Tomorrow is my birthday!  I have a lovely day planned.  I’ve cleared my calendar of all responsibilities, I’ve rented three movies, and I’m stocked up on junk food. I’ve told the kids I’d really like candy for this year’s gift, thank you….and maybe they could clean their rooms, too? They are equipped with a cake mix and they know how to use it. My husband built a fabulous pig pen for Lola just as I requested and Lola has agreed to be a super-cute pig present tomorrow.

I’m already happy and the birthday hasn’t even started yet!

Since this is a milestone birthday, my two sisters and I are planning our milestone birthday trip like we do any year one of us has a zero at the end of her age. I have dreamed of going to New York City, eating a bagel, and seeing a Broadway show,  since I was a little girl, so I asked the sisters for approval and then got busy researching tickets, transportation and hotels.

Wow! Happy Birthday to me!

It’s quite a contrast from my last milestone birthday. Back then I thought it was impolite or selfish to ask myself the question my Mom asked me every year of my childhood: “Kirsten, what do you want to do for your birthday?” Instead I acted like an adult and asked myself, “I wonder what everyone else will do for me this year?” That question lead me in some dangerous, treacherous territory! Sometime between now and then, however, I learned an important lesson: no one is responsible for my happiness except for me. If I want a special day, I need to make a special day. One year I threw myself a party! It was the best party *ever* with the kind of guests, cake, decor, and games I love :). (Everyone else seemed to have a good time, too!)

Please know I have a wonderful “tribe”; my husband,  friends and family go out of their way to wish me a happy day, give cards and gifts, etc. I’m thankful for them. The good wishes, dinners out, and gifts, though, are simply icing on my birthday cake.  I don’t depend on everyone else to make my day happy because that’s too much responsibility for anyone.

Happiness comes from the inside…and a little planning helps it along!

So…tell me…how are you going to celebrate *your* birthday this year?

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