Happy Birthday, question mark

As of September 2017, The Meyer Suite is five years old. And as of September 2017, I am 39 years old. In moments of cosmic connectivity, you congratulate me, and I thank you. You’re happy for me, and I’m happy you’re happy for me. Then my ego waits for the next hit of ‘happiness.’

On my birthday, you said or asked, “Happy Birthday! Congratulations! Enjoy! Here’s to a fantastic year and many more! Did you have a good birthday?”

“It was a weird day,” I answered.

Happy Birthday, question mark. Was it? Will it be? And what else will it be?

This year, my birthday was like most days: there were a few lovely, celebratory moments, mostly blah moments (on your birthday, “blah,” just means “ordinary”), there was an email that was really hard to read and dampened my mood, and there was conversation and connectivity. I wanted it to be what everyone was wishing me: a GREAT day that sets the tone for the year ahead. While I didn’t send it down the drain, it was not ALL-CAPS-GREAT.

Until sitting to write this in the week following my personal birthday, I realize I had forgotten my company’s milestone. I somewhat downplay my own birthday; and just as I’ve done writing this blog post, both ignored and skipped right on over the fact that something I created, built, both nurture and neglect, exists. The company is HERE! This is a blog post on my company’s website, and I am HERE to write it! I don’t need to throw a party (or maybe I should?), but I need to appreciate this, and let others appreciate me.

At this point, if you’re not thinking “E for Elizabeth; E for Eeyore,” you should be; I am! These
anniversary dates aren’t coinciding with euphoric feelings; ugh! I am not dismissing well-wishes AT ALL, but have I mismanaged my own expectations of what it’s like to collect those on your anniversary?

What I have realized is this: this year, in particular, I struggled to connect with the statements others send me. Therein lies the subtle root of my internal conflict: I was questioning, “Happy Birthday, exclamation point.”

I want more. I find myself craving/asking for more in the year ahead, both professionally and
personally, than what I got. Friends and family members sent along exactly what I send along:
pleasantries, good thoughts, well-wishes, and exclamation points. And I want more. Not more wishes than last year, not more acknowledgment of existence, but stuff that exists further out on the path of well-wishes. Not more emphasis on the exclamation points, but more understanding of what the sender means. Not more “good,” but more depth and honesty.

After you digest this, you’ll want more. And in wanting more depth and honesty for ourselves, we must recognize the call to also provide it to others. It is received and honored in such a cool way! We are greedy for “more,” but also giving more!

Again, not to say we don’t simply wish people well, but we are going deeper. Further out on the path of well-wishes:

  • I wish you a celebratory feeling at some point in the day.
  • I wish you conscious awareness of your thoughts.
  • I wish you a shiver as thing you wish for while blowing out your candles actually comes true.
  • I wish you a light feeling that accompanies an “a-ha” moment, following an extended period of struggle.
  • I wish you the kind of gift that you can only give yourself.

I could go on and on with these, but instead will ask you for what I should have asked for in early September: your well-wishes, found further out on the path. Please share/practice them here in the comments, and then go out there to that same spot on the path with others this year! And go out there for yourselves!

May the time in between Happy Birthday’s – seconds, as well as days – be more. Period.

- Elizabeth

p.s. This is how I responded to a friend who asked if I had a good birthday:

“It ended up being such an odd day! I put a lot of pressure on it being “great,” and setting the on the tone for a new year. In reality, it did set tones: gratitude through struggle, friendship, deeper-than-surface conversation, professional challenges that indicate I’m “in it” (not sitting side-lined), new things, [physical] strength, good wine, making the best of situations that seem dumb, and love. That is what 39 will be.”