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Birthdays. BIRTHDAYS!!!! Ugh! Who else has a love-hate relationship with their birthday? Who just LOOOVES when their birthday rolls around? Are you one of the lucky ones who doesn’t get what I call the “birthday blues?” If you are one of those people, then congratulations! (I am rolling my eyes, but I truly am happy for you…on some level. I am just jealous, so please forgive the snarkiness.) ;)
Well, I just had another birthday, hence the birthday blog. There are so many things I do not understand regarding birthdays. For one, people want you to show up for THEIR birthday celebration, but they are not really willing to put in the effort to show up for yours. What is that about? Yes, do unto others as you would have others do unto you! Can I get an AMEN?
I had people I barely know, whom I have no “real” friendship with, tell me “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, and people whom I love and care about, and I am pretty sure love and care about me, say nothing, or maybe just sent a text. (Texting is going to be the death of me…or maybe just the death of real connection! You should read this article.)
It’s important to think about the messages we send each other on the days that are significant to us. As a birthday person, do you like to receive phone calls from the people you love wishing you a “Happy Birthday?” I am pretty sure 99% of you just raised your hand. I think a birthday text is saved for those people we are not super close to, and with whom we may not intend to cultivate a close relationship. Am I right, or am I right? I have definitely been guilty of this. And, I have definitely sent a text with the intention of calling later and then dropped the ball on said phone call.
For those of you who always love your birthday, close your ears for this part. I think we want to feel special on our birthdays. Why? Because being born into this world and being of this world automatically makes us special. No one wants to feel “un-special!” “You don’t matter! No one cares that you even exist!” OUCH! How harsh does that sound?! Now, think about the person who actually feels that way. Sad, right?
No, I am not being melodramatic. This is actually how some people feel when they do not receive that phone call or when their significant other does not put thought and effort into their birthday. Is this the truth of the matter, that that person is unimportant? That no one cares? In most cases, probably not. Feelings are not necessarily logical, but they are real.
Many people end up feeling this way to some degree or another on their birthdays. Have you ever wanted to celebrate your birthday, but did not want to make plans out of fear of rejection? I have. That is pretty much every year for me. I often make plans anyway. I just push through the fear in hopes of not feeling disappointed on the other side.
One of my best birthdays I spent in Florida all by myself. I had no expectations of anyone; there was no one who could let me down; I did not hang my happiness on anyone else. If I did not have a good time there was no one to blame but myself. Now, I say all this a bit tongue-in-cheek, since we can never fairly “blame” anyone for not having a good time on our birthday or for letting us down. While the actions of others are never under our control we get to choose how we respond to the circumstances. Ultimately it is still within our power to find enjoyment in the moment.
I do not have to attach a meaning to that missed phone call unless I choose to, or to the birthday text I think should have been a phone call, or to the birthday dinner no one attended, or to the birthday present that was bought right before seeing me, and neither do you. I could go on and on with examples, but see where I am going with this? If I truly love myself and know I am a wonderful, deserving human being, then no one can take that away from me, regardless of how others act, or don’t act.
My personal opinion is that birthdays should be made a big deal - to whatever extent the birthday person likes to be celebrated. I see birthday celebrations as a display of love, and of happiness, that person is alive. Enjoying your birthday really boils down to how good you feel about yourself. Since this is a department in which most of us have issues to some degree, it IS nice to have our loved ones validate us in the meantime, until we do finally reach that place where we love ourselves fully and completely and celebrate our being alive EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I am curious which camp you fall into – to celebrate or not to celebrate – and why.
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