Technically, today is the anniversary of my birth. I do wonder, though, with all that’s going on in the world, do birthdays still exist?

Jason asked me what I wanted for my big day. The first thing I thought of was “an escape!” (Who’s feeling me here?)

It’s been a solid six months of basically staying home. I’m not sure we realize the effect of not going anywhere. We get it, but do we GET IT? I need out.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love LA – but my neighborhood is changing during the pandemic. There are more homeless camps. More stores and restaurants boarded up. More random spots where garbage is piling up. On two separate occasions, I found dog poop and then crab legs laying ON TOP of a bush outside my apartment. Things ain’t right. 

Don’t even get me started on the “deserters.” Yeah, I’m talking to you! Literally almost every person I care about is leaving the city. People are realizing they can work from anywhere, and why pay LA prices to go nowhere, fast?

I understand. But it doesn’t mean I like it. 

I’m laughing a little. I’m not even in a bad place right now. I just feel it deep in my bones that I need a break. My brain and my soul need more than sleep. I need a reboot. A fresh perspective. 

None of us could have predicted these times. But we can all get through them. We can learn what this time is teaching us. To slow down. To re-evaluate. To breathe (even if the fires are making that somewhat difficult). 

This fundamental thought has pulled me through:

I guess that’s what I’m here to say. (And it’s my birthday, so you have to listen!) Things are fine. They always have been. They always will be. You’ve survived everything so far. So, why not keep going?

Life is about choice. How do you choose to go through these times? How can you choose to help yourself along the way?

I choose self-care. And that means hopping in the car with Jason and taking off for a few days. Feeling a little sense of freedom. A little wind in my hair. A little sense of normalcy (even though things have changed out there).

For a beautifully extended amount of time, I don’t wanna wash a dish. I don’t wanna do laundry. I don’t wanna turn on the news.

For a beautifully extended amount of time, I just don’t wanna… anything.  

So, that’s exactly what I’m doing on my birthday. I’m done posting memories of vacations. I’m starting new ones. I literally want to hug a tree. Stick my toes in the sand. Get lost on a winding road. We’ll do it all safely, but we’re doing it!

Birthdays do exist, my friend. They’re here to remind us to take care of ourselves. To set new goals for the year ahead. To sit in gratitude for all we have. 

And if you’re real lucky – there might even be cake.


Julie Slater, aka THE LOTUS FLOWER, is the Feels’ mindfulness guru. You may recognize her voice – she’s a voiceover artist, audiobook narrator, and podcast host ( 

Our lil’ lotus is a music freak and has DJ’d on top stations: 88.5 FM and 100.3 the Sound in LA, and 92.3 K-Rock in NYC following Howard Stern.

Julie loves time with her boyfriend Jason and dog Rayla. You’ll often find her meditating, doing yoga, candle making, going to concerts, and cooking. She has a slight obsession with deep, dark cabernets & small-batch whiskey.


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