I have a friend that dreads his birthday.
Yup, his OWN birthday.
In the 12 years that I have known him, I have watched him go from being completely elated and excited about celebrating his birthday, to being completely withdrawn and melancholy about it.
And it’s not for the reason you may think (the reason I originally thought)… it’s not because he’s another year older.
This past Tuesday, was yet again his birthday… and as to repeat recent years history, he was in a serious funk on a day that most people see as their own personal holiday.
This year, we really took some time to talk about why it is that he gets so upset and isolated on his birthday- and the answer, although surprising, made a lot of sense… because I think it’s something that a lot of us can relate to in one way or another.
When I asked him why it was that he felt this way every year on his birthday, he responded at first by saying he “didn’t really know”.
But, as we continued to talk and relax a bit, he opened up and admitted that it’s because this is his day of reflection. Every year on his birthday he reflects on all that he has done since his last birthday, and where he is now from where he had been then; and, in recent years, he feels as if he’s been letting himself down. He hasn’t been living up to his own expectations of himself.
“How could that be?” I asked him. And he went on to rattle off a list of all of the things he wanted to have accomplished by his birthday this year that he felt he was still far from achieving; and maybe he was… but honestly, that’s not the point.
And that’s exactly what I told him. I reminded him of all of the things he had accomplished this year, that maybe weren’t his initial goals, but they were big accomplishments, nonetheless. He had managed to earn three promotions within a major company in just one year… he produced some of the most inspiring and heartfelt art I have seen/ heard in a while… AND motivated himself to finish up his degree.
And that’s when I realized that we ALL are guilty of this in some way or another. We have these idea in our heads that we’re supposed to be at a certain point in our lives at a specific time, and if we’re not- well, we’re failures. But that just isn’t the case. Maybe you’re not where you wanted to be a year ago, but I can almost guarantee you ARE where you’re supposed to be.
So much can change within a year time-span. You grow as a person. Things far beyond your control happen; and some things have to take immediate precedence over others. That’s just life. And although it’s okay and understandable to be upset that you didn’t achieve everything you wanted to by the deadline you wanted them done, it’s also important to give yourself (and others) credit where credit is due.
So, maybe you didn’t accomplish exactly what you thought you’d have accomplished by now, but I’ll bet that you have accomplished a lot of other great things you never even dreamed of in the meantime.
What I am trying to say is that it is okay to have unaccomplished goals, as long as you keep moving toward something to better yourself as a person.
Are you struggling with giving yourself credit, accepting yourself for all that you are or would like some guidance with a more positive outlook, or are you just interested in talking to someone about things going on in your life because you simply feel that you do not as you should? Sometimes having a partner in your journey can help. Give us a call to set up a free phone consultation at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378, and one of our Orlando Individual Counselors, Orlando Life Coaches, Orlando Teen Counselors, and Orlando Child counselors would be more than happy to help you, a family member, or a friend work on changing your life.