How to Get Exactly What You Want for Your Birthday

My birthday was on Friday, and it was perfect. I got exactly what I wanted, including a gift certificate to my local yoga studio and a room divider made out of wooden pallets.

After 34 years, I have mastered the art of getting stuff from other people.

Let me teach you the secret.

birthday cake

Step 1: Know what you want.

I’ve faced many birthdays without a specific knowledge of what I wanted.

I wanted to feel loved, special, and worth the effort.

I wanted someone else to do the work of figuring out exactly what that looked like in the real world.

I wanted someone to go beyond reading my mind and know me even better than I knew myself. Because isn’t that what the movies say love is all about?

The movies are full of shit.

No one knows you like you do.

And that isn’t about not loving you enough or paying too little attention. It’s about the simple fact that only you have access to the inside of your head.

Furthermore, how can anyone else be expected to turn your wishes into tangible actions and items if you can’t be bothered to?

Step 2: Ask.

The people who love you want to make you feel loved. They want to fulfill your fantasies and celebrate you in exactly the way you want to be celebrated.

They just need to know how.

The only way they’ll know is if you tell them.

To tell them, you have to swallow your fear of being selfish or a nuisance or something ambiguously bad.

You have to have faith in that love. You have to trust that when someone says, “what do you want for your birthday?” they mean it.

I don’t have that trust with everyone, but I know exactly with whom I have it.

Step 3: Fill in the gaps yourself.

Perhaps you don’t currently have someone in your life who is waiting to make your wishes come true. Perhaps your list of wants and needs is longer than your list of trusted loved ones.

You can still get exactly what you want for your birthday.

Step up for yourself.

At the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to feel cherished, loved, special or whatever it is you want to feel. Even on your birthday.

It’s not about the stuff.

Getting what you want for your birthday isn’t really about getting the right thing. It’s about feeling like someone really gets you.

That doesn’t mean you have to twist yourself into a puzzle to be solved.

It’s just as rewarding – and a hell of a lot easier on everyone – to be understood because you had the courage to make yourself known.

Know yourself. Ask for what you need. Take responsibility for how it all works out.

And that’s how you get exactly what you want out of life for your birthday.

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  1. Melissa says:

    I totally get you sister! I just had a birthday a couple of weeks ago and this rings so true for me. I love how you put the words, into a perfectly wrapped birthday package ;-) Thanks!
    Melissa’s most recent post: Don’t Settle For Stress Management

    • Britt Reints says:

      Someone pointed out this could have applied to Valentine’s Day gifts, which probably would have been more timely. lol

  2. Megan says:

    Amen! It doesn’t seem as romantic as having someone magically give you want you didn’t even know you wanted but was in fact exactly what you wanted, but it is exponentially more effective (and realistic). :)
    Megan’s most recent post: Stairway To…

  3. I love my birthday, and every year I do something special to celebrate it. I take full responsibility for it, even though I have a husband who loves me very much. Usually, I just want to be alone! So I take myself to lunch or a pedicure or whatever. With my loved ones, I usually just want to share cake and let them sing happy birthday.

    Happy Belated birthday!
    redpenmamapgh’s most recent post: To Kid or Not to Kid

  4. Shelah says:

    I have been buying my own Christmas gifts for the past couple of years. I purchase them, wrap them and put them under the tree. I may not be surprised but I make darn sure I am happy come Christmas morning. I learned a long time ago that it’s not a safe practice to rely on others to fufill my own happiness. :)
    Great post Britt.
    Shelah’s most recent post: Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos

    • Britt Reints says:

      I reminded my husband this year that if he didn’t get stocking stuffers for me, I would need to – or the kids think Santa hates Mom.

  5. Kathy says:

    I used to be the person who would expect that everyone should know what I want whether it be Christmas, my birthday or special occasion. After figuring out that mind-reading had become a lost art form I decided that I needed to let people know what I wanted. My solution was to use the gift list on Amazon. All the special people know to go there and they don’t have to buy it from there but at least it gives them ideas. I am much happier and so are they.

    Happy Belated Birthday!

    • Britt Reints says:

      I do the Amazon gift list, too! I’m thinking of trying out because it doesn’t limit you to just Amazon stuff – or even just STUFF!

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