Birthday blues, defined as a general sadness or feeling down by a person on or around his/her birthday (thanks, urban dictionary) are actually a lot more common than I thought. I used to think it was just me who hated their birthday but I’ve come to learn that’s not the case.
Why do we get birthday blues?
I did some googling as to why we feel low around our birthday and I found a number of things:
- You’re sad you’re getting older
- Your celebrations sucked and you’re disappointed
- You feel like you haven’t achieved enough in the last year
None of these really apply to me. I always make a joke about how old I am – mostly because a lot my friends are younger than me because I took a year out before going to university – but in reality, getting older doesn’t bother me at all. I always enjoy the time spent celebrating my birthday, and I’m always so grateful for the company of friends and the gifts I received and feel happy afterwards. And my previous post about being 23 is testament enough that I’ve had a great year.
So why do I hate my birthday?
Okay, I don’t hate my birthday, I hate the run up to my birthday.
I don’t like being the centre of attention and I don’t like the idea of making people take time out of their schedules just for me so I hate planning anything to celebrate it. I don’t like making a big deal about it and I think that’s why I struggle to conjure up a plan.
Every year I feel like this, and every year on the day of my birthday I get proved wrong and feel so warm and fuzzy and loved. So this year, I told myself to stop being an idiot
Since moving to the Bath/Bristol area, I haven’t really travelled home to celebrate my birthday with my family or home friends but this year I did.
My mum is a foster career and the little girl she’s looking after is, for loss of a better phrase, my biggest fan. I don’t know why, but for some reason she’s obsessed with me and it warms my heart. Her birthday was the weekend before mine and she wanted me to come to her birthday party so Mike and I went up to Leicester to celebrate.
She wanted to go to a trampoline park but my mum didn’t fancy going herself so me and Mike volunteered to take her and her brother, who my mum also looks after. The trampolining was so much fun but incredibly exhausting, I woke up the next day with aches in muscles I didn’t even know I had!
When we got back, mum had planned a little party for all of us to celebrate – she’d made a beautiful cake and put on a little spread and I even got my own balloon! It was the loveliest day.
Keep it simple
Of course, my friends don’t actually mind taking the time to celebrate my birthday with me (or so I hope…) and I don’t actually see them as much as I used to so what better excuse than a birthday to get together with some of your favourite people? And whats simpler than going out for a meal?
My mum always used to say to me: “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” and it’s true. Nobody is going to know that you want to spend your birthday with them if you don’t ask.
I think the not wanting to ask stems from my fear of rejection, but a friend won’t turn you down unless they have a valid reason to do so. A few of my friends were already booked out for the evening I had in mind, but I still had a great time with the ones who were able to make it, and I’m really glad I told myself to stop being an idiot and just ask.
Do something you love on the day
This year, the musical Jersey Boys was in Bristol on the day of my birthday so Mike and I booked some cheap tickets to the matinee show. I’ve wanted to see the show for a long time, so this gave me something to look forward to that wasn’t actually my birthday on the day of my birthday. It had been a long time since I’d treated myself to watching a musical (I think the last was Dream Girls two years ago!) and the show was phenomenal, it really was an incredible day.
In the evening I went out for a meal with Mike’s family (who doesn’t love food, especially pizza) and we spent the rest of the evening playing Articulate (my favourite game) while having a few drinks.
Surround yourself with amazing people
The people in your life really do make special occasions even more special. My family, my friends, Mike and his family all went out of their way to make my birthday an amazing day. Mike got me tickets to see Hamilton for my birthday and his mum made me a Hamilton birthday cake and it really was an incredible weekend.
Do you get birthday blues? Or do you celebrate a birthday month?