Yesterday was my 37th birthday, and I’ve started my new year in the most horrible way, by focusing on the negative…


Even though it was a lovely day, I just couldn’t get the happy birthday feeling sink in. And that bugged me. Everybody did their best to make me feel like a birthday girl, but it only reached the surface. It just goes to show, that nobody can make you happy, unless you make yourself happy.


Ever since my chronical illness, I’ve looked differently at my birthdays. I have always hated it. I felt like it was a day filled with false sincerity. They bring you gifts, and in return you must make sure of their every need, and fulfill their expectations, for them to party with the other guests to be happy you exist. And in the meantime while you should be happy this is your day, the only thing you end up doing, is pleasing others.


But, like I said, since my chronical illness, I’ve see things differently. When the 13th of August arrives, I really am happy and filled with joy. Not because I’m so happy of my existence, but of all my hard work to simply survive. Not only physically, but mentally as well. The fact I made it yet another year to enjoy life and make it the best one for me, to look back to.


But I couldn’t reach that feeling this time. And I felt it days before, simmering deep in my veins. Utter sadness. And of what???


I tried to pull myself out of it, to get the birthday garlands and balloons from the attic, the night before. It always makes me smile, when there are cheerful, bright colored garlands and balloons hanging in the air. But when I sat on the floor, and opened the box with the neatly folded garlands, I stared and hesitated. ‘Why should I bother. I can’t get up a step ladder, or inflate the balloons, and Ramon can’t help me because he’s recovering.’


So I put them back.


I gave in to my lack of energy by not baking an apple-pie. Why should I, the people that will be coming to visit, will decline anyway, plus I can’t eat it.


I wanted to spare Ramon as much as I could, because deep in my heart, he is the most important person, I really want to spend my birthday with. So the people that came by to congratulate me, made me nervous it would exhaust Ramon too much, in which I would not be able to do something nice with Ramon.


Blèh…..How shamefully selfish of me!


And the funny part is, now I think of it, Ramon probably was so adamant to ask people over, so I would feel like a birthday girl, because he wasn’t able to do anything, like he normally does. And went beyond his limitations, to be part of the celebration with the people closest to me, just for me.


So all these wonderful people, went out of their way to make me feel happy, and I only felt guilty for not being happy. When the day was almost at its end, I was exhausted. Ramon was sleeping, and I snuggled on the couch, buried deep into a blanket to watch a movie. I felt self-pity. I even was angry at the weather, for the lack of sunshine, which made Ramon’s brilliant idea to celebrate my party outside, to reserve energy, obsolete.


Oh, how I wanted it to rain…..


I hated my negative thoughts. And while I was barely watching the movie, I wanted to reverse the negative feelings. This isn’t anything like me!


And I succeeded.


It was a lovely day!


Ramon was still at my side to be able to celebrate my hard work. My parents made me feel like their precious little girl again, by waking me up with the biggest smile, singing the Happy Birthday song loud and clear over the phone. My sister gave me the most beautiful verse, telling me who and what I am to her. My mother in law remembered me, and my brother- and sister-in law made me feel like a superhero. Not to mention all the family and friends whom made me feel so loved. I got overwhelmed with the amount of gifts I received, to bring me closer in making my wish to visit an exhibition of Beatrice Potter held in de V&A museum in London, become more and more real.


And there it was….


Tiny little sparks of happiness, and small dashes of pride of my accomplishments over the past year.


And then it started to rain.


My eyes teared up. I got what I wished for.


And it was the best moment of my day. The realization why I felt the way I did, reversing the negative feeling, let all the love I received, seep into my veins, hearing Ramon snoring on the background, and have the rain make the finishing touch to a perfect snuggle time. I crafted a Beatrice Potter treasure box to store my donations, making it just as special, as it made me feel receiving it. And to compensate for the lack of bright and colorful garlands and balloons, I sprinkled bright colorful sprinkles on anything that could be sprinkled.


happy birthday


And just moments before the day ended, I really felt like a birthday girl.