I love birthdays!
Most people probably know this about me. I love MY birthday the most. I hear from everyone I love. I get to FaceTime with LaLa’s “kids”. I get cards in the mail for a week, dinner at delicious restaurants, I usually get tickets for concerts that are in town, FALL begins, football is in the background, and, most of the time, the new seasons are starting of my favorite shows.
But, it’s deeper than that. It’s a reminder that we should celebrate ourselves! Why wouldn’t we?
I find it funny when people say they don’t like birthdays or they don’t see why they are a big deal. Well, I beg to differ. Birthdays are a HUGE deal! They are a day to celebrate someone and the time they have on this earth. They are the BIGGEST deal there is if you ask me. What do we have if we don’t have our life? You got it! Nothing! We really shouldn’t just celebrate ourselves once a year, we should celebrate ourselves every day for that matter. I will be the first to admit that this is a difficult thing to do. Maybe we just start with doing it 5 minutes a day. 5 minutes a day, take the time to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “It’s AMAZING that I get to live today and the impact I have on this world is important.” That’s pretty simple. Then, as the days go by and that gets more comfortable, start to add and celebrate your accomplishments and be proud of yourself.
A few weeks ago I shared the photo below and said that I would explain later. I wanted later to be today.
I didn’t know this photo was being taken but I’m SO glad it was. In this moment I am SO proud of myself and that is a smile that brings tears of joy to my eyes. This photo was taken at The WITI Conference in Sonoma, CA. The WITI Conference is an annual invitation-only event that aims to create a comfortable and confidential environment to discuss the challenges we face as women in the beverage business and to help and learn from each other. This was the inaugural year and I was honored to be invited for my role as Executive Director of CORE. This photo was after I received a check from Christie Lawler, founder and owner of CJL Consulting of which WITI is the charitable arm, on behalf of CORE. I think in this moment I realized how much I’ve accomplished and that my hard work was being recognized. The women at this event had some of the kindest and most complimentary things to say. But that wasn’t it. It was how they said them to me. They didn’t say them because they felt like had to say them. They looked at me and said these things like they thought I already knew them. Like they were telling me something that was so matter of fact that everyone already knew it. The funny thing was that I don’t know if I realized they were true until this conference. These women didn’t owe me anything. I wasn’t in front of my Board of Directors or in front of an audience of over 600 where it can become robotic and proforma and, sadly, insincere. I was surrounded by 27 other women in a safe space where nobody had anything to gain by blowing smoke. It was during these few days that I could finally stand tall in my space, I could finally look in the mirror and in front of other women and celebrate myself, and that’s okay! I would go as far to say that it’s more than just “okay”, it’s necessary!
I’ve worked my ass off for 7 years to spread a message that means the world to me, that I feel and believe in in the depth of my soul, for a group of people that I feel deserve to be fought for and taken care of, to build an organization that I knew in all of my being could be bigger than anyone else saw…AND I’VE SUCCEEDED!!! I have to celebrate that. I have to celebrate that my passion and career aligned and that I’ve figured out what I’m good at. I’ve figured out that I have a voice that some people like to listen to and I’ve started to recognize my strengths and how to use them. This is only the beginning and I have a lot to learn, but I’ve never been more excited for tomorrow.
So, today, on my first full day on the other side of my 30s, I will celebrate myself. I will celebrate myself ALL week, and, as hard as it is, I will make a point to celebrate myself EVERY DAY!
Because, in this life, if you don’t celebrate yourself, nobody will 🙂 Be PROUD of yourself. There is NOTHING wrong with self pride!