Today is my birthday. I am feeling glum, melancholy, grouchy, and sad.

These feelings do not come from any ridiculous distress about growing older. In fact, I am more than happy to be growing older.

These feelings seem to come from a profound sense of disappointment that I feel each year on my birthday.

I don’t want many “things”. I’m not interested in having a lot of “stuff”. When people ask me what I want for my birthday I never know what to say.

I tend to downplay my birthday with other people.

This leads to other people downplaying my birthday right back.

I tend to make a huge deal out of other people’s birthdays, but no one picks up on this and the karma doesn’t come back to me.

My husband would be devastated to know I feel this way. He always tries so hard. This year he bought me a beautiful necklace that we’d seen in a store window that I had admired. It was way too expensive so I wrote it off in my head. He bought it for me and when I opened the box this morning I couldn’t even feel happy about it. I feared I had manipulated him. I’m sure he was disappointed by my lack of enthusiasm.

My kids always want to spend the day with me on my birthday. I indulge them because I know it will be all too soon before they no longer want to spend my birthday with me. But deep down inside I don’t want to spend my birthday with them. They are still too young to be able to be much more than whining complainers much of the day and it’s frankly no fun.

I feel guilty for wanting to get away from them.

I feel resentful that I don’t get away from them.

I feel frustrated that after all the trouble I go to on other people’s birthdays no one goes to any trouble on mine.

I feel disappointed in myself that I can’t tell anyone that I want them to go to trouble on my birthday.

I feel angry that even though it’s my birthday I still have to take care of everyone else.

I feel confused as I why I can’t ask for what I want.

I know that I need to shake this off so that what’s left of the day isn’t sucked down into the mire of despair. But this is hard to do when I can hear in the room next to mine that my 4 year old son has been put into a time out and is spending it throwing toys at the door. I can practically hear the dents he’s making in the wood.

I hate my birthday. I hate the expectations that I have that can never be met. Not because they are so outrageously high, but because they go forever unverbalized.

All I wanted was a day at the beach, with no whining, crying, screaming, fighting, misbehaving, or complaining. I got 1 hour at the beach with lots of whining, crying, screaming, fighting, misbehaving, and complaining before the storm clouds moved in and we were all cleared from the beach. I know the weather influences my mood. It rained cats and dogs last year on my birthday and nothing but a chocolate cake made the day seem any better. At least it made the day seem better until I ate too much of it and then it made the day worse. Ah, me, I can’t win, can I. At least this year there is no cake.

I still don’t know if I’m going to weigh myself tomorrow or not. My period was due today but it hasn’t begun. I’ve done well on my diet this week, but being so close to my goal I might like another week to prevent disappointment tomorrow when I haven’t lost the full two pounds.

I don’t know if that even matters anymore: the number on the scale. I took a picture of myself this morning and I can tell I look like I wanted to before I began this endeavor. I can’t figure out if my priorities are confused or if my success is just messing with my head.

Either way, Happy Birthday to me.