What to do When Your Birthday Sucks

Today is my birthday!! Woohoo! Another wonderful year ahead I hope.

Truth be told, my birthday is a hard day for me… more than almost any other day, my birthday is a day where I really miss my mom. She was really into birthday celebrations and helped make my birthday special time and time again.

After she died my birthday just felt like a burden, and I actually hated celebrating because it never felt like enough without her. The people in my life would try really hard to make the day special, and I would pretend to enjoy it… but deep down I just felt sad and this deep longing for my mom.  

A couple of years ago I began looking at my emotions rather than avoiding them. By expressing my emotions and not pretending I was fine, the people closest to me were able to support me more easily and I didn’t feel so alone.
What I learned was that part of why I missed my mom on my birthday was because she always took such care to make it a special day. She knew me so well and she knew what I loved. I realized that I too know myself well, and I also know what I love.

It has become my mission to thrive on my birthday by acknowledging that I miss my mom and then doing little things (or big) for myself that she would have done. Since she took such good care of me and that is what I long for on my birthday, I have begun taking good care of myself.

This birthday I will be getting a manicure and pedicure, spending time with my husband and daughter outside, and eating an amazing chocolate dessert, among other things.

What is it that you long for about your old life, your old relationship, or a loved one lost? Check in with yourself and see if you can do for yourself what they did for you… and do it with them in mind.  

Happy birthday … because every day is a chance to celebrate life.  

4 Responses

  1. Judy Johnson

    Laura, what a beautiful “reframe”. Thank you for sharing this. It has given me something to ponder and hope that I can truly learn to thrive. My thinking is changing already! It causes me to think
    about happy things and not the sad things. How delightful to realize I can help myself find joy .

  2. Jill

    Great advice.
    My mom died the day before my birthday when I was 16, and it has sucked so bad since (43 years!). She truly was the only one who knew me well enough to make it special …

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