Today is my birthday.
The big 33, also known as the “Larry Bird year” for New Englanders like myself.
I think most people like their birthday. I know as my friends and family members have gotten older they grumble over the number of candles on their cake, but I think overall they are happy.
I’ve always had a love/hate kind of relationship with my birthday. Mostly, a love/hate relationship with the pressure to make a birthday special.
I’m not good at opening presents. I’m picky, I have a lousy poker face, and I don’t like the idea of people
wasting spending money on gifts.
I don’t like cake. (certainly a blueberry crisp would be ok, but it’s hard to put 33 candles in that).
It’s just always felt like a lot of pressure to get everything RIGHT.
Am I having ENOUGH fun? Am I happy ENOUGH? Do I feel special ENOUGH?
My birthday always makes me feel like I’m just not enough.
This year, I’m trying something new. I’m not trying to have any expectations of what a birthday SHOULD be. If anything good happens, BONUS. If it’s just another day, I’m ok with that.
I started off the day lousy, not meeting this goal at all.
my kids woke up at 5:30, like always. My husband tried to wrangle them, but that didn’t last long.
I woke up to their cries for breakfast (“Daddy, you can’t do it right! Only Mommy!”)
I came out and opened my cards and present-a pair of shoes (which I’d frankly never wear, but its the thought that counts, right?).
Then I saw my husband used all the spinach for my smoothie (my favorite part of the day) to make the salad for his lunch. Then he told me he was going in early, and likely working late. Sigh 🙁
I was tired, grumpy, disappointed. Falling into old patterns, I was upset that my birthday wasn’t special ENOUGH for me. I was mad that my husband hadn’t planned the extravagance that I set up with the kids for his big day (decorations, special breakfast, starbucks, etc.)
Then, I did some Pilates and meditated while my kids watched their “show” for the day. Then, I remembered my goal. Birthdays are just a day. They don’t have to be, and aren’t going to be PERFECT.
I’m blessed. I’m grateful that I can celebrate another year. I’m grateful that I can walk my son to the bus stop, and bring my twins to the library. I’m grateful that I got a free birthday meal coupon from a restaurant I like. I’m grateful I can bring my kids to dinner even if my hubby has to work.
I bet Birthdays are hard for a lot of perfectionists like me.
Luckily, the 80/20 project of Mom Seeking Balance has helped me gain some perspective today, and helped me realize expectations often breed discontent.
Whatever happens, happens. And today, I’m ok with that.