How I Celebrated My 42nd Birthday

Saturday, 4 August 2018

A few weeks ago, I turned 42. And whilst I say every year that I'd rather have a quiet birthday, it never happens. There is always the opportunity to try something new and explore, a birthday routine to continue and dreams to pursue. This year, I was blessed enough to spend my birthday week doing the things that I absolutely love and more.

1. Giving Back
- The weekend before my birthday, my very good friend Kristy, Essa and I joined Johnson&Johnson in solidarity to show that "We care with Pride" at the London Pride. It was my first time to join the annual celebration and I am so honoured to have been invited. It was my way of giving back by supporting the LGBT community.  It was such an empowering experience, I should write about it soon really.

2. The Little Things
- At past midnight on my birthday, J woke me up after I fell asleep on the couch watching Silicon Valley. He reminded me that it was my birthday, kissed me on the forehead and handed me his gift. His gift was something I didn't really expect. He said he got me that gift so that I could take better photos of my food. J may not be very expressive of his feelings, but he is one of the most thoughtful person I know (he doesn't even know how thoughtful he is). He then apologised for forgetting to buy me a cake and a candle to blow, which honestly didn't matter to me. What J didn't realise that night was that his endearing thoughtfulness was enough for me to have a happy birthday. 

3. Making A Dream Come True
- As J and I couldn't celebrate my birthday on the day due to his work commitments, I decided to do something for myself. I have always loved flower fields but somehow have not made an effort to visit one since my trip to Tuscany to see the sunflowers two years ago. So, I decided to visit a lavender field. I was planning to do this on my own, but I realised I didn't have to really do that. Hence, I invited two of my friends whom I haven't seen in ages and they happily joined me in making another dream come true.

4. Establishing A Birthday Routine
- And because I want to establish a birthday routine (which I started only last year), I went to a lunch date with myself the day after my birthday at the Taiwanese restaurant BAO in Soho. I've always wanted to try this restaurant but whenever I went in the past, there was always a long queue. So this time, I made sure that I went before the restaurant opened at 12. I was very happy I finally had my first bao in London.

5. Intimate Dinner With A Friend (or two) Who Truly Matter 
- That Friday, I had a post-birthday dinner with Kristy at a Chinese restaurant in Paddington called Pearl Liang. It goes without saying that I am very blessed to have this amazing lady as a constant in my life.

6. A Quiet Date With Someone Special
- Finally on Saturday, J and I celebrated my birthday. We went for coffee at the Cafe Royal in the afternoon so I could have my red velvet cake. Then in the evening, he took me to Social Eating House in Soho. 

7. Achieving Something No Matter How Small 
- I wrapped up my birthday week with another achievement by completing the Virgin 10k race

As I grow older, it is becoming more apparent that big birthday celebrations no longer work for me. I have learned through the years that the best way to celebrate a birthday is to spend your time, money and effort wisely. This means doing things for your self and spending time with the (few) people who genuinely want to be in your life.  

TIN x

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