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How to cope with disappointment

Not too long ago, I had my birthday. It was not just any regular ol' birthday for several reasons. One, it was a birthday during a pandemic in a country in lockdown with a curfew. Secondly, I was only allowed one visitor because of reason one. And thirdly, it was a notable age; I turned 40. You have to know something about me. I love birthdays, from the pre-fun to the day itself. Not because of the cake, I don't even care about the cake, but because it's someone's special day. I can enjoy anyone else's birthday almost as much as I can enjoy my own. However, this year I felt the birthday blues. It's not difficult to understand why.

So what does one do if your 'special day' can't be as special as you want it to be? You do, what we've been doing for almost a year now, you adapt. You try to be as flexible as possible, without being led by high hopes. How I coped? Well....the weeks prior I didn't cope at all. I was sad, down and felt almost like I was mourning my normal party-self, which was not fun for everyone around me, but also me. I had to regroup my own feelings. Not only that, but I even realised that my kids coped better with their pandemic birthdays than I did.

My mum told me just to let things happen and relax. So that's what I did. In the morning, I had breakfast in bed, got presents and surprises, and took the day off. In the afternoon, we took a long walk and I cooked up a storm what always relaxes me. A lavish family dinner that I made with love, with the ones I love. That was it. More small intimate birthday surprises followed in the days after. You know what? It was just lovely. More importantly, it felt like it was my birthday. Not the big birthday bash for someone who's letting go of their 30s and sliding into a new decade, but that's just the way it is now. So cue in the "they all learned a valuable lesson of life"-tune used in the American sitcoms I watched growing up in the 80s & 90s, because that is what happened to me. I took stock of my life, where I'm at right now, and I thought, I'm actually really at ease now. Comfortable with who I am, where I am and with whom I'm spending my life. I can call myself a happy woman. There's nothing in my reach of control that needs to be changed right now. Life is good.

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