Ways I’m Taking Back My Birthday


No one has tried to take away my birthday, but I’m taking it back anyway. Birthdays seem to change as we get older and are often less fun. I loved my birthday as a kid and want to keep loving it. My family and friends are not mind readers (shocking, right?!)  and I want to help them, help me have a great day by being a good communicator and taking about my birthday wants and dare I say, needs.

Here are three ways I’m taking back my birthday:

Make my own social plans

Wouldn’t it be fun if all your closest friends and family lived so close and they all knew it was your birthday so they planned lunch or dinner to celebrate you? Sounds cool, but the reality of life as a military family is frequent moves and new friends. I’ve started to make my own lunch plans so I have something to look forward to and it’s no surprise, but also no letdown. I’ve decided it’s not only fine but great to say, “Hey, it’s my birthday next week and I’d love to go to lunch/yoga/a walk/show to celebrate!”

Tell people my birthday is coming

I don’t mean that I have to blab to everyone, get my own yard sign, or leave hints so small no one will pick up on them. When someone asks what’s new, what I’m doing for the weekend, or how I am, it’s easy enough to mention something about a birthday plan or bemoan getting older. For people still on Facebook, it’s nice to have a reminder a few days before or even the day of.

Keep a rolling wish list

This is not a fancy list at all. I keep a rolling wish list in the Notes app on my phone and add to it throughout the year. That way if anyone asks what I’d like for my birthday, Christmas or a random Tuesday in July, I have a few things I’m interested in. I see a lot of beautiful gift guides but for me, it’s watercolor paper, a funny hat from a content creator on social media or a restaurant I’d like to try.

I like some surprises, but if I’m taking back my birthday, I’m taking some responsibility for it being a time I’ll enjoy. With TDYs, travel, the pandemic, and whatever else gets thrown at me, I’m flexible on having a birthday, birthday week, or celebrating later in the month. Though I think that means more presents. . . right?

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Alicia is a mom of two girls and married to her National Guard-turned-Active Duty husband for 15 years. Alicia has left part of her heart in the hills of Kentucky, the Piney Woods of East Texas, every taco truck in San Antonio, the Northern Lights of Fairbanks, Alaska, and now resides in Northern Virginia. She spends her time learning watercolor painting, reading too many books, trying new foods, riding the Peloton, and playing with her dog. She is also a new contributor for DC Area Moms.