On this eve of my birthday, I am filled with raw excitement. It is like Santa is approaching; only, not just for the night, but for the entire year to follow. There is something so supremely magical about honoring your milestone each and every year. I love my birthday because I take time to unabashedly think about where I am on my life satisfaction scale. I let myself bring new dreams and hopes in and let some of the stale ones go. I also get to eat a piece of spice cake with my mom’s homemade frosting.
Some years your birthday eve may be tinged with sadness. You may feel lonely without a spouse or significant other around to plan a celebration. You may feel frustrated that you have to bake your own birthday cake. You may feel annoyed that attention will be drawn to you when the last thing you want is your divorce reel highlighted at any time while you are on it.
But I urge you to push past the negative for a small time on or around your birthday. I repeat this message every year because it is worth repeating. I repeat it for myself, I repeat it for my children, and I repeat it for my clients. Take time to celebrate you. Take 10 minutes to reflect upon the things that are truly making you happy during this season of your life. Take a happiness inventory: How is it different from other ages? How will it look different to you in the year ahead? What do you want to focus more on this year? What do you want to focus less on?
It is critical to do some self-assessment. I believe it is critical to my well-being to take stock every year of that which is mattering most. I chose my birthday. I also believe it is ten times more important to pay attention while you are in a state of serious transition. While in transition, we are our most vulnerable selves. We are most readily susceptible to the ease of excuses and decline from depression. Wake up for your birthday. It is a day about you – a day for you. Use it.
I am going to use mine to buy myself some red roses because it has been awhile since any have been delivered. I am going to map out a creative writing schedule and then go for a long walk under the colorful trees in my neighborhood. I am going have a lovely dinner with my family and hear my mom tell me about April 23, 1975 when a baby girl arrived in her life 6 weeks earlier than planned. I am going to appreciate this life – despite the hardships it has faced – and celebrate that it continues.