Gifts to Myself

Happy Birthday to Me

By Kara Richardson Whitely

On the morning of my birthday, I could hear rumblings down in the kitchen. My 9-year-old daughter had taken it upon herself to make me breakfast in bed.

I could plan for it. I had seen her looking up “How to Make Pancakes” videos on YouTube the day before. It was a sweet and loving start to my breakfast when she and my 4-year-old daughter came to my room with two perfectly portioned pancakes with strawberries and a flower made of whipped cream on top.

happy trails - kids pancakes
After I got my girls to school, I realized it was Thursday, my day to go to indoor cycling class. This is one of my favorite activities but a little voice inside said, "Go ahead, skip it. It’s your birthday and you deserve a break."

There was a lot to celebrate. The day before I had had my annual physical, which I try to have right around my birthday. All of my numbers — blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, even the one on the scale — looked great. I felt great, too.

As tempting as it was to sit around all day and read birthday messages on Facebook, I knew I was due for some activity. Because I keep my spin class gear ready in a bag by the door, I didn’t have an excuse that I wasn’t ready. I just had to get in my car and go. And after debating whether I should “treat myself” and not go, I realized the “treat” would be the class. I love the music and Ginger, the instructor on Thursdays.

I was glad I made that decision. The class was awesome and while it wasn’t my normal instructor, the substitute knew me from around the gym and pointed out some African music in her set list that she knew I would love from my time hiking Kilimanjaro. She was right. I absolutely adored it and left the gym feeling loved and energized.

After class I headed out and wondered what I wanted for lunch. My mind started to scan and think about what places would give me something free on my birthday.  I deserved another treat, I thought, as I approached a place that I know has great smoothies. That would be my sweet for the day.

My birthday ended with a trip to see Wonder Woman, a movie I had been looking forward to for a long time. I wanted to do that so my celebration wouldn’t be so food-focused.

I decided to dress for the occasion, so I needed to pick up some bling. I’m not one to splurge on jewelry but when I was in Westfield shopping one day, I walked by Alex and Ani and saw they had these great Wonder Woman cuffs. So I went back on my birthday and picked up one for myself.

It was truly perfect, a way to make me feel bulletproof. (Disclaimer: Jewelry does not actually make you bulletproof but treating myself sure made me feel that way.)

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15

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