Working from home can sometimes require tapping into your inner creative when it comes to enjoying certain social events like celebrating your birthday.
When you work in an office, birthdays are commonplace. Your “other” family begins the celebratory (and sometimes obligatory) going-through-of-the-motions on your special day. (“Gawww, another birthday?”) Some of your co-workers might already have known that today was your special day, but others might pass you in the morning completely unaware, only to eventually stick their heads in your office after switching on their computers and seeing you’re all the rage on Facebook. (“Oh, crap, I forgot!”) A handful of folks may treat you to lunch. (“Someone figure out the tip, wouldya?”) Late afternoon usually consists of a Costco sheet cake someone runs out to buy at the last minute during their lunch hour and the presentation of a greeting card that was hurriedly passed around the office. (“Who had the card last!?”) And lest we forget, candles.
But if you work from home, your birthday can, at first, seem a bit depressing. There’s nobody there to lay a flower on your desk that they picked while at lunch. There are no cards to open with that surprised look on your face while you say, “Aw, you shouldn’t have!” Nobody sends birthday cards anymore, so there’s no use awaiting the mail truck.
So you do the next best thing to lift your morale. You jump online to see who’s coming out of the woodwork to wish you a happy birthday. And it’s a nice, temporary boost to your self-esteem to see friends and family posting their well-wishes.
As someone who works from home, I decided to take matters into my own hands this year and find creative ways to celebrate. My mission? To plan my own special day. And the only guest at this party was going to be me, myself and I.
If you work at home or find yourself alone on your birthday, here’s a glimpse into my day. This might provide you with some fun ways to spend your special day and celebrate just being you.
Good Morning, Princess
I overslept and spread out across my bed like an aloof cat, purring and embracing my slothfulness with nary a twang of guilt. With no particular plan in place, I arose, stretched, and stepped onto the floor. The first gift of my day? Gratitude. I made it through yet another year and felt blessed that I was still able to plop both of my feet on the floor each day.
Normally, I’d head to the kitchen and eat a fairly healthy breakfast. Nope. Not today. No quinoa oatmeal with raw honey and granola for this gal. I suddenly recalled that you can get a free pastry at Panera Bread on your birthday. Today, I was going to be bad to the bone. The bible says that man shall not live by bread alone. But today, by God, I was going to be a sinner. Some giant bear claw behind their glass window was sweetly calling my name. So off I went to devour – with gusto – that floury, gooey, sweet, calorie-laden, almond-filled pastry, and my taste buds immediately had a foodgasm. I could hear the gal next to me eating her pale-looking porridge mumbling, “I want what she’s having.” Second birthday gift: Enjoying complete decadence minus the remorse.
You So Pretty
Warm water. A foot massage. Pampering. Reading trashy Hollywood magazines. What more could a girl (or guy!) ask for? It was time to head over and get buffed and polished. The only decision I had to make was what color d’jour I wanted on my nails. I was feeling rebellious. No Springtime Primrose Pink for me today. I was also feeling frisky – and a bit risky – so I said just one word to the gal, “Navy.” I didn’t even peruse the 99 bottles of blue on the wall. I just said, “You pick.” Third birthday gift: Being a rebel without a cause.
Good Afternoon, Birthday Girl
Before I knew it, it was almost time for lunch. I only had to travel three doors down from the nail spa to find my favorite Chinese restaurant. Walking through the doors, I swear I heard a chorus of angels singing Alleluia as I looked around to a completely empty restaurant. I felt like I had found my own little corner of feng shui paradise. Since it was too early for the lunch crowd [read: those people who work in offices], I had the place all to myself. So, with book in hand, I turned off my cell phone, sipped my hot ‘n sour soup and downed my crunchy shrimp rolls. I politely asked the proprietor if she minded if I sat and read. She looked around the vast array of empty tables and looked at me as if to say, “What do you think?” as she politely bowed her head in agreement. Fourth birthday gift: Reading for more than an hour with no disruptions.
I considered completing the afternoon with a matinee where I could enjoy a jumbo box of popcorn and a box of Jujubes all to myself, but the hours had slipped by, and my party was winding down. I headed home, drunk with gratification and satisfied that my day had been completely geared toward reveling in self-love. I was satiated, not only with good food but with good intentions to party by myself more often in the future.
That was the best gift. And I always save the best for last.