Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Birthday survival tips

Today Dec. 19th, is my birthday, and that has me thinking about how tied our attitudes about ourselves are to this special day. So I decided I would write a post about birthdays, why they are important and why it is a good idea to develop a plan for celebrating or at least acknowledging them.

Birthdays mark the day we began our life’s journey. Each individual’s life journey is important both to them and to all the people they are connected to. We don’t live in a vacuum - everything we do has an effect – whether positive or negative - on those around us. We are a piece of a very large human puzzle that would not be complete without us.

Many people who come to me for counseling feel that their life is not important because they aren’t financially successful, or they haven’t met the right partner, or they don’t have children. Believe it or not there are others that think that the opposite is true - the fact that they just got married and had children means they are unimportant. The truth is the only life that has no value is a life that is not lived.

Birthdays are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate our lives, and to ask others to join us in that celebration. Often times, however, instead of celebrating many of us fall into the victim role. We say things to ourselves like, “nobody cares”, “I don’t matter anyway” or we abuse ourselves with other forms of “poor me” self talk. In recovery we have chosen to live our lives fully, and if we want to develop sober thinking it is important to reject the negative self talk and take action. What actions can you take? Here are some suggestions: buy yourself a birthday present, remind the people you care about that it’s your birthday so they have an opportunity to acknowledge it, or host your own birthday party.

I want to leave you all with this quote from a movie I recently saw, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium: “your life is an occasion, rise to it.” So what will I do today? I plan to share the day with people who make me feel good about myself.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Rita!

Good stuff. Interesting how the birthday really is tied to the self-image, and how our birthday behavior reveals that. I'm thinking maybe I'll add "new birthday strategy" to my 2008 To Do List.

Thanks Rita!

-- Jeanine

Anonymous said...

Hi, Rita Carol:
I thoroughly agree that celebrating your birthday is a very important opportunity to feel good, surround yourself with people who care about you and who help sustain your life as a positive experience. Hope your day with the kids was wonderful. I'm sorry we couldn't connect but you know I was there in spirit.
Much love and thanks for sharing.

Daniel Fay said...

Personally, I've come to think of birthdays as gentle, friendly reminders of the passage time with a message: Life is a series of moments enjoy yours now, for it is only here now.
Every year spent on the road to happy destiny is truly something to celebrate.
Happy Birthday Mom!!