Rachel Baum

A love note to birthdays, "ice cream," and giving yourself what you really want

Published 7 months ago • 3 min read

Happy birthday to me!

Saturday was my 55th birthday -- woohoo! People have different attitudes about their birthday. Here's mine: YES PLEASE THANK YOU.

I used to sometimes be disappointed in my birthday. I LOVE my birthday and there have been years when people didn't show up in the ways I wanted them to.

So I fixed it.

I started showing up for myself.

I thought about what I wanted and gave it to myself. When friends ask what I want, I actually tell them (imagine!). I do what I want on my birthday, even if that means bringing my loved ones to things they don't want to do. Sometimes I buy myself gifts.

This year, I bought myself a Ninja Creami. It lets you blend ingredients, freeze them, and turn them into ice cream. Or, you know, “ice cream.”

I’m no fan of "fake it 'til you make it," but sometimes what we actually crave can be found in surprising places.

Last week, I wrote about the calming effect of smoking a pencil.

The photo above is “ice cream” made of blended fruit and non-dairy milk.

I’ve loved ice cream my entire life. But the part that really pleases me is the cold creaminess of it. Who knew I could experience that with non-dairy fruit deliciousness? I'm not sacrificing anything in eating it because I’m giving myself what I actually want – not ice cream, but the experience of ice cream.

There's magic in honing in on what we truly want.

Sometimes we know what we want and we can give it to ourselves. And sometimes we can find the “ice cream” alternative, one that satisfies our craving in a different way than we anticipated.

Sometimes we want our entire family at our house for Thanksgiving, and sometimes we want the experience of family, which might mean having pizza with beloved friends.

Sometimes we want to travel and sometimes we want the experience of traveling, which might mean putting ourselves in unfamiliar and delightful locations, even in our own city.

Sometimes we want a new relationship and sometimes we want the experience of a new relationship, which might mean being curious and interested in another person, even someone you’ve known for years.

This isn’t faking it. It’s tapping into what we really want and finding ways to give it to ourselves.

And that’s the best gift of all, on your birthday and every other day.

This week, take time every day to ask yourself, What do I want? And then ask what you want beneath that. Look for creative ways to give yourself what it is you most desire, which is likely a feeling. ❤️

I didn't send a love note last week (true story: I forgot on the weekend, wrote one to send out Monday, and then got distracted and didn't send it!). In any case, here are this week's and last week's podcasts.

Episode #75: Trust yourself

When we think about trust, we often think about trusting other people. In this episode, I focus on the importance of trusting ourselves and how to build that trust.

We chip away at our self trust every time we override what we really want -- when we need rest but make ourselves keep going, when we say yes to things we really don't want to do, when we speak to ourselves unkindly.

The good news is that trust is built through small, every day actions. In this episode I'll show you how.

Take a listen and let me know what resonates!

Ep #76: Create Change with Unfamiliar Feelings

I don't love this title -- I'll change it when I figure it out. Here's what the episode is about:

Sometimes we have a quality that serves us for a particular time in our life but then when we want to move into a different stage, we find that isn't quite what we need. The specific example I give is a feeling I call scrappiness.. It's the ability to pull things off, to make something out of nothing, to pull rabbits out of hats at the last minute. It's a familiar feeling to many moms, especially those who have had to figure things out without a lot of money and/or time. It's a great quality! But when we find ourselves

applying for a prestigious new job

becoming empty nesters

needing to be more planful

we often find that our hustle is no longer sufficient. At that point, we can go to the emotion wheel and see what other feelings might be more useful for us and turn up the volume on those qualities.

Love, Rachel

P.S. Help me rename my podcast and win a 4-session coaching package!

Most of my listeners are over 50 and I want a name that speaks to people over 50. To make a suggestion, fill out this form, email me at, or post on social media (I'll put out a call for suggestions soon). Thanks!

⭐ I love being connected to you ⭐




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Rachel Baum

Certified Life Coach and host of the Making Midlife Magic podcast

I'm a life coach, college professor, and former president of the Overthinkers Club. Also, I host the Making Midlife Magic podcast. I love helping middle aged people dream again and create lives they love. Sign up to get inspiring mind shifts sent right to your email box. I don't over-send, and you can unsubscribe any time. This March & April I'm celebrating my podcast-versary with some delightful giveaways, so now is a great time to sign up!

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