Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

My husband said something to me the other day about how celebrating birthdays is important to me.  I said, no celebrating other people’s birthdays is important to me.  I don’t care about celebrating mine.  And I believe that.  It makes me uncomfortable.  My instinct is to have as normal a day as possible and quietly move on to another year of life.  But it sort of hit me how that’s not really fair.  Why do I get the pleasure of celebrating others, but not let them have that pleasure themselves?

And this has really stuck in my head over the past few days because I have a number of clients who do the very same thing in their lives.  They are always ready to give, but not open to receiving and I have asked them to challenge that.  I have asked them to allow themselves to be open to receiving.  I have asked them to try, just try to do it differently.  How can I keep asking that of them if I’m not ready to do it myself?

Every caution flag set off in my head as I contemplated writing about my birthday here.  What will people think?  Should I write that they don’t have to write to me?  Does this seem pathetic?  The more my mind shouted at me “DON’T DO IT!” the more I thought, this is precisely what I should do.  Sit with my discomfort.  I actually really like the idea of starting a new year of life pushing myself to try something new.

So there you have it.  I look at the blue “Publish” button and it looks back at me.  Will I push it?  What will it feel like?  Well, at 45 I am about to find out!

Happy Birthday to me…

My younger son turned 9 yesterday.  He is an incredible mix of wise beyond his years, yet still so young and innocent.  There was so much build-up to the day, so much joy opening presents in the morning, and eating the best breakfast ever…fried eggs and pancakes with real maple syrup (a treat in spain).   By mid-morning the letdown had already set in:  the day could never live up to all the expectation.  I saw him struggling to figure out what was going on…he’s not a party kid, so there was no party planned.  But still he felt a pressure for something extraordinary to happen.  I saw the joy of the morning fading away and a cloud of disappoint settling in.

I didn’t want to be a cheerleader or deny his experience, but I also didn’t want his day to be a disappointment.  I told him that people get to do what they like best on their birthday, and for many people, especially kids, that means having a party, but for others, that might mean staying home.   We talked about what he likes to do and I told him that his birthday, of all days, was a day he should do what he likes to do, even if it’s not what most people would choose.

Why am I writing about this?  I was just really reminded of how important it is to know ourselves and what makes us feel happy, and not try to hide that or live by outside expectations.  If we turn our backs on ourselves, we invariably end up disappointed.  Not surprisingly, that’s hard for a 9-year-old to know, but I think people of all ages do the same thing.

My question is, what would it be like to live with no expectations and just let life unfold?