Happy Birthday…Where’s my Gift?

The anniversary of my life has come again. Happy birthday to Me!

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Stuart Miles

Do you remember how awesome birthdays were when we were kids? If you don’t, Just ask a child about his birthday and watch the magic in his eyes. My kindergarten girl just had a conversation with me about her birthday. It went something like this:

Mom, why do people have to work on my birthday?
Hon, it’s because your birthday is during the week and that is when most people work.
But Mom, shouldn’t we have the day off? It is a holiday, right?

That’s how special birthdays are to my child…she thinks the whole world celebrates her day because in my house we make birthdays a big deal. Except for mine. My loved ones reap the benefit of my tendency to overdo things, but I draw the line at overdoing my own festivities so I’ve had to do the mom thing and grin through cheesy antics, no decorations,  and less than impressive homemade giftings. I’m not ungrateful though; just poking fun at the  situation.  And being honest. That’s what happens to moms but the love is always there. Always.

And in all truthfulness, as my kids get older (and as I get more needy and whiny) my family has risen to the challenge to make my day just as grand as I help make theirs. Hubby has even stepped up the gift giving with amazingly thoughtful gifts, which is quite frankly my favorite part of the festivities. So favorite, in fact, that I have decided to finally give myself a gift this year.

Image curtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

Image curtesy of master isolated images/freedigitalphotos.net

I am starting a new tradition and investing in this “happy birthday to me” by giving myself…PERMISSION.

PERMISSION is a gift that lots of us could unwrap in our lives. What excuses have you used to keep yourself bound up, locked in, or just plain stuck in the ruts of your life? Routines that, albeit safe, keep your heart in a state of dissatisfaction. If only you took that chance, found the courage to take that step, gave yourself PERMISSION to dream, to hope, to aspire, to set in motion the gifts that are found in you…what life awaits you? Will you give yourself permission to find out?

This birthday year, I give myself PERMISSION. God has given me gifts and dreams…of which you are a part. And I am giving myself PERMISSION to step towards them. I will make time for myself. I will take the more difficult but most successful road. I will stop watching and comparing myself with everyone else and investing regularly in myself. As I open up my gift, would you share it with me? I will be sharing my journey as it unfolds, laying a foundation for success and living life as it develops. We will continue to search out authenticity, face fears, and no matter what else learn to take whatever life dishes and still remain…

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JUST PEACHIE

Thanks for sharing this day with me. Want to make my birthday even better? Would you please share this post with everyone you know? There may be some cake in it for you (you’d have to buy it for yourself as and then you can eat it…but I give you permission to do so!)

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Christmas Special for Me{N}U: The Same Old

This Holiday Season is full of what some call tradition…

I could call it the “same old thing”.

Image courtesy of kibsri/freegdigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of kibsri/freegdigitalphotos.net

I usually don’t do the “same old” very well.

My husband on the other hand is an expert. For example, he can eat the same meal FOREVER depending on the meal, of course. While he was in high school, my husband was dared by his father to eat only pizza (his favorite food) for a month, thinking hubby dear would surely fail. My husband, and the pizza company, triumphed gloriously in cheesy goodness.

I can hardly stand eating the same meal twice in ONE WEEK! Even the tastiest of morsels have a time limit on my palate. Leftovers make me feel like I’ve been there, ate that–new experience please. I need to trade in the same old thing.

I need something different.

I am guessing this buffet-style of living strikes a common chord with some of you. If not, humor the rest of us and read along anyway. AYCE (all-you-can-eat) chains can be found everywhere. Their appeal, besides the gorge factor, can be found in the tremendous variety that each restaurant offers. Channel surfing can now be deemed a national sport due to the multitudes of viewing options in the digital world (so how comes there’s never anything to watch?) Go ahead…add to this list of overindulgence aka things I often enjoy.

I enjoy variety because I tend to get–what’s that word?–oh yeah, “bored” with the same old things so I continue on with this endless, and admittedly tiring, search for the new, for the trendy, for the exciting. However, I continue to receive a lot of same ol’ –just repackaged.

Take a look at holiday specials for example.

PicMonkey Sample

picMonkey.com

Most of us celebrate “the holidays” in some way and we each have our favorite traditions and mine are typically found in music and movies. I love Christmas music and movies! Take a moment and sing your favorite Yuletide melody with me. (You know you want to spread Christmas cheer!) My husband, the pizza eater,—not so much. He gets tired of the, you guessed it, same old. Same old songs, same old movies, every year. He asks, “How many times can you listen to that song?” And I reply, “It’s not the same song. The last one was a ballad, this was one was sung polka style!” And one of my fave shows can be watched with the main character as a mouse, or as a digitally animated old man portrayed by an actor of many faces, or better yet a puppet! All three shows based on the same book with the same name, and same endings but because of my distaste of the same old, I can keep all three in my holiday watching rotation without boredom because even the smallest variation to me makes the show just a little different, just a bit new. My family and I can chug down cocoa and gobble up popcorn for each and every one of them (hubby joins in for the eating). Holiday traditions know extremely well how to repurpose the same old, which is why I love them.

I’m good with the same old in a different way. Because it seems new. Shallow? Perhaps, but at least I’m honest. And truth really be told, the same old things aren’t what bores me, it’s the same old feelings. I chase feelings.

This time of year is full of feelings. I reenact the same traditions so that I can recapture those peaceful, loving feelings and share them with my own children and the people I love. Those feelings never get tiring.

In my life, I often struggle to stay content with the same old. Just today I got upset as my house was  compared to someone else’s and it didn’t quite measure up. Not quite big enough. Not quite lavish enough. Does that have to equal not quite good enough? I get sucked in to the lie to buy more to feel full, to look over the fence to find the greener grass, to trade up to be better.

The same old game.

The same old lie.

My feelings need to be controlled. Easy to say but without help almost impossible to do. I have to be aware. I have to be on guard. And for me, I have to pray. I celebrate Christmas because my life center is Christ. I notice that as I am grateful and realize how much God has done and is doing for me, I can’t help but be ok with my present situation. There is a wise word from the Bible which says: in all things, be content. Such a small statement but such a huge task. Did you catch the small but massive word: ALL.

In ALL things?

Without enough money to pay bills? With sickness? With loneliness?

My Fridge with Thanksgiving LeftoversWith leftovers?

Be content. In ALL things.

The only way I have found to do this is to take a page from that carol of Christmas and repurpose my same old attitude into something new. I may not be able to change the story of my life, but through prayer and intentionality, I can change how I think and respond to it. It’s my choice. My attitude. My outlook. My response.

This holiday and in this new year, I am going to do something different. How about you? Settling for the same old? Searching for the feelings of newness? Why not trade it for just something different. And the difference starts with
Me …&…U. Check out this list from blogger Ruth at her site living well  spending less to get you started.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. And let’s work this year on staying,

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