Celebrating Birthdays: Never an Option


Celebrating Birthdays: Never an Option


Several years ago, I read “Option B” by Sheryl Sandberg, an intriguing book about facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy. She tragically lost her husband while on vacation due to a heart attack while running on a treadmill. He was only 47 and they were there to celebrate a family member’s birthday but instead, her entire life shattered and she had to fly home early to tell her children that their dad had died. She then sought a professional to help her and her children find joy again.


While the book is really sad, especially in the beginning while she describes all of the stages of grief that her and her family had to endure, there are so many profound messages of hope and joy. My favorite parts of the book:

  • Sandberg does an amazing job of addressing how most people have a hard time talking about their feelings or discussing tragic events which makes it very isolating for the people that suffer a tragedy.

  • Most people will say “I’m sorry for your loss, let me know if there’s anything I can do.” This only brings more burden to those already suffering. Instead of giving them more responsibility to think of a way you can help them, try showing up and doing them a favor.

  • (The one that stuck with me the most) Always celebrate your birthday. She obviously points out that you never know which birthday will be your last but she also wants to make sure the people that she loves know that. She always makes a huge deal about all of her loved one’s birthdays.


I love that. I think birthdays and anniversaries are good reminders to tell your loved ones that you’re grateful for them and that you love them. I think we get so caught up in work and our routines that we can forget to show gratitude for those that help us with the heavy lifting that sometime life requires. I also think we work so hard that we forget to celebrate. What is the point of life if we can’t celebrate ourselves and each other?


How do you like to celebrate your birthday?


Images by Personal Branding Maven  Elise Kutt  at  Mod Bettie Portraits

Images by Personal Branding Maven Elise Kutt at Mod Bettie Portraits

My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.

I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.

My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.

Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Travel Designer