Remember when you were a kid and your birthday was the thing that you most looked forward to all year? It was that day of ultimate fun when you were treated extra special and got to do and enjoy all of your favorite things. I remember birthdays being this way for myself and my friends for all of my childhood and well into my teenage years.

And then, at some point, I began to notice that many of the people in my life didn’t really enjoy their birthdays anymore. Sometimes they didn’t even tell anyone it was their birthday at all. They would hope the day would silently go by, and that no one would notice they’d turned a year older.

But today, on the first day of my 34th year of life, I’m here to tell all of you (and myself) that birthdays are a day to celebrate yourself and celebrate your life – no matter what your age. And so I present to you, The Birthday List.

What is The Birthday List? It’s a list you make on your birthday in honor of your age and yourself. This year there will be 34 items on my list, and next year I’ll make a new list of 35 items. A few ideas for your list might be:

Things you kicked ass at this year
Things you want to do in the coming year
Things in your life that you’re thankful for
Lessons you’ve learned in your years
Anything else that feels good to you!

And so, without further adieu, I present to you (in no particular order):

My Birthday List:
34 Things I Love About Being Alive

1) Mornings
2) Finally admitting unabashedly that I am totally a morning person
3) Making my 4-year-old nephew giggle with delight
4) Cobb salads
5) Doing things that scare me a little
6) Walking on grass barefoot
7) Friends who are there for you. no. matter. what.
8) Having a sister
9) Sunny days
10) Rainy days
11) Finding a rare gem at a thrift store and then every time I get a compliment on it declaring proudly that I paid three dollars for it
12) Spending hours making someone a card and getting to see the person’s face when they open it
13) The *idea* of getting a dog
14) A cold beer on a hot day
15) A hot tea on a cold day
16) Really long hugs
17) Unconditional love
18) A really, really, really hoppy IPA
19) Performing quiet and delicate music for a totally silent audience
20) Pure swing
21) Making Lists (it’s true)
22) Getting enough sleep
23) The outdoors
24) Getting away from it all
25) Driving through torrential rain for hours and then witnessing a full arch double rainbow
26) Sunrise (did I mention I like mornings?)
27) Fridays at 5:00
28) Drinking spiked eggnog on Christmas morning
29) When you try on a shoe and it fits just right
30) Laughing so hard it hurts
31) Reaching an age when you stop caring what people think
32) Living authentically
33) The possibility of tomorrow
34) Blowing out birthday candles (yes, I still make a wish every year)

So. What will be on your list?

  1. Love it, Janelle! I need to reflect more, this is a great way to start! oh, and, Happy Birthday!

  2. Great Janelle! HAppy Birthday. You can have some of my mornings…..It is definitely not my most shining moment of the day. Glad it is yours 🙂

    Lizzie Gold
  3. Happy Birthday Janelle!
    Love the birthday list idea It looks like we have many things in common. I’m definitely a morning person too and I sure love lists.


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