Take charge of your own happiness

Take charge of your own happiness

You’re the only one who can truly make you happy.

On Sunday, I turned the big 3-0. Like most birthdays, it went by without much recognition. I’m the mom of a young child, so I don’t do what I used to do for my birthday—spend the day with my husband shopping, dining out, seeing movies, whatever. I used to buy an instrument from World Market every birthday. These days, we can’t afford a sitter AND a date, so we don’t usually do anything. He does make me my favorite soup and I do take the day off, which is nice.

That morning I decided to make my own happiness. I knew I wouldn’t be getting any surprises—I’m the one who throws them, not who gets them, I usually think bitterly—so I’d better create my own. I really did my best; I sang with my kiddo—my husband was working for the day—and we watched Bored Shorts, which is my new favorite show.

I tried to make an origami Batman, but gave up in the middle of the 17-minute video, and I treated myself to some caramel gelato and red wine—both things I’d bought just for the occasion weeks ago when we could. I wrote a lot in my journal, which was also nice. All in all, not a very exciting day, but it was fine.

This attitude, however, affected everything. There were moments when I felt pretty down—I also had a stomachache off and on over the weekend, which wasn’t fun!—but save for a rant with my best friend, overall I kept a pretty positive attitude. And guess what happened? Over the week, I had so many surprises!

An unexpected check from an old job came in and we paid off some bills—and even ate out once. I was serenaded at the post office, and a brand new book came in the mail from my sister. My best friend came over for a plain old play date (which is fun enough, since it’s our play date, too!) and instead made me a party, complete with dinner and a shirt she handmade just for me.

I felt pretty damn special all week long—but even more than that, I felt “got,” which is what every woman (and maybe men, too; I don’t know) wants for her birthday. We want to know people are thinking of us, and that they get us; they know us. Would all of these festivities happened had I maintained a gloomy mood? Probably, but maybe not. And because I chose to keep myself busy doing things I enjoyed rather than sulk about things I couldn’t control, I had a pretty stellar birthday.