Birthday Blues

If you get a little funky around your big day, this will help.

Kristi writes for Juggling Normal and at This post first appeared, here, and is reproduced in full with permission.

I used to travel a lot, so much so that the weather didn’t match the hype. You know what I’m talking about, right? How people think it always snows in Colorado or is always hot in Las Vegas? I traveled so often that I saw the sun in the Pacific Northwest and no humidity in Florida. Wait, that didn’t happen. Florida is always perpetually humid. 

But it’s true about the Pacific Northwest (and Colorado and Las Vegas); I was there on sunny days, and days without snow, and cool days and some nights so cool that we layered sweatshirts over sweatshirts bought on the strip.

I spent a week in London once that was sunny every single day. All week, gorgeous sun, until we were standing in Hyde Park contemplating Kensington Palace when the sky dumped the world’s largest bucket of water on our heads. It was awesome! 

I was excited to have the quintessential British weather experience. I love when a place lives up to expectations. I also love it when it defies them.

Isn’t it funny how the older we get, the more we talk about the weather? And insurance? And yard work? Pretty exciting stuff. Before you write “those of us of a certain age” off, realize some of us are mostly ok talking about the weather, insurance, and yard work because we’ve already done it all. Or most of it.

I’m celebrating a birthday on Saturday, which cements my “those of a certain age” categorization, and it’s extra annoying since last year was the most anticlimatic birthday of my life. Just two months into pandemic life, we were unnerved and clueless, and I forgot to order a cake. Oh well, bygones. It was #momlife2020, and it beats the alternative, as they say.

Anyway, it’s not like we have big plans this year, no trips on the books yet, and I’m not quite ready for indoor no-mask dining. We might hike with the family and find a brewery with outdoor seating to say a little cheers. Or maybe we’ll just sit around the fire pit with friends and talk about the weather. I hope we don’t get rained out. Wink.

Do you get the birthday blues? Read on for my tips on how to get out of a funk!

When I’m in a funk, and right now, I’m clearly feeling funky, I try to remind myself that I am the only one who can elevate the conversation. If I’m tired of talking about the weather, then that’s on me.

If the most exciting thing in my life is trips I used to take, then that’s on me too. I straddle the line between pouring myself into my work and my family and finding the energy to have a big life, but I’m not quite ready to play bridge with the blue hairs or reminisce about what used to be. So these are the seven things that I tell myself when I need a boost. If you have a big birthday coming too soon, try them to get over the funk.

1. Decide You are Not Mediocre

I know it’s frustrating when someone calls you on your sh*t, but you’ve got to have those people in your life. They are the ones that won’t hear it when you are throwing a pity party; they are the ones who can see your potential when you can’t let go of your last failure; they are the ones who remind you that you create your future by what you do today. 

Sometimes when we want to hide under the covers, it’s that kind of day. But when it’s a streak, they are the ones who start the shower, pull the covers off, and tell you to get your buns out of bed. They remind you there’s a beautiful world out there to explore/love/conquer. 

I’m a writer, so words obviously matter to me. I’m a coach, so beliefs and actions do too. So, it’s probably no surprise that I believe you can change your reality by changing your perspective, elevating the conversation, and taking inspired action. Mediocre is as mediocre does. If you want something different, something better, break your bad habits. 

“It’s a disease. Nobody thinks or feels or cares any more; nobody gets excited or believes in anything except their own comfortable little God damn mediocrity.”

― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road

2. Be a Leader

When we are young and full of fire, we think we need more experience, and when we are wise and experienced, we run out of inertia. Don’t wait for the right time or permission to lead.

I know you want to create a better future, so do that. Create a ripple effect that matters.

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”

 — Tom Peters

3. Define Your Non-Negotiables

In business coaching, we always talk about the three non-negotiables: show up, nurture, ask for the sale. Mission, vision, purpose. Cash flow, revenue, client generation. But there are non-negotiables of life too, aren’t there? What are the things that you can’t live without? Family, friends, health? Money, freedom, fulfillment? Love, travel, achievement? 

In both cases, pick your three non-negotiable and commit to progress every day. Yep, daily. It’s non-negotiable! It’s like saying, this seed needs water, sun, and soil to grow into a tree, but I might give it some of those things some of the time. 

It’s not asking for too much, and it can grow into something miraculous. The same is true of you. Know what matters and focus on that. Anything else is additive. That’s alignment, by the way, when we sync up our internal needs, our fundamental needs, with what we are doing, with what is happening for us in the Universe.

“When the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of life itself.” 

— Eckhart Tolle

4. Stop Resisting

No explanation is needed. Give in to what’s calling you. Life is short; love yourself enough to love what and who you love.

“If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.” 

— Anonymous

5. Cut Back on Low-Priority Activities

If you think the forecast is dull, try bickering with your husband about making the bed for the 1,100th time. Or reminding your kids to put away their laundry for eight years or forgetting to order groceries until you’re out of milk, and eggs, and bread (French toast emergency!) for the 52nd time this year.

It has to be said (see #1) that we either live better or wallow. We either change the conversation, or we stop growing. We either force ourselves out of our comfort zone, or we stay stuck. How many hours of your one precious life were spent on the most mundane pointless nonsense? Cut even 10% and see what happens. The better it gets, the better it gets!

“Shout out to everyone transcending a mindset, mentality, desire, belief, emotion, habit, behavior or vibration, that no longer serves them.”

― Lalah Delia

6. Choose People Already Going Where You want to Grow

We are so scared to invest in ourselves, intimidated by the cost, afraid that it won’t work out, even though it’s already not working. So we struggle with problems for years that could have been fixed in a month.

We let beliefs hold us back for months that could have been addressed in a conversation. We wonder if we are ever going to get there when we can find someone this weekend who has already been there, knows the way, and can pave our path.

Holy cow, nothing is holding us back from anything! So what if it’s expensive? What’s the value of seeing your dreams come true? What is it worth to you?

“The opportunity cost of an unlived dream is not only that dream, but also the dreams the dream was meant to inspire.”

― Ryan Lilly

7. Make Every Room Better for Having Entered it

Last one, and it’s easiest of all. We’ve been telling our kids this one since they could toddle. Try to improve everything you touch. Brighten people’s day. Be a ray of sunshine. See something out of place? Pick it up. Clean it up. Put it away. Save yourself the mess, the accumulation, the future pain.

Be a fixer. Take care of the moment. Plant a seed for a better future. Do something easy today that will be hard tomorrow. Where others see overwhelm and chaos, solve problems. See possibilities and opportunities and do something proactive and positive.

A growth mindset is not enough. It takes energy and action, happiness and gratitude. Spread it around. Enter a room, bring your best self, make the setting, the situation, the people feel better for your having been there, and keep going through life that way, leaving a little stardust in your wake.

“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

 — Mother Teresa
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