Who can remember when it’s time to schedule that dreaded pap smear? Or the awkward and ouchy mammogram? The annoying teeth cleaning, the pesky physical, or the oft-put-off eye exam? And why did God build us to require such high maintenance, anyway? Didn’t he realize we wouldn’t have (the desire to make) time for all these pit crew stops?

Sure, most doctor’s offices send us reminders when it’s time to show up and be seen, but let’s face it—we’re busy, so we ignore those. We’ve got calendar apps on our phones for creating our own reminders, as well. But we’d rather use our phones to scroll Facebook or Instagram or text with a friend than tend to the often emotionally charged matter of the state of our personal health.

The formers are all akin to zoning out and taking a breather from the hard, mundane, or undesirable while the latter is a reminder we’ve likely dropped the ball and now have to chase after it.

One reason we benefit from tribing it up and depending on the sisterhood to live life to its fullest is often, our female compatriots have some darn good ideas. Ideas we weren’t about to come up with that make life easier and more manageable.

Our girlfriends, family members, and public figures have identified methods of doing life that make more sense than ours sometimes. Methods they’re more than happy to share if we’ll just open our minds and listen. For sometimes, they’re taking in the whole of the forest while our tunnel vision sights are set on one tree. 

One such sister lit up a lightbulb in my head when she mentioned she always schedules her yearly doctor’s appointments on our around her birthday.

My first reaction was a big guffaw and a hearty heck no to that idea. Who in the world wants to sign up for rounds of poking and prodding, inquiries and scales, peeing in cups and endless piles of paperwork to celebrate her birthday? Not me. That is not how I party.

Undeterred, this wise sister went on to explain it’s the easiest way she’s found to remember when she’s due to focus on her health. And focusing on her health is the best gift she can think of to give herself each year—one that doubles as a gift for those she loves, as well.

Because if mama ain’t healthy—then, well, I shudder to think. We can’t go down if we can help it, ladies. We are the hub, air traffic control, ground support, and the pilot for our families—all at the same time. The ability to care for the people we love the way our heart desires is fully dependent on being well enough to do it. Both physically and mentally.

Yet we often put our own well-being squarely behind the rest of our crew’s. It doesn’t make the most sense, but still, we fall into a pattern of putting off self-care. What’s more, who’s going to take care of us if we don’t choose to? We’re the moms now so there’s no one making appointments for us or dropping everything to help ensure we’re in tip-top shape.

Sister-friend got me with that sensical line of reasoning. I don’t enjoy the yearly battery of exams and appointments and I won’t enjoy them any further on or around my birthday—probably even less so. But taking the time and energy to mark the day of my birth by doing what I can to ensure I’m around for as many more birthdays as possible makes so much sense to me. So I’m in!

I’m all in for this easy way to remember it’s time to haul my butt into the chair, onto the table, into the stirrups, in front of the imaging machine and to chat with professionals about all that’s going on up in here. I owe this focus of time and energy to me and to the family I want to be healthy and happy for. I deserve it, too. As do you.

So, how ’bout it—are you ready to party like it’s your birthday this way, too?

You may also like:

I’m Always Anxious About My Health

Tales From The Stirrups: My Yearly Exam

Jodie Utter

Jodie Utter is a freelance writer & creator of the blog, Utter Imperfection. She calls the Pacific Northwest home and ambles about its captivating forests and breath-taking (quite literally, because brrrr) bodies of water with her husband and two children. Jodie is a voracious seeker of laughter and awkward dancer who’s tired of making dinner and can’t stay awake past nine. She works to connect pain to pain and struggle so we’ll feel less alone inside our stories and more at home in our hearts, minds, and relationships. You can connect with her on her blog, Utter Imperfection and on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.