays past, the pleasure the people who used to be in your life brought you and being grateful for all those blessings.

    I can see getting a massage or a facial or something self indulgent as a treat.

    Or maybe instead of what you might do for yourself, do something for someone else as a way to celebrate. I always feel good knowing I've helped someone...be it paying ahead for some at the coffee shop or donating food to a pantry or bringing a box of donuts or some home-baked cookies to the gals at your dr's office or some other place you frequent. I think of so many workers who would appreciate a treat be it at the police station, the road crew, a fire department, etc. After all, when I celebrate, I want others to be happy too, not just me.

    Or best yet, I can imagine doing all...celebrate all month with friends, do something self indulgent, spend some time in gratitude and do something nice for someone else too!

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    last month

    You didn't say when your bday is, so I'll wish you now:



  • faftris
    last month

    I have one of those miserable right-before-Christmas birthdays, so it just seems to miss the radar. I figure that if I don't celebrate, it doesn't count, am I right?

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked faftris
  • salonva
    last month

    Let me also join in and wish you a very happy birthday rob333


    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked salonva
  • faftris
    last month

    I worked for a large company, with 18,000 employees in a pair of buildings in Manhattan. One of our perks was free lunch in the company cafeteria. The highest VPs ate in a beautiful dining room with waitress service. On Leap Day, the company treated all the Leaplings to a fancy lunch in that site. You would be amazed at how many of them there were.

    My DD2 went through school with a Leapling. When he had a "real" birthday, his mom pulled out all the stops. All these years later, the first thing that comes to mind when I wake up on February 29th is that Michael is having a fun day!

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked faftris
  • lindaohnowga
    last month

    On my birthday I thank God for granting me another year of life.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked lindaohnowga
  • Mystical Manns
    last month

    I've been alone for 10 years now, and have adjusted. I get a card and well wishes from co-workers, and generally a call from my son. Occasionally he'll come take me to dinner, but maybe three times in that ten years.


    Making the adjustment to being alone can be hard. But I no longer rely on others to provide my entertainment or enjoyment. That's for me to do. It really isn't as fun to be a tourist alone in a new area, but it's better than not traveling and seeing that new area. I'd rather go to a movie alone than not see a movie that looks interesting. And dinner out? I can do that now, by myself, and not feel awkward. (altho I still get annoyed with the ... oh, Just One? question from a hostess, so I try to pre-empt with "a table (or booth) for one, please"). But all of that took time.


    Sounds like you're going through an adjustment too, Rob, and I hope you do well with it. Happy Birthday to you, whenever it is.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Mystical Manns
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I wouldn't go so far as reliant. I'm pretty happy almost all the time. I really enjoy alone time in the garden, for instance. Me and the wildlife, so maybe not so alone ;)

    Birthdays were a big deal to my mom. Really big. She sent everyone in the family a card no matter how tough things were or how far away they were. It was the one day I got her all to myself (I have siblings), and I grew up pretty poor, so it was an extra treat that she took me wherever I wanted to go. In the latter years, since I am faring better financially than she did, I took her out on my dime. There's just something about the one day a year that was all hers my whole life until 2019 (she was in a nursing home and bedridden from then until July 2022). I haven't adjusted. I would go where I used to pick in high school, but it's gone. Man, I thought I was the bomb getting to go there-Kobe steak

    I grew up in the middle of change (military/nomadic life). So I know how to. I go into changes kicking all along, but I typically find my new happiness. I learn to love new homes, hangouts, friends. So no worries. I'll get there. I merely thought it would've been sooner than 5 years+ later.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It's clear the absence of your mom is a glaring one, since she and her traditions clearly meant - and still mean - a lot to you.

    Wishing you a lovely birthday, however you choose to acknowledge it.

    And FWIW, plenty of people never get over enjoying birthday celebrations. My mom used to shy away from acknowledging hers until a spiritual friend told her that our birthdays are a day our soul comes to the forefront and we should never ignore that.

    And it doesn't have to be about presents at all, just celebrating the fact that one was born.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
  • User
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Exactly, carol! Who doesn’t love a good celebration.

    My birthday is one day before my mother’s birthday and two of my sister’s birthdays are four and six days after. My mother baked a cake and had a party for each one of us on our BD when we were kids. Thanks Mom!

    I’ll take all the birthdays I can get. Here’s to good health and getting older! Too many people don’t get the privilege.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked User
  • lily316
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Rob , I get how you miss your mom especially around your birthday. My mother and I weren't that close but she always had a birthday cake for me. I remember getting so many birthday cards back in the day from relatives and friends and sadly now all or most are dead. My daughter has taken my mother's role and always has a party and an excursion. I still give birthday parties and bake a cake for each kid.

    Edited to add: I'm glad to have had my mother and now my daughter to honor my birthday because my husband never did anything.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked lily316
  • salonva
    last month

    I am reading through the posts, and I am reminded that I too don't usually make much of my birthday, but I am fortunate that it is acknowledged by others.

    I have a summer birthday, so as a kid, my year round friends were not typically with me as for about 8 years or so I went to "sleep away camp". One year, I remember feeling very down because other than receiving cards in the mail from family , no one was really wishing me a happy birthday. It turned out that my camp friends were planning a surprise party for me, which turned out very sweet and touching. For the time that I thought there was no acknowledgement it was very troubling . It really felt like no one cared. Since then, I do make a point of making sure that there is something to set the day apart for anyone's birthday if I am aware of it. I just remember that very low feeling when it seemed the day was under the radar.



