I like birthdays. I look forward to celebrating my friends’ birthdays, my kids’ birthdays, my extended family’s birthdays. Even when I was a kid, I would get slightly disappointed when things did not go as planned for my birthday celebrations. Since I’ve become a mother, I have not really been focusing on my own birthdays. I go through all the trouble in the world planning and orchestrating my kids’ birthday parties; however, when it comes to my own, I feel like I am just devoid of energy, enthusiasm or ideas. Even my fortieth birthday, a major milestone, was a NON-event.
I am not sure if I can ever mimic the same enthusiasm that I had for my birthdays when I was younger. This weekend, for instance, I celebrated my birthday with a simple dinner with family. That was good enough for me.
Since I have turned 40, I feel slightly different with each passing year. I feel somewhat freer, less encumbered, closer to my true self now that I am near my mid-forties. It is true that there is now less baggage from my twenties and early thirties and I am also getting out of the fog of early motherhood when life was consumed by my kids 24-7. Perhaps the key to being true to myself is to not care so much about what other people think and just do things that make me happy. It is through this attitude that I feel closer to self-actualization. Who cares about the rules of conformity and “playing it safe” when these things can stifle you? So with every passing year, I vow to push out all those somewhat “self-imposed” voices in my head and be true to who I am. At the same time, I plan to take myself slightly out of my comfort zone for I know that a tiny bit of tension yields to just better performance, awareness and vitality in my life.