Because my Birthday is all about ME, right?
Most that know me, know that my birthday is a HUGE deal. I look forward to turning another year older every year and celebrating ME (so much so, I installed a countdown to my birthday timer on my homepage, but I’m not that pressed though…LOL).
Every year I create a wish list of things in my head (expectations, oh, expectations) that I expect of myself, friends and family for my birthday. I have dreams of elaborate birthday dinners hosted by my friends who dropped everything to celebrate with me, I want my husband to plan surprise birthday parties complete with family members flown in from different states. All day, everyone is going to be freaking out that it’s my birthday because I’m really popular and fun. Even strangers on the street are going to stop me and wish me a happy birthday.
I learned that I had birthday expectations I truly didn’t know I had. They were birthday expectations I felt pressured from society to meet.
I started falling into the trap that since it was my birthday the day had to go a certain way. I would get flooded with social media messages to the extent of “I hope you get spoiled today,” or “I hope you have an AMAZING day”. And while I’m guilty of saying those things too on people’s birthdays… Those comments made me feel like the day had to meet these expectations the social norms our society puts on birthdays.
Society was telling me that my birthday had to be spent a certain way. That on May 16th, the world has to stop and revolve around me, and I began believing that message.
And that statement is not the truth.
Our birthdays cause us to reflect– on what we’ve accomplished, who we’ve become, what’s changed and what’s stayed the same. This reflection can sometimes cause disappointment; maybe you didn’t meet that goal you had set for yourself on your last birthday or perhaps you wish you had made different choices along the way.
There’s this unspoken idea surrounding birthdays that they have to be big, exciting, EPIC. And this expectation alone can cause birthday nerves and anxiety.
The root cause here may be because you’re worried people will forget it’s your birthday or you don’t have a big group of friends to go out and celebrate with. Maybe your birthday causes a fear of getting older and facing your own mortality.
The hard truth is, people can’t read your mind. If you want to celebrate small or big or not at all, it’s on you to plan it or at least verbalize your own expectations for your day. Your birthday comes once a year. So take charge and do it right. For you.
We shouldn’t fall into the expectations the world puts on us about what a perfect birthday should look like. In the end… the day before my birthday and the day after my birthday are normally perfect. Because I dont have expectations on those days that put me under more pressure than life is already putting on me.
So, from here on out I’m not letting society tell me what my birthday is supposed to look like. Because no matter where I’m at, or what I’m doing, my day will be perfect in every way.
My Birthday Wish List this year includes being thankful for the following:
- My perfectly imperfect family
- REAL friends
- My faith that has grown not as big as the mustard seed yet, but hopefully getting there.
- The right people He has brought into my life who are helping me realize and acknowledge my purpose.
- The heartbreaks, the losses, the rejections, the failures and the betrayal that has made me wiser.
- My job and the people I work with every day.
- All the traveling I did this year and the travelings I will do in the years to come
- The courage to face my fears.
- The silence and the solidarity.
- Good food I get to enjoy with good company.
For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. Proverbs 9:11