Planning a Milestone Birthday

If you were to celebrate a milestone birthday, what age would it be and why? How would you celebrate this birthday? Would you throw a big party or would you travel by yourself to a remote place you have always dreamed of visiting? A month ago, when I was asked these questions recently I had no answer. I needed time to think, to imagine. In general, I’m not a party person and I don’t care much about celebrating anything (I eloped to avoid the 400-guests-wedding that my mother had in mind for me). My first reaction was to reject that whole notion of planning something special. After pondering more on the idea, I decided to roll with it and see what would come to mind. To my surprise I enjoyed the process of figuring out all the pieces of how I would like to celebrate my milestone birthday.

To help me to visualize my Ideas, I asked photographer Susan Sjaastad-Hill to provide photos for this blog post.  Working with Susan on this project was a lot of fun and very educational for me. She helped me to see and notice things that otherwise I would have overlooked. To see more of Susan’s photos, learn from her about photography, and enjoy her wit and sense of humor, you can follow her blog - Susan Through the Viewfinder.

Susan Sjaastad-Hill

My Milestone Birthday

Two years from now I will turn 45. By then, I know I will be able to look back at my life’s journey and see my path more clearly. When I was 40 I started a fascinating self-discovery process, which I am still going through. I have changed, and in my opinion, have become a better person – for myself, and others. My journey is not over yet, but I do feel my path is getting clearer and brighter by the day. When I’m 45 it will be a milestone in my life’s journey that is worth celebrating. Following are the details of my  milestone birthday party.


Women only events have different atmosphere from events where both genders are participating. I find that women-only events are more relaxed and intimate, and that’s how I envision my milestone birthday party.  It would be nice to have an excuse to gather all the women that I love under one roof.


Today in the digital era and e-cards, receiving a tangible paper card in the mailbox becomes a rare occasion. Though it would be a lot easier to email invitations, I think it would be much nicer to send a beautiful paper invitation. 

The Venue and Menu:

Weekend Brunch is my ideal celebration. It’s not too early in the day or too late – just the right time. Coming from a Mediterranean country – the freshness of the brunch menu reminds me of home. One of my favorite restaurants in Seattle is CafĂ© Flora. I have fond memories of being there with many people that I love. This is a place that I would consider celebrating my brunch milestone birthday in January 2018. 


I love the esthetics that colorful flowers add to any surface and space. In a table setting I prefer small flower arrangements that decorate the table without taking the much-needed space from food. By the end of the event I would like each guest to take home their personal flower-vase as a souvenir.


Music that sets the atmosphere without being too intrusive is my preference. Thanks to my mother I developed a fondness for oldies in different languages, and I have a nice collection of this kind of music. I hope my guests will enjoy the music as much as I do.


Having smart, creative, and observant women around one table would be a great opportunity to have an interesting discussion. I would like to ask my friends in advance to write down their thoughts about femininity and what it means to each of them. In the party (after the food of course), I would like us to share our insights. After the event it would be nice to gather all the articles into a pamphlet and send copies to all the participants.


I would rather skip personal gifts. Instead I prefer asking my friends to make a donation to an organization of my choice. I’m thinking of choosing an environmental organization, since I do believe that there is a correlation between women’s health and the planet’s health.  

This is my vision of my milestone Birthday. What about you? How would you celebrate this occasion?