    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked salonva
  • jerseygirl07603 z6NJ
    last month

    When I was working, I would always take my birthday off and make a trip to a lovely garden center and treat myself to whichever plants I'd been dreaming of. Now that I'm retired EVERYDAY is a vacation day!

    Also, my closest and dearest friend's birthday was 2 days after mine so we would always plan a day trip to celebrate together - a Broadway play, a museum, a botanical garden, etc., But now that she's passed, those trips are over.

    Now I just enjoy a nice meal out with family and friends.



    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked jerseygirl07603 z6NJ
  • chinacatpeekin
    last month

    I’m remembering that when we were growing up my mom always let me take the day off from school! Now THAT felt special. Before retirement I worked less than five days a week, so that was easy to do for myself- and maybe the day before and after, too. Also, I have a group of long-time friends, the majority of whom have fall and winter birthdays, and we have a big group celebration every year.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked chinacatpeekin
  • Olychick
    last month

    It makes me sad that people without a spouse or parents feel ”alone.” I understand missing them, for sure. I don’t think the importance of fostering friendships can be overstated. My girlfriends and their significant others and their kids comprise a created, chosen family that is more loving and reliable than many people’s blood families. Find girlriends!

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Olychick
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month

    I have plenty of friends. I have work friends, I have church friends, I have family friends.... They just ain't my mom 😉

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    last month

    "I merely thought it would've been sooner than 5 years+ later."


    The heart does not operate on a calender.

  • Patriciae
    last month

    It is obvious that this is about missing your mom's presence in your life and nothing is going to fix that so I am very sorry. I do think that missing a loved one is a good thing. You have had love to miss. Good thing. Maybe this birthday celebrate the loved one and her love for you? Something special about your mom?

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Patriciae
  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    last month
    last modified: last month

    My BD is in April so I'll more than likely be working in the Spring garden as per usual. VgQn insists that I take that day off but gardening is fun, esp after a long dull winter. That being said, she will definitely take me out to my favorite restaurant for stupendous dinner.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked vgkg Z-7 Va
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month

    Patricia,


    Everything was special about her. She was everything I'm not. She loved cats and chocolate. I'm happy to celebrate with a cat and chocolate ❣️

  • Jupidupi
    last month

    Growing up, we got to choose what we wanted for dinner on our birthday. I always chose stuffed artichokes (bread stuffing, New Orleans style.) Surprisingly, I have not been able to find a good stuffed artichoke in NYC, and I've tried. So I sometimes make them for myself.


    My husband always feels the need to buy me something. I'm super picky and terrible at receiving gifts. I find the whole gift thing very stressful. But this year I'll be having cataract surgery right near my birthday. And I've already told him what I want -- the pricey Light Adjustable lenses. My lasik past and current pre-glaucoma makes them the best option. Clear vision! I can hardly wait!

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Jupidupi
  • mojomom
    last month

    Jupi, i hope you enjoy the LAL as much as I do. I had the surgery in December and my lenses were locked in three weeks ago. It is a process and took a few adjustments to get vision perfect, but the results are so worth it. Both distance and near vision are great!

    On topic, my birthday is Monday. We are going out to dinner Sunday night for family birthday, then happy hour with friends after bridge on Monday.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked mojomom
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month

    Isn't it fun to have multiple celebrations?! Happy birthday mojomom

  • pekemom
    last month

    Nothing really…get phone calls from the family, cards, texts and gifts from the kids.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked pekemom
  • lily316
    last month

    mojomom...We have the same birthday and the same two-day celebration.

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked lily316
  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I stumbled across it. My child and I were talking about the quality of headphones back in the day. I have kept all of them. Though, I've been through a couple of turntables, my super-old headphones connect into the current day turntable.

    You might not think much of it, but it's really taking me back.

    Meals were also a thing that were very important to my mother. We always had cloth napkins, which I ironed for a nickel apiece, candlelight, and we each picked out music to listen to each night.

    Tears are just streaming while listening to the old albums we used to listen to.

    With the headphones connected directly to it, it is very different experience. I feel taken back in time. It's very comforting. I think I found my celebration ❣️ I hope to do it more often than my birthday.

  • Olychick
    last month

    Glad you found your sweet spot for your birthday!

    rob333 (zone 7b) thanked Olychick
  • joann_fl
    last month

    nothing at all, it's just another day.

  • sjerin
    last month

    Is it your bday, Joann? If so, Happy Birthday and I hope you so something nice for yourself!

  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    Original Author
    last month

    (((joannn)))


    And I agree, if it's your birthday-Happy birthday ❣️ I hope you had a good one

  • lily316
    last month

    Mine was yesterday and my daughter took me on the train to the Philadelphia Flower Show which was spectacular as usual. She had reservations at a very chic French restaurant for our lunch, and we took the late train home. We walked nine miles and did 18,300 steps but it was a fun day. I love Philly! The day before she had a lovely dinner for me with cake and great presents from her and her brother.

  • salonva
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Happy (yesterday) Birthday Lily! and Joann? I'm going today.

    Sounds like you did have a great one. Let the celebrations continue.

  • lily316
    last month

    salonva...to the flower show? Let me know what you think. So gorgeous and creative.