Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Weekend Away for My 35th Birthday in January

Life moves forward year after year and here we are somehow keeping pace with the inevitable changing of the hours and rotations of the sun. The days when we feel stuck or sad join with the days of feeling immense power and happiness to create a life that is punctuated with celebration, gloom, or flat out apathy once a year during the day of our birth.

Birthdays and other days that are supposed to be special and "amazing" hold a lot of weight that can crush us and keep us down. For some, this concept might seem entirely foreign, and to those of you who cannot relate, I am genuinely glad for you. For the rest of us, we can start to feel like we're not living up to this imaginary picture that the world has given us--or that we have given ourselves--of how life should be.

For this reason, I was a little apprehensive about trying to plan a special milestone celebration for my 35th birthday. I didn't want to build it up to unreachable heights only to be disappointed at the reality. Sometimes this just happens and is a part of life, but it got me thinking about what I really want to do on my birthday in January. Do I want to plan a big party or stay in a nice hotel? Do I want to go to a fancy dinner or spend a weekend in Vancouver B.C.?

While all of those things sound nice, I realized that what I really want is to be cozy and happy for my birthday. I want to go somewhere that has meaning for me and spend time simply existing in a beautiful place. Tonight I booked two nights on San Juan Island in a cozy cottage on a 15 acre farm. I am looking forward to spending more time with Brian and Kiki in the place we loved visiting so much in November. I don't think that I was exaggerating when I said that it was my new favorite place on Earth.

The house I found to rent has a sun room that looks out onto a serene and peaceful farm. It's perfect for a winter stay where I don't mind spending a good amount of time indoors, but I will still feel that I am in that specific place with nature all around me. I look forward to bundling up to take walks around the island and going home to enjoy a good hot ginger drink or turmeric milk with a book in my hand, my dog at my side, and my sweetheart in the chair across from me.

I used to feel a little left out when people had summer birthday picnics or camping trips. I even thought about celebrating my birthday on my half birthday every year so that I could join in on the summer birthday fun. But somehow this year, I find myself embracing the winter. I might do a big trip or an exciting party someday in the future, but for now I am happy with my winter island retreat and embracing the depth and reflection that comes hand in hand with cold winter nights.

How do you like to celebrate? Are you more of a big party person or would you rather have a cozy gathering? Regardless of how you get festive, I hope you all have had lovely birthdays in 2018 and will have many more next year and in all of the years to come.


  1. I think that sounds like the perfect way to celebrate! The other options are nice too, but it's fun to mix things up based on how you feel that year.
    One year I came up with my "birthday formula" that will always result in a great birthday. It is: breakfast out in a cute spot + do something different than the average day + botanical garden (I'm a spring baby) + dinner out + party later with friends. I like having a party, but if I do, it means that the rest of the day needs to be nearly solitary (with one other person). #balance

    1. That is a great formula and sounds like it would work really well. The doing something different than the average day is key. I think that's one reason why I wanted to do something out of town since we've been exploring Bellingham a lot as newbies here. Maybe I will feel like having a party next year when I know more people!

  2. Your birthday plans sound so cosy and lovely. It's great you decided to take control over your special day. I'm planning to do the same next year. I totally get what you mean by the weight of all the expectations that come with parties, holidays and other special occasions. When it comes to my birthday, I don't like surprises that include meeting people I wasn't expecting to spend time that day. Maybe that's weird, but I just like to have a little trip and eat well with my husband :)

    1. Oops, I mean "this year" as it's already 2019! Time flies! :D

    2. It was great! Now to just write a blog post about it. We can't change our photos from RAW because they haven't sent us the software that was supposed to come with our purchase. I've written to the company and they said they would send it, so hopefully it arrives soon.

      I did end up having a little get together on the Friday before we left, but it was actually really nice. I liked planning it last minute. It felt like there was less pressure. And it was just a casual drink with a small group of friends and my sister--my favorite kind of gathering.


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