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Thread: Birthdays

  1. #1
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Birthdays

    Well, today is mine. And I'm just. not. feeling. it.

    I've never really enjoyed my birthday as much as it feels like I'm supposed to. When I was a single person (off and on in my adult life) I enjoyed taking the day off from work and just doing something that pleased me like going for a hike or someplace I had always wanted to visit locally, but never had. Just the day to myself. I like my own company. My daughters have never made a big deal about my birthday because I always played it down. But now, as an older adult, my birthday brings dread and mild depression. It's not the aging factor; I struggle with being in the spotlight. Like I'm supposed to pretend to feel so special today of all days.

    Today has been totally planned out for me. Instead of being delighted, I'm dreading it. Two chatty friends are having me over for lunch and I predict I will be exhausted by the end of it. One of them told me to plan 4 hours! Then my husband wants to take me out to dinner. Then tomorrow my sister wants to take me to breakfast because today is full.

    I already (now that I'm retired) spend most of my days doing as I please. Why am I dreading my birthday so much? Why does there have to be such a big deal over birthdays? Does anyone else feel this way? Is there something wrong with me? Is it because I'm getting old? Am I letting the news of the day drag me down? (Another thread altogether---but it does concern me).
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  2. #2
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    I have no advice and I don't know why I'm posting, other than to say there is no right or wrong way to have a birthday or any other day for that matter, as long as you aren't harming anyone. And no, I do not think there's anything wrong with you. Maybe, if you are already committed to the day's activities, think of what you're doing as YOUR gift to your friends and family - letting them feel that they are making You feel special. Then maybe start setting the stage for next year by blocking that time off with concrete plans - scheduling a trip that week, or taking a class that will need all of your time, whatever. (I'm working on my own mindsets here, can you tell, lol?)

    In any case, I wish you the best on all days, not just the one that marks the anniversary of your birth!

  3. #3
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    I too do not like celebrating. Don't want presents, don't want a dinner, etc. Just a nice quiet day to do what I want. Maybe I just dont want to be the focus as you said? But the same thing happens at Thanksgiving and dont get me started about Christmas. Such unrealistic expectations from family.

    Maybe tell the others to spread out their meals. Hubby can have next week and sister can have week after. Tell them it would make it more special.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I am bored by adult birthdays and find celebrations of them tiresome. Other than the big ones (50? 80? 100?) I generally don’t like to participate. I will recognize DH’s birthday, but that’s about it. Because I have a friend for whom the birthday thing is important, I will usually send her a card or email message. But that’s only because I trained myself to do that, my heart isnt in it.

    I’m always slightly shocked each year when I get birthday cards from people. You’d think I would figure out that cards are coming, but I just kind of forget about it between birthdays.There’s some friends who keep me on their birthday list and I just don’t understand why, I think it’s dumb.

    DH’s siblings dutifully send everyone in their family a birthday card. So I get those as well. I just think it’s all so empty and meaningless.


    I will say, though, because one of his sisters hand makes cards, they’re very pretty some of them are a joy to receive.

  5. #5
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Yeah and another thing is—I don’t know why we choose 50 and 80 to be seemingly the big birthdays that everyone must celebrate. For me and my cronies, I would be celebrating age 66 because that’s when you can go on the government dole!

    Or age 59.5 When you can start pulling out money from your assets.

    Also I will say that a nice dinner out in a restaurant is always appropriate way to celebrate. No damn presents not a big group of people and you say it’s just DH and me, but for the bigger birthdays we’ve invited other people. But no damn presents, they’re just a burden.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    You are not typical but you are normal.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    I totally understand. For years I have tried to figure out why I am so uncomfortable with my birthday, mother's day and Christmas. At least the gift focus. I don't mind having a meal cooked for me at home but anything bigger than that just makes me squirm. For the life of me I can't figure out why I feel as I do. There is the minimalist in me that doesn't like gifting for the sake of gifting but there is something bigger there as well.

  8. #8
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    Well, I wish you a happy day today and for all the days to come. I don't mind my birthday. It's just another day. People can remember or not as they see fit. I do like dinner out, though, as that is always rare and always a treat! lol
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

  9. #9
    Member RedSpruce's Avatar
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    You are not alone. My birthday was the 4th. People kept asking me “what are you going to do?” “Don’t you want to go out for supper?” Well, I wanted to stay home and bake and make jam. I asked Hubby if he’d cook supper, because I was tired. He did. No presents (I don’t need more stuff), no long drive in the country (Hubby’s suggestion), no dinner out (also Hubby’s suggestion). A friend invited us over to her place three days before my birthday and surprised me with a cake. No gift. Thank goodness! We ate the last of that cake for mid-morning snack the day of my birthday. Suited me just fine. Now Hubby is going around telling people I was depressed on my birthday! I actually had a fun and productive time!

  10. #10
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    I totally understand. For years I have tried to figure out why I am so uncomfortable with my birthday, mother's day and Christmas. At least the gift focus. I don't mind having a meal cooked for me at home but anything bigger than that just makes me squirm. For the life of me I can't figure out why I feel as I do. There is the minimalist in me that doesn't like gifting for the sake of gifting but there is something bigger there as well.
    YES I do think a lot of it is “gifting for the sake of gifting.” Ugh.

    I genuinely value when friends get together. That is enough of a celebration.

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