I am approaching a big birthday. Needless to say, I’m not thrilled about it. I’ve not been one to age gracefully in that I just dread the new higher number every single year. It doesn’t help that my birthday is coupled with the let down from Christmas and my historical dread of the new year. These post Christmas weeks are sort of my perfect storm of sucking.
I’ve watched others in my life embrace and truly celebrate their annual big day. My grandmother looked forward to every single year that she was given. My oldest sister doesn’t give age a second thought. I have friends who have thrown themselves celebrations to commemorate the change in decade and they get excited to do so. I have other friends so excited for their birthday that they celebrate the whole month!
I envy these people. I just don’t feel it.
I’m really not sure why this is such an issue for me. I spend a lot of time trying to wrap my brain around my feelings, especially this year. Perhaps that’s part of the problem. There’s no aspect of my birthday that stands out as the defining problem. I kind of wish there was, so I could undo that knot.
Is it the actual act if aging? Is it the feeling of lack of accomplishment in my life? Is it the feeling that, particularly as a mom of young kids, there really is no day just about me? Is it the feeling that I cannot celebrate with all of the people in my life that are important to me? Is it that all of the birthday decorations associated with my age could also double as funeral decor? Or could it be all of these things?
This year is particularly challenging for me. It’s a big one. I’m torn straight down the middle of ignoring it completely, but I feel the tug to make some sort of deal out of it for the sake of my children. I don’t want my kids to dread their birthdays like I do. I want them to celebrate each year they are given because it truly is a gift. I want them to savor getting showered with love and getting to enjoy a day that is just for them. And I want them to understand how to provide those moments for the people that they will have in their lives in the future. I also don’t want to look back and have any regrets about my lack of celebration.
So as I anticipate “the day”, I’m trying desperately to change my mindset, hence this article. I’m telling myself all of the old cliches to soften the blow. I’m looking to those that I envy to try to emulate their awesome attitude. And I’m trying not to be outwardly blue. My hope behind this article was that through expressing my true feelings, I might shed some light and lighten the mood.
So happy early birthday to me. As I blow out my candles this year, you can be sure that I will be wishing for this sick feeling to leave my stomach and that I latch on to every single one of the millions of blessings that I have been given, so that those positive feelings can sustain me through my next trip around the sun and many more in the future.