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Of Birthdays And Happiness

  • Life

37 years.

As the time on the clock crossed over the midnight mark into 29th April, I took a moment to allow the feelings of turning a year older set in and tried to process how I felt, as I lay in the darkness of my room.

“Happy birthday dear” said my husband as he turned over in bed to give me a kiss. I kissed him back and settled back into my thoughts, and eventually, drifted off to sleep.

The next day I worked for the first half and then took the afternoon off to have a long lunch date with my husband, while my kids were in school and later to be picked up by their grandparents.

That night, we celebrated with family, with a scrumptious dinner together and a cake. I blew the candles off my cake and busied myself with the festivities.

As the end of the day drew nearer, and everyone was in bed, I finally made up my mind about how I felt about my birthday.

I didn’t want to come off as ungrateful by saying these, but here are my honest feelings about it.

It was my birthday today, but I had mixed feelings about it.

Although I didn’t dread my birthday, I was neither excited nor happy about it as the day drew nearer.

On one hand, I felt loved, appreciated, and thankful. There was no doubt that there was joy, especially with family and my kids around.

But at the same time, I didn’t welcome the fact that I was aging.

And I had some level of grief within me, for the loss of time, opportunities, and ambitions that I may have had.

For the approaching closure of something I had wanted, which was another child, as I got older.

I thought I would have made a bigger impact in the world, and in my society by now.

Ideas and plans that I had put off in my younger days, tend to haunt me this time of the year.

I wasn’t welcoming the thought of approaching my forties and the dwindling season of my youth. The thought that my body would have more aches as the years accumulated, and probably more weight gained due to slowing metabolism.

Maybe I am too selfish, maybe I wanted too much.

Because I do feel that I’ve had a good life, albeit not an adventurous one, and despite the low seasons that I’ve weathered.

But I’m thankful I had my family, health, and the ability to work and be active.

I had stable work and just had a recent promotion.

But it wasn’t enough.

I guess things were acceptable back when I was younger, as the idea of accomplishing more was still possible.

As time passes, the viability of these ideas gets less and less.

I can relate to why some people would prefer a quiet birthday, or maybe be on their own.

They may be grieving an actual loss, maybe of a loved one, or career. They may be having fertility issues to have a family, or having a health crisis.

And it is fine.

It is fine to grieve on your birthday.

We can feel both joy and sadness at the same time.

At the end of the day, we do our best to appreciate what we have, acknowledge our losses, and we try to be better for ourselves and those around us.

Then we move on.

Happy birthday, Becca.

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