Sunday, February 3, 2019

How Do You Celebrate Your Birthday?

When I was growing up, birthdays were a big day at our house. There was always a birthday cake, except for my older brother who sometimes asked for lemon merainge pie instead. 

Sometimes we had a party with our friends invited, where we'd make party hats and play games and get little presents.

My mother seemed to always enjoy celebrating our birthdays. It was like it was our own personal holiday. I doubt if they had much to celebrate with when she was growing up and wanted us to have better.

For much of my adulthood my birthday was not terribly special, especially when I had no loving spouse. The kids would make me cards, though, and insist I bake a cake. For a long time I was single when my husband left us. We were really broke and the presents were usually what the kids made and a check in the mail from my Mom.

Then I was single and my kids were gone. I got birthday cards, usually, from friends, but I was still really poor, so didn't do much celebrating. I was struggling to go to graduate school and working a part-time job. It was a very lonely time because I commuted to school and wasn't involved in school activities. And I was living alone in a friends house as a house sitter. I had a couple of local friends and they checked in on me. But for the most part it was very lonely.

I finally finished school.  I had been living in a little cheap apartment. I had two temporary very part-time clerical jobs and couldn't find a job in my field in the town where I was living. I couldn't keep up with my expenses, so I gave up housekeeping and went to live with my mother in Columbus, Ohio. She, of course, always remembered my birthday. After a bit there I found a temporary job in my field and then a permanent one. Things were looking up.

My birthday is in February. In Central Ohio, that month is the grayest month, cold and damp and depressing. So after I moved into my own place, I began celebrating February as BGTL Month - Be Good to Lucinda Month. Every day of February I do something that makes me happy, makes me feel good.

It is sometimes hard to come up with 28 things, but I always manage. You see, being good to myself doesn't have to be a big thing. While there are some special things I do, any small thing can feel good. This month is no different. So far I've had Wendy's chili, which I really like. And spent an afternoon playing with my great-granddaughter. Today I will spend time doing art work.

While these are all rather normal things, the perspective of doing them as a way I am being good to myself makes all the difference. Why don't you try it? Whatever month your birthday falls in, spend it being good to yourself. Can't manage it for a month? Start with your birthday week.

Hope you have a happy birthday month, too! Let me know how it goes. And if you have suggestions for things I might do to BGTL, please leave them in a comment. (Actually, your comment will make my day special!)

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