I always wanted someone to make a big deal out of my birthday. I wanted someone else to plan the party and surprise me. I wanted someone to just KNOW WHAT I WANTED.
Guess what? It never happened. I almost got “surprised” two years ago when a friend took the reins to plan a mermaid unicorn party, but then she got sick and canceled the day of the party and we ended up playing games with friends at my house (with cake, of course).
Honestly, my disappointment stemmed from my inability to focus on the amazing people who DO celebrate with me, and my stubborn streak to count all the people who no-showed, or never RSVP’d or just plain didn’t give enough of a care to come to the party.
I cried a lot on my birthday in the past. Almost every year.
My expectations were so high, and social media showed my friends traveling to New Orleans for birthdays or Disneyland for other people’s birthdays or having huge blowouts and just made me feel like garbage, when I had just 5 or 6 lovely, close friends show up for my parties.
Last year, I said “f*ck it”. It had snowed 14″, everything was closed, I could barely get out of my house and I was turning 40. Alone.
So I got contemplative while crying in my bathtub….I was tired of being disappointed on my birthday.
I stayed off Facebook for two weeks before my birthday this year. I didn’t tell anyone it was my birthday. I had absolutely no expectations, I was going to celebrate myself even if nobody else would.
And Duke sent the most beautiful flowers (despite the fact I told him not to do anything for my birthday – thank God he’s more stubborn than I am). My parents gave me a super thoughtful gift. I made myself a killer birthday cake. My coworkers decorated my office space and we are all wearing birthday hats and will be going out to lunch.
And it’s perfect. Just enough fanfare that my inner teenager is happy and I wore a sequin dress and false lashes because I am 41 and I do whatever I want.
Don’t let other people’s lack of enthusiasm about you pop your birthday balloons. Celebrate yourownself, because truly….you know what you want and you should at least have a tiny bottle of champagne.