Well, it's here. My birthday.
To be completely honest, I don't really look forward to my birthday anymore. I haven't really for a long time.
Around two years ago, I remember telling my sister- and brother-in-law that no one really cares about your birthday once you're in the real world. Sure, your close friends and family care--but no one at work really wants to throw you a party or take you to lunch. They might, but ultimately, it's not make-or-break for them. My sister-in-law, bless her, was shocked to learn that no one I knew made a big deal about my birthday: at work, I don't like parties and even if they tried to throw me one, I would probably say no thank you.
To some people, this is probably shocking. When I was younger, I promise, I did love my birthday. I just don't anymore.
It's not that I'm growing older. I really don't care how old I am. But the older I've gotten, the more I've realized that the world doesn't, can't, and probably shouldn't revolve around me--no matter how small the capacity. I also, generally, hate the idea of other people spending money on me: I can think of 100 different ways for my husband, my mom, my friends to spend their money ("put it in savings," is what I always want to say).
This feeling has gotten worse this year. In the past year, I think I have bought things for myself under 6 or 7 times. I barely go shopping anymore, and that includes online shopping. I bought a make up palette in August and felt guilty about it for weeks. Something about becoming a mom made my attitude about spending money kick into high gear: the money I spend on a new pair of shoes could go into Forrest's college fund, or towards his food, or buy him some new clothes because he's always outgrowing something.
I would rather all money and attention go towards something else--preferable Forrest, but I'm not picky.
However, this post isn't about my life as a spendthrift. This post is about how this--the habit I've detailed about--is a habit I'm trying to break.
Due to a series of unfortunate events recently, I've realized that I need to start caring about myself just a teensy, weensy bit more. I don't think I'm ever going to turn into one of those people who demands attention be paid to them or gets upset when no one in the office wishes them happy birthday, but I now know that it's okay for me to demand time for myself, it's okay for me to take care of myself, and it's okay for me to accept gifts and not feel guilty.
For my 28th year, that's my wish for myself: no more returning things I buy myself; no more talking myself out of buying something I really, truly want more than anything else; no more calculating how much money I have in my head and deciding, "no, I should buy something for Forrest instead." No more!
It's okay to take care of myself. That's what I wish for next year: more self-care, less anxiety.