The name Natalie is said to mean “Christmas child” or “Christmas birthday.” Fittingly, I was born on January 7th, only 13 days after Christmas. However, as I get older, I find it harder and harder to wish for actual birthday presents. Experiencing Christmas with my family, husband, and three children has literally filled my house, closet, and heart with truly more than I could ever wish for or imagine.
So when my mom and husband asked me what I would like for my birthday, less than two weeks after Christmas, I had such a hard time responding. Actually, that’s a lie. I did tell them that I wanted this DVF wrap dress that Lauren Graham wore in an episode of the Gilmore Girl revival. (I found it on eBay in my size!) Sadly, my request was ignored. 😦 But other than that, I didn’t know what to ask for.
My husband knows that for my birthday, I really want three simple gifts: (This expectation was established after I pouted and ruined one of my own birthdays, a few years ago. Not that anyone remembers that!)
- A birthday card with a handwritten message
- A homemade box cake (Funfetti with rainbow chip icing)
In all honesty, what I ultimately believe that I’d like for my 32nd birthday is a night out with my husband, a brunch with my best friends, and some quality time with my family. My birthday wish is for birthday presence.
As Alicia suggested in her New Years Day post, I’ve decided to focus on one particular word in 2017: presence. Denotatively, the word presence means the state of being present, existing, and being in this current time. But it is also used to describe the ability to project a sense of ease, posture, and poise. What a beautiful word! What an inspiring way to exist in 2017!
As a working-mother-of-three, I have a hard time staying in the present. I’m always thinking hours or days ahead, making to-do-lists, and worrying about future problems that I can’t possibly control. So perhaps this birthday, I can enjoy presence all year long.
Here are a few ideas, please leave your suggestions in the comments section!
~ Limit time on social media and cell phone.
~ Schedule fun activities with spouse and children, even if it is as simple as a board game and movie night.
~ Turn off the television and listen to music.
~ Bake or cook a meal with your children.
~ Read a book outside, weather permitting.
~ Dress up. Walk out the door each day dressing with confidence and poise.
~ Take a walk or hike without music or electronic devices.
~ Write. Write a note, a letter, or journal. Handwriting, good or bad, has a personal presence worth sharing.
~ Smile and genuinely compliment others.
~ Listen intently and quietly, without waiting to respond.
~Think on These Things~