Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

birthday candlesI recently overheard two women discussing the upcoming birthday of one of them. The tone was somber, commiserating, reigned, somewhat sad, somewhat fearful. In my opinion, that not how birthdays should make you feel! These women acted like a birthday was the next step toward doomsville. It made me sad that they couldn’t find the joy in a birthday.

Well today is my birthday and I’m celebrating with the joy of a child. I’m still the me I was yesterday except that my age is one number higher.  I didn’t wake up in an older skin or find new lines on my face today. Yet I know that my new age represents another joyous year of living, learning and growing. If I’d just remained stagnant over the last year I might not feel that way. But I don’t want to waste my life by lamenting about getting old.

Your years represent the abundance you have, depending on how you’ve used them. Your birthday abundance is reflected in:

•    The good friends you have
•    Your relationship with your family or if you cut off the ones who treated you poorly
•    How much you’ve helped others
•    How much you’ve empowered yourself by setting boundaries, saying “no” to what you don’t want, taking risks, learning to express what you think
•    Taking steps, however small, to making your dreams come true
•    The amount of joy you had during the year
•    The amount of good self-care you gave yourself
•    All the things you can list when you count your blessings.

According to that criteria, I have lots of birthday abundance. While I have some signs of getting older, I feel grateful for everything I have. So I’m as giddy about the day as I celebrate another year of my life. It’s important to accept that you can’t stop the years from passing or your age increasing in number. But, it is your choice to make yourself miserable or to feel joyful that you’re still here and have many blessings. Trust me, the latter is so much better!

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