Happy Birthday to ME! (And: 40 birthday wishes for YOU!)

Happy Birthday to ME! (And: 40 birthday wishes for YOU!)

Ladies & gents (OK, let’s keep it real — mostly ladies!) …

16 CandlesMay 5th, the world got a little bouncier and rowdier.

‘Cause lil' baby Susan was born. My mama and daddy had no idea what they were in for…..

Yup. Sunday is my 40th birthday.

And while the big 4-0 feels slightly bizarre (me? 40? what the what?) I have to say … I’m feeling a major bonfire under my bootie.

There’s still so much I want to deliver to the world — and with a bit of luck, I’ll be laughing, playing & coaching my face off for another 60 years … and blowing out red velvet cupcake candles on my centennial b-day.

Here’s the thing, though: nothing is certain. There are no “for sures.”

Over the past couple years, I’ve watched my brother-in-law survive a debilitating stroke, at age 38 — one that doctors told him meant “you’ve got 100 days to rehabilitate.” I’ve watched my mother-in-law fight an agonizing battle with cancer. I’ve seen fit, fabulous, unbelievably positive people experience life-altering catastrophes.

You never know how much time you’ve got left.

And while that can be a scary notion, it’s also a source of major INSPIRATION & FUEL — to discover your personal, custom-blended flavor of happiness, and live it. NOW.

In honor of LIFE —precious, delicious, fragile & fabulous — I give you:

40 Birthday Wishes from me … for you.
(blow ‘em out. rock ‘em out. make ‘em come true.)

1. Adopt a doggie or kitty from The Humane Society. Befriend your lint roller.

2. Be generous. Treat the person in line behind you to a coffee, a bagel, or a car wash.

3. Be presumptuous. Ask ‘em out on a date.

4. Be brave. Ask him (or her) to marry you — whether it’s legal in your state, or not!

5. Book that life-affirming trip you’ve been putting off till retirement.

6. Buy a gourmet cupcake and REALLY enjoy it. (Every last crumb.)

7. Call someone you want to re-connect with. Tell them, “You’ve been on my mind, and in my heart.”

8. Choose your favorite body part & show it off. (And send some extra love & affection to the parts of your body that you’re not ready to reveal, just yet.)

9. Dedicate your next yoga class, walk or run to someone who’s been going through a rough time. Send them good vibes & sweaty love.

10. Don’t just “go to the movies.” Make it an EXPERIENCE. Get dressed up in themed outfits. Throw a premiere party. Do it UP.

11. Don’t wait for the perfect invitation to arrive — throw your own damn party.

12. Feeling cozy? Make a risky move. (For me, it’s gonna be … launching a web TV show, this fall! YES!)

13. Find a new Netflix addiction. Spend a whole day under the covers watching back-to-back episodes of your new obsession. (Hello, Veronica Mars…)

14. Find out where your all-time favorite band is playing next — and GO THERE. Fly, drive, take buses & trains. Be a full-on groupie, for a night.

15. Find your personal version of God, and create your own a spiritual practice — whether it’s a weekly visit to church, or a reflective walk through the woods.

16. Get a massage, woman.

17. Get a professional bra fitting. Not “when you lose ten pounds.” Do it NOW. (You won’t believe how it changes your posture + curvy silhouette!)

18. Get pregnant (if you want to.) It’s wild.

19. Go to a ridiculous rock concert in your town & totally embarrass your kids (or yourself.) I recommend Keith Urban, Green Day and Kid Rock … for starters.

20. Have a grown-up sleepover party. Stay up (way) too late.

21. Hug someone who desperately needs to be touched.

22. If you’re stuck in a soul-sucking job, pick a date for your GRAND EXIT! You don’t have to know precisely what’s next (you’ll figure it out, sister.) You just need to circle a date — and hold yourself to it.

23. If you love someone and you haven’t told them for a while, tell them. Even better? Tell them WHY you love ’em. (“You know what I love about you? THIS.”)

24. If you love someone and you haven’t told them yet, take a vulnerable risk and SAY it. (They’ll feel the same way, or they won’t. Either way — you will survive.)

25. Learn how to GET OVER SHAME. Shame is a bummer, a killer, and a joy-sucker. (Don’t know where to start? I’ve got a video treat coming soon, that’ll show you how to do it!)

26. Learn how to create your own luck. (It’s magic.)

27. Look in the mirror & say something really, really nice to yourself.

28. Make a picnic — and pack a bottle of champagne! Invite all your friends. Insist upon floral dresses. Take photos. Frame them.

29. Once (twice, or thrice) in your life: shop with a personal stylist. Trust me on this.

30. Plant a tree in someone’s honor.

31. R-E-S-P-E-C-T your elders. Take flowers to an older neighbor, and see if she needs any help around the house. (Remember: that lovely granny could be you, someday.)

32. Say you’re sorry. Say it now.

33. Single? Send a coffee (or a cocktail) to the hottie across the room. It’s just a drink. It’s an impulse. Do it.

34. Send a spontaneous gift to someone who’s had a profound impact on your life — an author, a TV personality, even a celebrity. (Even “famous” folks need & crave recognition for their work.)

35. Sponsor a female entrepreneur on Kiva.com.

36. Start a business — even if it’s just a small, on-the-weekends, hustle-on-the-side-business. Entrepreneurship will transform you.

37. Still not sure what the frack makes you happy? Take steps to figure it out. (Starting with THIS.)

38. Tell a middle school age girl that she’s beautiful and she ROCKS.

39. Tell your momma three things she did RIGHT raising you.

40. Write your own (un)rulebook for life, work & love. Don’t accept everything you’ve been spoon-fed, since childhood. Activate your inner bad-ass. Decide what’s true for YOU.

Birthday challenge! Which of these 40 wishes are YOU going to fulfill for YOURSELF, first?

(Declare it, sister. And make me a very happy birthday gal.)

xoxo, Susan


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