I did not want to celebrate my birthday this year. I had no desire to participate in any personally-directed hoopla. Not sure why. Busy, tired or overwhelmed would have been good responses as to why. Let alone the fact that, hell, I am a year older.
When asked what I wanted for a birthday present, I shrugged. When asked what I wanted to do, I responded, “whatever”. When I was pushed, I said I wanted to go to Starbucks drive-thru. Yippee.
My mother was the one to say I had to have a birthday. While that is technically true, since time marches on whether I like it or not, she meant I had to have the obligatory birthday dinner with family. Um, yay?
However, I got to thinking. I should celebrate a birthday. It is the only day that is about me. For most wives and mothers, those days are precious few.
Birthdays may be another symptom of the overwhelmed, overworked Mom (and Dad) syndrome. Where we can, once again, forget about ourselves. We spend time and money planning birthday parties for our children and partners, but when our day comes, we wish it would be gone already. Yet, birthdays may actually be the one day we should not give up. If we don’t at least take this one day a year, without fail, for ourselves, then we basically say we don’t matter.
Take a bath or splurge on a massage. Play golf or read a book. However, it isn’t about what or how much. It is about taking the time for oneself. In essence, it is the act of stopping, once a year, and thinking about your life: what matters and what doesn’t to you; what are your personal goals; what are your resolutions.
It is a day that’s not about being a parent (Mother’s Day or Father’s Day), or being a spouse (Anniversary), or being family (Valentine’s Day). Birthdays are our own.
So, today is my birthday and I am going to make sure it has some hoopla because my un-birthday will be here tomorrow. In the meantime, I can act like a Birthday Queen, and tomorrow I can trade in the glass slippers for some cotton ones. I can wear them again in 365 days.
But who’s counting….
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