Saturday, 3 August 2013

40th birthday preparations (or lack thereof)

Alternative ways to celebrate a 40th birthday: pay it forwardThe countdown to my birthday is on and this year it is a big one. Huge in fact. Come the 9th of August I will be 40. I know, I know, I look so young in polka dots, you would never know that I carry 4 decades around with me.

At the beginning of the year I had dreams of a forties themed 40th birthday party, I started a Pinterest board and everything. I was dreaming of a day of vintage clothes, makeovers, music, cocktails and all round fabulousness. Wrong decade but think of Sabrina's garden party. As I dreamt of it I thought, perhaps I could request guests not to bring any cards or gifts and instead have a little area for charity donations where I could raise some money for a charity or ask them to take it directly to the charity of their choice.

Turning that big 40 into an even bigger figure for charity while wearing a vintage little number? Well, yes, right up my street and, if you have ever watched the Gilmore Girls, you can probably picture my ideal party too.

All thoughts of a 40th birthday party vanished when the boiler broke in January and then we had a million expenses thanks to Murphy's Law (husband calls it Sod's Law) staying in our close vicinity for way too long, but the thoughts of doing something for charity stayed and then the other day (yes, I am that slow at the moment) it hit me that I could perhaps do a little something from here, my little corner of the blogosphere.

When I scheduled an update on my Facebook page to be published at midnight on my birthday to tell the world (or rather a tiny fraction of it) about my charitable thoughts, things started to look up as I was reminded about Twinwood and then I saw that Duxford is having a Back to the forties day at the end of September and then I found out about Ramsey's 1940s Weekend too. So, instead of that 40s themed birthday party I dreamt, I thought that perhaps it could be a forties themed year (or decade!) and that actually sounds even better because, if it's difficult or impossible to see friends on a regular (if any) basis, imagine trying to get more than one person in the same room on the same day and at the same time. Mission impossible. Not to mention that this way I get to drag the celebrations over a few months!

So, during this countdown, I have a request for you all. Should you go past a shop that sells birthday cards and see a polka dotty card that would be perfect for me, I would be extremely grateful if you could check the price and then carry out one of the following ideas:

Take that amount of money to the nearest charity collection box of your choice and drop it in there
OR 

use it to buy cereal, flour, etc. to donate to a foodbank
OR 

just do something nice for someone, whether someone you have never met through a good deed or a suspended coffee, a call to someone you haven't talked to for a while… it definitely doesn't have to cost you money to put a smile on someone's face
OR 

of course, while you are near the card section. you could buy a card for someone close to you just because, it will cheer their day up surely!
OR 

if things have been difficult for you lately, do something to cheer yourself up, try slowing down, looking up at the sky and breathing deeply, give yourself a minute to think or not think at all. I'll give you a tip, count to seven when inhaling and to eleven when exhaling. 7-11. 7-11. It helps, doesn't it?
OR 

whatever you can think of that could mean putting a smile on your face or on someone else's

Help me celebrate this birthday in a meaningful way, you don't need to tell anyone, not even me, that you have done it. I just want to make this birthday special this year. A pay it forward day.

What do you think? Can you help me put a smile on someone's face?



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