How to Beat the Birthday Blues

Happy birthday candles on a cake

This post is a bit different from what I usually write. You see, today is my 49th birthday. That’s right. The year before the “big” one! While I happen to like birthdays, this one feels a bit major to me.

Could it be because of the many changes I made while at the youthful age of 48? After all, I left the comforts of full-time employment to embark on life as a freelance writer. That was pretty big. I went back to school for extra training in social media. My oldest son’s voice dropped two octaves, my daughter got braces and moved gyms (she’s a Level 9 competitive gymnast!), my little guy weathered the storm of switching schools, and my husband’s company changed hands.

My kids are growing up and, for some reason, the older I get, the worse that makes me feel. I find myself sobbing when I look at old photo albums as I realize how much — and how fast — time has gone by. If only I could freeze my kids at the same age for a few years. Who knows? Maybe I’d freeze with them!

My husband, the realist, says that’s not going to happen, so what’s a 49-year old girl to do to beat the birthday blues?

Start the day by checking Facebook! I must say that waking up to 20 or 30 birthday wishes from friends and family is pretty great. The best part is that they keep coming throughout the day. Some greetings even come the old fashioned way – by telephone! My birthday morning would not be complete without a call from my dad. I treasure that.

Shop! My Birthday is on Cyber Monday! What’s especially great is when retail stores that you frequent send you discounts and coupons to redeem on your birthday. When you combine those with Cyber Monday sales, there are some great deals to be had. There’s nothing quite like buying yourself something and getting it for way less than usual on your birthday! (I already placed my order, by the way! Thanks Kohl’s for the birthday bucks!

Get the mail! My first card arrived in the mail on Saturday from a dear friend who never forgets and my kids and husband left three funny ones for me on the counter this morning. Cards are so much fun! Be sure to check both mail boxes – the one outside and the one in your computer for birthday greetings. I’m grateful that so many people take the time to say something nice.

Work! While many people like to take the day off on their birthday, I’m happy to be working! In a mere seven months, I’ve gotten my new freelance business off the ground. I still have a long way to go, but I’m getting there. Just wait until you see what my 50th year brings!

Eat cake! While the last thing my 49-year-old waistline needs is cake, my kids say it’s a must. I happen to agree. Whether it’s cake, a brownie, cookie, or donut, I’m believer that everyone should hear the birthday song and blow out candles placed in something yummy on their big day. I haven’t seen a cake just yet, but I think one is coming.

Dream. Just writing this post has cheered me up. I have many things (mostly people!) to be thankful for and plan on continuing to dream big. And, while I can’t freeze time, I plan on continuing to enjoy it with the people I love the most.

I wish you many wonderful birthdays — sans the blues.

Do you ever get the birthday blues?  How do you banish them?  I will definitely need suggestions for next year…besides having a huge party, that is! 

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About Mary Jane Kinkade

I am the Director of Marketing and Development at Our Lady of Mercy Academy, South Jersey's premier Catholic high school for young women. I am mom to three amazing kids, married to my best friend, and happiest when at the beach (writing, of course!).
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