I had 154 Facebook greetings on my 52nd birthday.
I have never had this many friends in my life, let alone wish me a happy birthday.
Ok, ok. We all know they aren’t all the same “type” of friend. They all haven’t gone to Knapp Elementary School. They didn’t take tap lessons with me while in Junior High. We didn’t march together and share a once-in-a-life-time experience in the North Penn High School Marching Band.
Some of my birthday well-wishers were from “new friends” who don’t know much about me at all actually. We may have met while doing some networking online, or because they were friends of other friends and we started chatting about shared interests.
In fact, I’ve met lots of awesome “new friends” because of my new furry friend, Niko the Newf!
It’s funny about Facebook birthday greetings. After giving it intense thought over a glass of wine, I realized that I think it’s sweet to get birthday greetings from Facebook friends I don’t know that well or who live far away, but disappointing to only get a Facebook birthday greeting from a close friend or family member. This will be the first of many “midlife minutes” you’ll see from me – small observations about life in the midlife lane, lol.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a time when the telephones and greeting card companies ruled when it came to showing someone some birthday love!
That’s a value I’m trying to share with my kids. They use phones so differently today though. Texting is where’s it’s at, not talking.
So different than when I was young. We had a “kids phone” installed in our house with a different phone number. I even had one of these phones in my bedroom (with red and orange shag carpet and a highly graphic, psychedelic black and white bedspread….groovy for sure). My sisters and I couldn’t even imagine being any happier than with our new found privacy and independence.
Facebook is great, but you just can’t beat the personal connection you feel when you talk to someone on the phone or receive a personally selected card.
Two of the best birthday greetings I got this year were actually on the phone.
First, my kids called me from camp. Yes, they also wanted money….but they called to wish me a happy birthday and I was thrilled!
The other one that put a smile on my face was the singing birthday greeting from my 80 year old cousin with Parkinson’s Disease. The reintroduction of music into his life has completely transformed him over the past two years and I was thrilled to hear him and his wife belting out the classic birthday tune with abandon.
Don’t get me wrong. I love hearing from my Facebook friends on my birthday. I was absolutely floored and touched that 154 people took the time to put a greeting on my wall. Facebook definitely adds to my life.
But … in all honesty, a Facebook greeting doesn’t hold a candle to the more personal greeting of a phone call or card. Call me old fashioned. Call me old. But call me!
How do you feel about birthdays now that you’re older? Are birthdays just one more thing that are shaking you up in your 40s and 50s? I’ve definitely noticed this with my friends. Some of them embrace birthdays and enjoy celebrating; others find birthdays difficult.
Perhaps because their kids are older;
Perhaps because they are not where they want to be in life;
Perhaps they don’t even know why they feel the way they feel.
The thing is that thoughts drive our feelings. Having a birthday is just a fact. The birthday…no matter the age…is not the problem. It’s what we think about the birthday that’s the problem. The fact itself is neutral. The thought is what creates feelings. Often, we have negative thoughts about growing older, and these thoughts fuel negative feelings, especially when it comes to midlife birthdays.
The good news is that we can change our thoughts. It’s absolutely amazing that this is actually in our control. So liberating. So great.
What a perfect birthday gift to give ourselves!
This is a great example of the type of problem my clients want to talk about and understand. Aging doesn’t have to be a negative experience; it can be full of opportunity and excitement! If you would like to turn your thoughts upside down and inside out, I would love to offer you a FREE Mini Session. It’s a great way to see what life coaching is all about and learn about the benefits of working together. Shoot me an email to book yours today! Suzy.firstname.lastname@example.org You can also check out my FREE download with my top tips to regret-proof your life. Click here: www.suzyrosenstein.com/dreamigniter.