As a teen I started a terrible birthday tradition.
Every year on my birthday I spent the day evaluating my life and, for whatever reason, my birthday was the day I always saw the proverbial glass half empty instead of half full. I’m not entirely sure when the tradition started, but every year I hated my birthday and spent quite a bit of it moping around.
As I grew older, I spent my birthdays trying to figure out what I had accomplished with my life. I’m pretty goal oriented. And while I didn’t have a massive list of goals- no climbing Everest or anything like that- I do have specific goals I hope to accomplish within my lifetime. If I hadn’t completed all my goals for that year, I was… hard on myself.
In recent years I’ve made a concerted effort to change my attitude on my day and to find ways to celebrate rather than mope. It’s hard, sometimes, breaking those old habits, especially the emotional patterns. But I’ve really worked at it and this year, I’m proud to say, I woke up happy.
It wasn’t that I had any big plans or knew there was a massive “surprise” waiting for me. In fact, I didn’t really have any plans besides NOT doing any of the myriad of things on the Need To Do list. I woke up with a smile on my face because I can see that my life is good. I don’t care whether it’s perfect or not. It’s good. I’m surrounded by a loving family and I’m honored to have people around the globe who care about me. I am finally to a place where I can recognize that. It’s taken quite a while to get there. But finally, I can see the glass half full.
I know everyone’s life journey is different. But to any of those who struggle with their birthday, I wish you joy and I hope that you too can wake up on your day with a smile on your face and peace in your heart.