Birthday Lessons

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2012
Birthday Lessons
Sun, 03-31-2013 - 7:54pm

It’s my birthday tomorrow. Thanks to Facebook, it isn’t a secret that it’s my birthday.  It’s normal protocol for people to ask what you’re doing to celebrate this special day.  I feel obligated to tell them something much more interesting than my reality— I’m going out to dinner with good friends.

 

Actually, my day stacks up like this: at 8:00, I’ll probably go to the gym and work out for an hour.  By 10:30, I have an appointment to take Biscuit and Joey, my two cats, to the Vet for a check-up.  This in itself should be an exciting experience.  The last time I attempted this trip, deep guttural sounds emanated from the back seat and scared the heck out of me. By 12:00, I have a friend taking me to lunch, and then I have an actual work appointment at 2:00. As you can see, my birthday promises to be one thrilling day.

 

But guess what? If I truly wanted my day to be any different than that, I would have planned it differently.  Anyway, as I contemplate another year on earth, let me share with you what I’ve learned.

 

Just when I think I have life all figured out, something happens to prove me wrong.

Somehow I thought that by the time I got to this age, I would have a good handle on everything.  I definitely understand myself better than when I was in my 20’s or 30’s, and what I need in my life to be happy.  However, I’m still pleasantly surprised when I learn something about people or life that I hadn’t encountered yet.  Maybe that’s possible because I leave my heart and mind open to learning.  I’m constantly searching for the answer and I’m always open to seeing another way to look at things.

 

“Things” matter less to me— my friends and family have become much more important.

My husband gave me a beautiful present for my birthday. I won’t deny that I enjoyed that experience, however, I didn’t need it to be happy.  The card made me happy (I’m totally serious). Being remembered made me happy.  Having both of my sons call me today and sing the whole “Happy Birthday” song definitely made me happy.  Going out to lunch with my good friend made me happy.  When you get to that point in your life, you’re at a very good place.

 

I no longer live my life with expectations of “how it’s supposed to or should be”.

I didn’t EXPECT a present from my husband.  Actually, I was quite surprised when I saw a box on my desk. That’s what made the present so enjoyable.  I didn’t expect my kids to call me.  I had a pretty good idea that they would remember, they usually do (sometimes with prodding).  However, if one of them had forgotten, I wouldn’t have been upset.  I wouldn’t have wondered why I wasn’t important or why this stuff happens to me.  The only thought in my head would be “I’m sure they’re pretty busy today”— and I would leave it at that.  Once you start expecting things, you become unhappy. You put yourself in a position to be very disappointed.

 

For the first time in my life, I have absolutely no baggage.

I’m being completely honest here— no baggage. If I asked my family, they would totally agree. I’m referring to all that unresolved relationship and experience stuff that you carry around.  Letting go of your baggage takes dedication and hard work, but it’s more than worth it. For the first time, you will experience a feeling of freedom.  I recommend it for anyone that’s struggling with moving forward in her life.

 

I look forward to sharing my “revelations” about life next year at this same time.