The Importance of the ‘Other’ Vitamin C on Healthful Living

“You say it’s your birthday! It’s my birthday too, yeah!” Thanks for the epic bday anthem John and Paul (or should I say Mr. Lennon and Mr. McCartney). Time to toast another fresh-to-fab year with this celebratory post. Not sure about your birthday traditions, personally I don’t have any rituals other than soaking up well-wishes wrapped in hugs and love, letting my giddy inner child unwrap a handful of gifts and savoring chitchat over a bevy of treats. This list totally includes writing this post for you too.

My Dad on the other hand, always has big plans for my big day. From 4 to 40, my Dad’s the one person who has consistently stood out in the sea of Happy Bdays. Over the years he's hosted loads of house parties, park shindigs and restaurant dinners in my honor. His event planning style would be best described as 0% trendy and 100% old school: pin the tail on the donkey, egg tosses, volleyball tourneys, BBQ spreads, supermarket cakes, rubber balloons and colorful tissue paper streamers. When it comes to presents he Dewey Decimals every whisper of a wish leaked from my lips throughout the year to surprise me on my day. Somewhere in my tween years he resorted to ninja-like gifting wrapping tactics to silence my "I bet I know what this is" commentary. His signature gift wrapping moves include small presents nestled in a series of cardboard boxes matryoshka style and scavenger hunt hints for gifts too wonky to wrap.

Although the hoopla was a blast, my fondest birthday memories weren’t the parties or the gifts. The most meaningful moments were shared with my Dad pre- and post- party. We'd plan, replan, undo, redo, confirm and reconfirm every detail over weeks, days, and hours. Each color scheme, activity and menu carefully chosen and revisited over countless conversations with thoughtful consideration. That extra dose of TLC transformed the reality of my humble parties into the feeling of celeb-esque extravaganzas. With the help of my Dad, each birthday lived on into the hours and days that followed like a high falutin party of the year. Whether cleaning up after the guests, marveling at my shrine o’gifts, or lounging on the couch we'd revisit every moment again and again punctuated by what a great time it was, “wasn’t it?”.

How Celebration Influences Your Eating Habits & How You Feel In Your Body

In its purest form, the spirit of celebration is about acknowledgement. Like my birthdays, that acknowledgement can take the form of intimate moments or full-blown parties. Without going all Bill Nye the Science Guy on you, our minds actually can't tell the difference between real and imagined experiences. So even reliving my birthday memories registered as party time in both my mind and body. This is important. See, when we withhold a healthy dose of the other Vitamin C (Celebration), our low levels of internal feel-good chemistry leave the door open for Debbie Downers to party crash our thoughts, beliefs and habits about who we are as eaters and how we feel in our body. There's always a bouncer available to change all that, all you need to do is start celebrating life more often. With that said, I think it's time for us to get started! Don't you? I have an idea, actually a birthday wish, and I need your help to make it come true.

Funny faced fam photo. Pre-selfie sticks.

Funny faced fam photo. Pre-selfie sticks.

7 Day #CelebrateEveryDay Challenge

My birthday wish this year is that you’ll accept this challenge. No turning back, I've already blown out the candles. I bet you have lots to celebrate but toss those occasions aside as ‘no big deal’. I’m here to tell you they are a big deal. Finding time to celebrate doesn't have to rely on a calendar of pre-plotted events. By the way, it could based on the National Day Calendar and hashtag #CelebrateEveryDay. You can celebrate anywhere, anytime, and with anyone. Go incognito sitting in traffic, zone out during a meeting (we all do it), lament about celebrations while standing in line for your morning latte (much more attractive than the ants-in-the-pants dance), …

Challenge: Celebrate at least one thing per day for seven days straight. If you miss a day, return to Day 1 and start over. If it doesn’t throw you off, consider journaling about each festivity, how you felt and how it would feel to continue. After seven days, you decide to continue and on what frequency.

Seven Ways to Celebrate: Make it Simple or Roll Out the Red Carpet

If there’s one thing I've learned after decades of birthdays, it’s to make a wish list. So to help you with this year’s birthday wish, I’ve jotted down seven ways to start celebrating:

  1. Relive a cherished celebratory memory. Close your eyes and step into the moment as if you were there again. Who’s there? What are you doing? What does it feel like emotionally and for each of your senses?
  2. Create a celebration playlist to serenade you anytime, anywhere. "Let’s all celebrate and have a good time.”
  3. Acknowledge at least one of your accomplishments past or present. No matter how big or how small, it's all about a round of a applause for you.
  4. Give kudos to someone else for a job well done, milestone, or achievement. Could be a casual comment, high-5, kind note, etc.
  5. Treat yourself to your fave thing. Could be the mani-pedi you already get every week or your quiet time lounging in the backyard. Why not finally try that ‘thing’ you’ve been meaning to do? Whatever it is, tell yourself it’s a treat in the spirit of celebration.
  6. Schedule a feel-good get together with friends. Let them know it’s to celebrate your friendship, ask them to share a celebratory memory, ooh and aah over pics, decorate with rubber balloons and streamers (hey, how did that get in there)...
  7. Gush over the often overlooked gifts always around you (i.e., life, nature, a sunny day, cool breeze, smiles coming your way, friendly cashier on your errand route, etc.).

Can I be honest? I’ve had the best time celebrating this birthday with you. Thanks for sharing in my memories. I can't wait to hear about your seven days of celebration. I hope you’ll Comment below or tell me all about them in an upcoming Clarity Call. Cheers!

Who Knew? According to National Day Calendar I share my special day with National Soft Ice Cream Day and National Aviation Day. What about yours?

Celebrate good times c'mon!

My newborn-self's mugshot complete with matching hospital bracelets. Not exactly blinging.

My newborn-self's mugshot complete with matching hospital bracelets. Not exactly blinging.

Yay! Birthday presents at Nan's!

Yay! Birthday presents at Nan's!

Jenn turns 7! With Dad (oh, those early-80s fashions) & Great Grandma Heart.

Jenn turns 7! With Dad (oh, those early-80s fashions) & Great Grandma Heart.

My big 1-0! Despite his bachelor pad minimalist decor, the party went on at Dad's house.

My big 1-0! Despite his bachelor pad minimalist decor, the party went on at Dad's house.

Jennifer SchaeferComment