Friday, November 20, 2015

The Birthday Gift I Desperately Need



Photo Credit: Joey Gannon


My niece's son, B (Yes, I'm his grandma), celebrated his third birthday a couple of months ago. On that day my niece posted on social media that they celebrated by filling B's day with his most favorite thingsgoing to the arcade, pies, cupcakesall around fun stuff. I thought it made perfect sense to celebrate birthdays this way, celebrating by surrounding yourself with the people and things you love and enjoy the most. 

Last week, I celebrated mine. I pretty much just stayed home all day and struggled with making the day feel special. Sure, I can say that I have an excuse in the form of a husband who just had a shoulder surgery three days prior. Insisting on a celebration while your significant other is walking around with a sling just didn't sit well with me.

But beyond that excuse, the really disturbing reason is that I sincerely couldn't figure out how I wanted to celebrate. If you asked me what my ideal birthday celebration would look like, I honestly wouldn't know how to answer you. In the end, I ended up spending much of the day envying 3-year-old little B. At least he knew.

Maybe a trip to Las Vegas to eat, watch shows, gamble and eat again....But it's Fall...too many germs and viruses this time of year to be in such a crowded place.

Maybe a nice day out with my oldest and dearest friends and family, watch a movie, enjoy a meal, have coffee while drowning ourselves in overanalysis! Yes!!....Oh right...my oldest and dearest mostly live hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Maybe just a shop-'til-you-drop day at the Container Store, different apparel stores and makeup stores...Really? Since when has shopping fulfilled anyone? And to spend an insane amount of money on clothes and makeup and containers?? I feel guilty just thinking about it.

Alright then, I guess I just want to be alone all day and night, lounge and completely free myself of all sense of responsibility and just chillax...Ummm, maybe a lobotomy is what I need to do first for this to be even remotely possible!

As you can see from a sampling of my thought process above, I am really my own worst, most ruthless enemy and critique. For every thought, a counterargument is almost simultaneously fired. It's like my brain is in a constant state of reload, as if I can't shoot down my own ideas fast enough.

After all this, it finally dawned on me that there really is only one gift that people like myself desperately need and that is Permissiona priceless gift that can only come from within.

This is why children have fun and know how to have joy in their lives. They know how to be themselves and really don't need permission to savor their experiences. Everything seems to be novel and as adults, we actually encourage them to enjoy, be amazed and be free of worries. They are in the moment and don't bother with the cost of gifts, the calories each bite is worth, nor the question of whether or not they deserve it. They just accept and say 'thank you'.

I need to give myself permission to relax, to enjoy material things, compliments, and to just savor the moment. I need to give myself permission to believe that I do deserve as many pockets of happiness especially when I celebrate being given the gift of life and more than 4 decades of doing my best to evolve in this earth school. 

We are all just struggling and grinding away in our own ways. I think each of us deserves a healthy serving of Permission every now and then. A little joy never hurt anyone. Go ask the kids.














16 comments:

  1. I love this because it's so true! As mothers, we rarely give ourselves permission just to relax and enjoy the moment. Happy Birthday!

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    1. Thanks, Marcia! Motherhood is the toughest, least appreciated job and yet we still find it hard to give ourselves some break. I guess this shows that this position can really only be occupied with a significant degree of altruism. I hope it's not martyrdom though. I need my permission now!! Hahaha.....Thanks for stopping by! :-)

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  2. I'm not there yet -- but totally agree with the idea!

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    1. Let's take it one baby step a time, Carol. Good luck to us! :-))

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  3. Great insights! It gets easier, Joy. I'll be 52 on Thanksgiving, and I think I gave myself Permission when the last child left home. Don't wait that long, though!

    Happy birthday again, my friend. Healing intentions sent up for the hubbadubs.

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    1. Thank you so much, Cookie! I do hope it won't take me too long. ;-)

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  4. It is so true. I need permission, too. Brilliant!

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    1. Thank you as always, Diane. I'm happy to see I'm in good company...is that good or bad that I'm not alone in this?? hmmmm......

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  5. I find that giving yourself permission without guilt can be a bit of a bargaining proposition. Like arguing with your alter ego that forces you to justify tour actions. I hope you will allow yourself to take off your birthday and that your family will agree, but I have a suspicion based on my own experience, that it may be harder than you expect. Have a wonderful birthday either way. Best wishes! Enjoy!!!

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    1. It was a no-biggie day as far as celebrations go, Pennie. But happy that I still was able to enjoy a nice dinner with my boys. Yes, it's really hard to do this permission thing. I just have to push my limits a tiny step a time as with most things. Thank you so much :-)

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  6. I love this idea of permission. You will laugh when I tell you what I give myself permission to do on my bday. My husband takes half a day off (per my request) and drives me around to do all the annoying errands I've been saving up for this exact day. (My bday is very late Dec so it's cold, terrible driving, lots of returns, etc.) This way I don't have to park. He pulls up next to a store and I run in to do what I need, then on to the next store. Isn't that weird? But we look forward to it and then we take the kids somewhere fun for dinner. The end!

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    1. That's so sweet of him, although you deserve it! I can imagine myself doing that though and feel rushed. I told you I need a lobotomy. Hahahah....Great idea, Nina! Thanks!!

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  7. You're dead on! I loved this post Joy!

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    1. Glad to know I'm not alone! Thanks Marie. I guess we both need some work to do.

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  8. Our own minds are the only things holding us back from so much! One day we'll conquer this thing that sits on our shoulders! Happy belated birthday!

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