Half Birthdays

Column: Finding the Good
by Caitlin Ludwig 

Today is a very special day… okay, I take that back.  Today is a day that’s not that special but does always hit my radar.  Today is my half birthday.  Now, before you dismiss this post entirely, don’t worry – I don’t celebrate the day I would my normal birthday.  I don’t bake a cake and I certainly don’t think it’s a present worthy kind of occasion.  But, I do think half birthdays are a good day to stop for a few seconds and give attention where attention is due.

I know a lot of people’s half birthdays come and go without a second thought.  Many of you may not even know, off the top of your head, when your half birthday is!  My half birthday is easy – it’s the day after my brother’s real birthday.  Somewhere along the line during my childhood, this fact was brought to my attention and ever since, I can’t but wake up on June 7th with a little smile on my face.  Quick – figure out when your half birthday.  Got it?  Okay good.  Onward.

Now, you may be wondering: what, exactly, do you do on a half birthday?  Well, I don’t think there’s any official traditions out there so. as an official half birthday celebrator, here’s is my two cents on the matter.

Half birthdays are a great mile marker so to speak.  As we get older, time seems to go faster and faster.  Years fly by and we suddenly find ourselves blowing out another set of birthday candles with a dazed look of confusion our face – what happened to the past year??  Half birthdays help to slow down the time between frosting fires a bit.  They offer an opportunity to look back on the last half of the year and reflect as well as look ahead at the second part of the year and create a plan before we’re faced with a number change.

Perhaps the first half of your year didn’t go so hot.  Maybe your job was a bit stressful, you endured a break up or just had a plain old sucko few months.  Consider your half birthday a reset.  Why wait until you turn another year older to hit the reset button?  If you really need to, bake a cake, throw in some candles and declare yourself the master of the next 6 months!  Maybe your last 6 months were outstanding!  Great!  Reflect on why that is and gear up for another great 6 months!  Maybe you should back a cake in celebration….

For me, there’s no cake involved (probably because I’m not a huge cake fan…. but that’s not the point…) .  My half birthday provides me a time to reflect.  What’s gone well this year?  What’s gone not so great?  What am I excited about for the future and how to I want to feel on December 7th (for those lacking in the math skills department right now, that’s my real birthday)?  So, ladies and gentleman, it’s list time.  Rather than a “bucket list” this is my “pail list” ( a smaller version of the same thing… but the end event is a birthday…. not death):

  1. Go to the zoo.  It doesn’t matter what zoo – just spend a day with monkeys, tigers and polar bears.  After all, zoos rock.
  2. Try more recipes.  I love cooking and I love trying something new in the kitchen.  Somehow, it seems this gets put off when I get too busy.
  3. Stop being “too busy”.  Okay, this might take more than 6 months, but I feel like I should at least start trying to put this into practice.  “Too busy” to me means that I’m putting things on the back-burner that I really enjoy because there’s just no time.  What kind of life is that??
  4. Travel more.  Even if just to Chicago and back.
  5. Take more pictures
And that’s my list for now.  I’ve got 6 months and 5 things.  Completely manageable.  And, best news is, today is my first day on this great 6 month adventure and I’m actually spending it in Myrtle Beach, SC!  So, a small check mark (one of hopefully many) can be added by my number 4!!
So, I’m off to celebrate today in my own quiet way.  I plan on grabbing my camera (small check by number 5!!) and hitting the beach for a little more reflection time.  This is the only life I’ll be given.  I can’t have it constantly sneaking up on me and passing me by!   Here’s to 25.5!  May it be a joyous 6 months filled with friends, laughter, some good food, love, travel and pictures!  May your half birthday be filled with the same.   And now, if you’ll excuse me, the beach is calling my name!

~ by caitlinludwig on June 7, 2011.

3 Responses to “Half Birthdays”

  1. Great post, Caitlin! Very inspiring and motivational 🙂 Now…if I can just find a beach…

  2. Love this!! Super fun and if you aren’t in the mood to calculate your half birthday here is a website that will do it for you!


  3. Happy New Start Caitlin! My half birthday is always a big deal not so much because it is my half birthday, but because it is the day before His birthday. It’s always a great way to start off the second half of my year.

    Have a great trip and tell Santa to get a good rest because my next half birthday is a BIGGIE!

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