Today is my birthday and, as with most of them the past eleven years, I ended up having a meal at home rather than the original plan of going out somewhere to eat. We were originally going to go to a local restaurant, one we’ve been to quite a few times before so I know it well, but I wasn’t feeling great and then the unexpected dentist trip on Friday that ended up with having a tooth out has knocked me back so we decided that we’d have a backup plan ready in case I wasn’t well enough to go out.
I can’t remember how many meals out we’ve ended up cancelling or I’ve just not gone to so having this backup plan ready and we had to make a final decision yesterday took off quite a bit of the pressure, at least for me. I think it’s a good idea for any big event to have a Plan B, though this is harder if it’s something that’s got more people involved and things like a big family get together my plan B has been stay at home, the home of whoever we’re staying at or the hotel while the others go out for the meal or whatever they’re doing.
When it comes to birthdays we don’t normally do anything huge, it’s pretty much me and my parents, or if my sister’s home then her too. The fewer people and the fact that they all know about ME and how it affects me and the whole pacing idea does mean it’s easier to make any last minute changes if I have to. I think most of the time the past eleven years my birthdays have ended up being take aways. This year we had some lobster and nice fresh fruit and a birthday cake from Waitrose and it was nice and relaxed as we just had to get things out of the freezer the day before to defrost.
I’m not sure if this post will be useful but I thought I’d post about some things I’ve done in the past to help with birthdays, mainly mine as I always feel bad if we have to change plans for someone else’s birthday because of me and tend to push through it even when I shouldn’t. I guess, aside from the backup plan, which is always useful for people with chronic illnesses anyway and we probably have them for most events even if we don’t realise, is that it’s your birthday and it’s a day when you should do what you want.
I feel like a lot of us probably end up pushing ourselves and doing more than we should for other people’s events but I often feel like there’s pressure to do something more on my birthday. I know this applies for people without illnesses too but if you want to celebrate it, which you don’t have to anyway, then you should be able to do it however you want. If that’s watching old TV shows, staying in bed resting and having a quiet time at home with the people you want, or online parties can be fun too, then you do what you want. I’ve been to a few ‘parties’ hosted on things like msn messenger (remember when that was cool?) or on forums, some that were facebook groups set up to chat at a certain time, and these have all been good ways to connect with others. Especially if you have a lot of online friends that aren’t near you or are ill themselves and not able to be physically with you. These also work really well for New Year’s Eve parties, actually all of this could work for any occasion like that.
Also something that I found some years is, if you have the energy, then dressing up even if you’re staying at home can be nice, and I don’t mean full on dress or whatever but not clothes you’d wear every day around the house. I know I normally wear old jeans and a loose T-shirt, or sometimes leggings, so getting ‘dressed up’ can be wearing a dress over leggings or wearing a nicer top than my old vest tops or t-shirts. Today I didn’t get too dressed up, I did put on some makeup, a bit sparklier than normal and colours that I love, and put on a nice top and cardigan so it made me feel a bit different to a normal day at home. I think if you’re someone who likes to actually celebrate your birthday then doing something that makes it a bit different, like put on some different clothes or makeup or decorate your room, even putting up cards is a nice way to make it feel a bit different.
These were probably tips you’ve worked out yourself anyway bit I wanted to post about it anyway. And I also kind of wanted to post some photos from today anyway. I may have mainly taken photos of food and the flowers my sister got for me, other than this is was pretty much us watching old Shetland and sitting in the living room for the evening.