| SARA ERNEST
BIRTHDAYS: CAN’T LIVE with them, can’t live without them. Oh, right, that saying typically applies to prospective dating partners, not calendar dates.
Everyone at some point or another has had or will have a meltdown because of an impending birthday. Some people start having panic attacks about birthdays at 25 while others hold them off until 40. It seems inevitable in this day and age. We have so many pressures put on us to be better or do more, that we often don’t take the time to think about what we have managed to accomplish. Many of us see our birthdays as reminders of the time that has passed and the goals we’ve not seen through.
Times have certainly changed and I’ve gotten to do some really fun stuff for my birthday. One year, my partner, Lori, splurged and paid for us to go to New York City for the weekend. For the big 3-0, we went to San Diego so I could see my favorite singer, Brandi Carlile, on my birthday. My friends have even indulged my whim to go roller skating for my birthday.
My birthdays have changed because my outlook has changed. Before Lori and I got together, I looked at my birthday as if it was any other day. It didn’t really mean a whole lot to me because of the past and because I am one of those people who is ridiculously hard on myself when it comes to the things that I haven’t done well enough or at all.
The shift in my perspective came one year when I told Lori that I didn’t want to have a party or anything because it was just another day. She got frustrated with me and told me that it was not just another day; if it weren’t for my birthday, I wouldn’t be here for us to be together and living the life that we live, a life that makes us both very happy. She was going to celebrate my birthday whether I wanted to or not.
Take a minute right now to think about the people in your life who are affected because you are here; there are more people than you realize. They want to celebrate you. These people are better for knowing you just because you are alive.
I understand all the trauma that comes with getting another year older and not feeling like you’ve accomplished what you wanted. Put that out of your mind. That is not important. What is important is the dog you rescued or the person you smiled at who paid it forward. You do good in the world every day without even realizing it and you’ve accomplished more than you think.
You are more than the things you didn’t get done this year. Take the time to think about the things and people you’ve had a positive effect on and celebrate you!