It was my birthday this week. I have always despised having my birthday mid January. It is the quietest week in the social/pub trade for the whole year and most of my friends throughout my 20s and 30s had to pull out of going out for financial reasons. I lowered my expectations each year..yet each year even my lowest expectations were not met.
I once dated a guy whose payday was mid-month and so he took my birthday off work to”go shopping “ for my present. When I saw him after I finished work he was empty handed - not even a card. Apparently he couldn’t find anything he liked.
I have had many similar incidents. Waking up alone in a house far from my parents and family (I moved to Manchester at 21), and no one knowing it was my birthday and spending the day alone feeling sorry for myself - I was young! I have had worse birthdays since. My husband doesn’t do birthdays very well.
I am generally practicing throwing out all the ideas of what people should or shouldn’t do and release myself from resisting what is. Instead; focusing on myself, noticing my anger and frustrations and allowing it to flow without judgements on anyone else. Not involving anyone else in my pain by complaining.
Trying not to develop stories “I can’t believe they did/didn’t” is a difficult one but very liberating.
This creates space for self love. Self love being the foundation for everything. If you can cleanse yourself of habitual resentments, frustrations, and be at peace..what a wonderful foundation for loving others and raising children!
So this year when I turned 39 my birthday passed by in a similar uneventful way. Yet a mum at the school sells make up and I thought it might be an idea to invite a few girls round and have a look at the make up at the same time. I then decided to treat myself to a haircut.
All these things have collided into a week where I am taking care of myself and showing gratitude for the life I have been given. This year I’ve been thinking very differently about what a birthday means.
It’s not about whether we are worthy of a treat or how hard we work or even how much we look after other people. My feelings this year go beyond that. You don’t need to earn the right to celebrate your life. Life should be celebrated every single day and thanks given to the source of your life whomever you feel that is.
So this year I say thank you to my mum and my dad who raised me and God/Allah/Elah/Spirit, and the universe and all those who have challenged me in my life so far who have evolved me as a being.
I had a wonderful evening with some wonderful and strong women and I hope to be as inspired in my next year as I was in this past year.