Birthday Blues

I’ve got the birthday blues today.

There, I’ve said it.

I looked back on last year’s birthday entry here and the celebratory mood I was in to try to recapture some of that feeling, but it didn’t work. I debated whether I want to write such a down-beat post today, but since I stopped keeping a diary when I started blogging, I still want to keep a record of my thoughts and feelings for myself and I always feel better once I’ve written things down here.

I’ve never had the birthday blues before; but this year, I feel so much sadness that my mother, who always made a lovely fuss over all her kids’ birthdays, isn’t even aware of the day. I know I am lucky that she is still here, although I can’t communicate with her in the same way, and I am lucky that I have my health, and so many other blessings in my life, but still..I’ve got the birthday blues.

I am really conscious of the passing of time this year- partly it’s watching my parents ageing and becoming frail and vulnerable and partly it’s that another year has passed by with failed fertility attempts. You know how when you are small and blowing out the candles on your birthday cake, you make a wish for your heart’s desire to come true…well for the past few years,  I’ve blown out those metaphorical candles and made the same wish and hoped next year on my birthday, it will have come true. I’ve come close for the past three years, but it wasn’t to be.

Reading back on this post, I am afraid I come across as a spoilt, petulant child who hasn’t got the birthday presents she expected to get. But, I ask you, am I the only one who gets the birthday blues from time to time?

My own mother hated her birthday and never wanted us to acknowledge it. This would stress me out each year, as I wanted to make a fuss and spoil her on her birthday, but was aware from a young age, how down she got on the day. This year, I decided I would respect her wishes and I wouldn’t make a big deal out of the day and then the very next day after her birthday, was the day she fell ill. I now feel really guilty that I didn’t do more for her on that day after all.

I was feeling so sorry for myself that I didn’t get my usual birthday card and present from my Mum this year, that I hadn’t even opened the present that my husband gave me. I was hoping to shake off some of these birthday blues before opening his gift. We had long ago in our relationship wisely come to the agreement that he would give me a gift card to choose my own present, but for some reason, he wanted to buy me something this year, and I’ve just opened it now.  It’s a purple woolly hat and scarf! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The first thing that springs to mind is Jenny Joseph’s poem about purple-wearing old women:

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me

You know, I think I feel better already…..

So, I shall put on my purple woolly hat and scarf and take myself off for a walk through the autumn leaves, and then I will treat myself to a cappuccino and a slice of something very chocolaty and fattening for my birthday, and by the time I come home, I am sure I will have shaken off these birthday blues.

How about you? Do you ever get the birthday blues? How do you shake them off if you?

Happy Birthday to Me!