UNITED STATES—I just had a birthday and I turned a milestone to say the least.  It seems the more that you age; the more things come into perspective for you. The little things in life that you used to complain and whine about no longer have relevance. At the same time you start to reflect on the past; things that made you happy, things that made you sad and milestones that you accomplished.

The one thing that I stand firmly behind is I NEVER work my birthday. I’m a believer it is the one day during the year a person should have the right to do as he or she pleases without the stress of work, family or being disturbed if you don’t want to be. I did NOT check emails, I did not respond to any texts that I didn’t want to, I did not work; plain and simple I didn’t do anything that was going to draw stress to my orbit. For some reason, there are those who fail to realize, not everyone wants to party all the time. When I was in my 20s, it was always a celebration each year. I felt this drive to want to celebrate each year and live my life to the absolute fullest. Yes, you’re an adult in your 20s, but you can still get away with being a kid to sorts. This is not to say do stupid things; it’s to say you can still do slightly childish things and not be looked at with a frown.

However, when you get into yours 30s, you still want to celebrate, but it becomes clear that the party days are long behind you. Why, oh why is that? Hmm, I’m not certain if that has something to do with one becoming more mature or just wiser. Instead of going out and partying, I’m keener to spending time with celebrating and reflecting on life. To me have an outing at a nice restaurant and sharing stories of fun times with family and friends is more important.

I’m starting to appreciate the finer things in life. And for my latest milestone I wanted a fine dining experience; something that I never truly treated myself to. Did the cost matter? Not quite, it was more about the experience, which is my point when it comes to celebrating your birthday. Memories can last a lifetime, gifts not so much. They easily come and go America. What is here today is gone tomorrow, but memories can last forever.

As I age, the notion of celebrating my birthday never gets old, it’s just now I have redirected my focus on keeping things slightly small. I don’t need to do anything grand in nature; there is no reason to be extravagant or over the top.  There is no need to showboat or attempt to impress people who care more about what you’re spending your money on so they don’t have to spend any of theirs. Having a cake, preferably carrot, with cream cheese icing, a few drinks is enough for me to celebrate any birthday moving forward. Some people go a bit above and beyond to celebrate their birthday each year. I’m not one of those individuals. The amount of money spent doing more than what is needed to celebrate a time where we age is not worth it in the long run.