I love my birthday. Love it. And I don’t care that it sounds self-centered. I believe wholeheartedly in self celebration. I appreciate reflecting on the year I have just journeyed through, seeing what I have come through, and where I want to make shifts in the year ahead.
I am finding that as this first birthday approaches, post-divorce it is more meaningful than ever. After a year of fierce living and working through large loss, now more than ever is the time to step back and pat myself on the back for getting out of bed (most days), for paying attention to what matters most to me, and for demonstrating courage when I felt the least brave.
I am also mindful of how birthdays may feel lonely post-divorce and I am preparing. We send birthday cards to our clients and I remember the first time we received a thank you from a client with the attached message that our card was the only birthday card received that year. I wish I could say that was the only one, but I can’t. When married, that recognition defaults to the spouse, so friends and family lose the habit of sending a card, providing a cake, or calling with a greeting. It isn’t noticed particularly, until you are divorced and no one has filled that role. (So cards can be sent to 1266…. I kid).
I have a friend who wasn’t particularly enthused about his birthday this year. He said it was a selfish exercise. I said it was critical to healthy development (Ok really I called him Scrooge and he likened me to an annoying Cheerbear). But my point is – who would you rather be? Scrooge or Cheerbear?
What is wrong with telling yourself – “Good job on getting through this year” while eating a delicious piece of your mom’s spice cake with her special homemade frosting? What is wrong with making your mom tell you the story of the day you were born for the 37th time? What is wrong with pausing every now and again to recognize your own accomplishments, survivals, learnings and lessons? What is wrong with wishing yourself some happy and being grateful for being alive? Nothing. That’s what. So happy birthday to me!