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Take a Personal Day Already!

Today is my birthday, and I’m doing something absolutely amazing!

Bungee jumping?

Dancing naked on a beach under the stars?

Crashing an ultra-exclusive party in LA to schmooze with the rich and famous?

Nope. I’m taking the day off.

Taking a personal day might not seem all that amazing to most folks, but everyone should take a personal day—especially on their birthdays.

In elementary school, I convinced my parents to let me stay home on my birthday. The only time I went to school was when my birthday happened to fall on the day of the annual field trip to the planetarium (love that place!).

In college, I always skipped class on my birthday. This wasn’t much different than regular days. I went to college in the Midwest, and there was usually 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, so that was a good excuse too. (I’m a terrible, terrible role model. Stay in school, kids!)

When I used to work in a corporate office, I would often walk by someone’s cubicle and see dozens of donuts, cakes, brownies, and other goodies piled on the desk.

“What’s going on?” I’d ask.

“Oh,” my coworker would sigh, not looking up from the report she was furiously typing. “It’s my birthday.”

“Well, what’re you doin’ here?!?” I’d usually get a dirty look when I’d ask that obvious question.

Really, when you’re looking at your time-off allowance at the beginning of the year, shouldn’t your birthday be the very first day you request off from work?

My birthday is as special to me as any other holiday, and answering phone calls and responding to e-mails all day is no way to celebrate.

Sure, that report’s not going to file itself, and those clients need answers. I agree that your job is important, and you need to be a hard working employee. I understand.

I could list a bajillion reasons why you should take a personal day for your birthday or whenever you need a break. But I only need one reason…

Because you deserve it.

You are a kind, wonderful person who deserves a personal day off from work, responsibilities, and the stress of life. It doesn’t matter that I don’t know you. I still care about you.

Go on, open your calendar and choose your next personal day RIGHT NOW. Then tell your boss so there’ll be no backing out later.

Enjoy your personal day. The world will still be here when you get back.

Still not convinced that you deserve a personal day? Check out these articles:

Why You Should Take More Time for Yourself

How to Create Your Ideal Day in Work and Play

Why You Want to Avoid the Grey Zone, and How to Do It

When was the last time you took a personal day? Do you always take your birthday off?

12 Comments

  1. Nneka, Working Mystic on July 10, 2012 at 4:09 am

    I took a personal day yesterday. I just needed a mental health day. At my last job, you could take up to 6 of those a year. No questions asked. Best concept ever. I thought I would implement it on my own:-)



    • Sage on July 10, 2012 at 8:54 am

      I love mental health days. I think there would be a lot less corporate burnout if all companies offered them. It’s awkward to have to fake being sick just to get a day off.

      What do you do on your personal days? Relax? Read? Shop?



  2. Tinfoil Tiaras on February 17, 2012 at 7:59 am

    AMEN! Happy Birthday Sage and kudos for taking the day off- you deserve it! I think all employers should have 1 personal day/mth & your b-day off, it would really boost morale and stop people from using sick days as personal days! Have a lovely day of r&r!



    • Sage on February 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks, Emily! I had a fun, but relaxing, day of eating out and going to a museum. I always hated when I used to have to fake sick just to take some personal time off. It’s ridiculous–we all deserve a break!



  3. Shybiker on February 17, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Yay!! Happy Birthday!!

    I love your philosophy. I used to try to take my birthdays off but then felt I didn’t deserve such special treatment. Thanks for reminding me how wrong that thinking is. We all deserve fun on our birthdays.



    • Sage on February 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Thanks, Ally! You DO deserve special treatment and lots of fun on your birthday!



  4. Anna@ThriftyBusiness on February 16, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Happy birthday Sage! One of the things that has been making me a successful human being is personal days. It’s like the oil in my machine – if there isn’t enough it won’t be as efficient and will undoubtedly break sooner. I too am a February baby – the 27th this month 🙂



    • Sage on February 19, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks, Anna! Yea for February birthdays! 🙂 I’m glad you understand the importance of personal days. So few people actually take time for themselves.



  5. xvavaveganx on February 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Happy happy birthday Sage! That is great that you take a personal day for your birthday! You totally deserve it and I hope that your day has been amazing and that you are doing everything you want to do. 🙂



    • Sage on February 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! Chris and I went to a vegan restaurant for breakfast and spent the day wandering around the Walt Disney Family Museum. It was a fun day. 🙂



  6. Molly on February 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Happy birthday!!! You certainly deserve a day off for your special day. I was going to take mine off this year, but ended up taking that day when I broke my elbow, instead. 🙁



    • Sage on February 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, Molly! I feel bad that your elbow is still causing you problems all these weeks later. Hopefully, you’ll be completely healed by your next birthday.