Since it’s my official birthday week and all, I thought I’d get personal with a marriage post today. As in, talk about my own. It’s relevant because, at the beginning of my relationship with my husband, my birthday was a real sticking point for us. He felt as though he couldn’t plan anything that met my expectations and I felt as though he just didn’t understand how important my birthday was to me. Truth be told, he didn’t. Until I explained it to him, of course. But that took me taking a look at myself to fully understand why it was such a big deal and why I loved celebrating it so much.
Growing up, my family was a bit dysfunctional and hardly anything remained the same for long. Loved ones left or passed away, people fought and got angry with one another, and things changed. But despite the instability, my birthday was always the one day I could count on. It was always about me. I got to choose what theme my party would be (one year it was Elvis theme, how awesome is that?), or where I wanted to celebrate, or what kind of cake we would eat. And my parents, bless them, no matter what was happening in our lives, made sure they made me feel like the most special person on the planet that day. Because it was my birthday. My very own day.
But for my husband, birthdays were just birthdays. They were fun, sure. But they didn’t carry as much weight and importance. Besides, his parents had to celebrate four kids. My parents had only one to dote on (until I turned 10 when my sister was born but still two is a lot different than four).
Fast forward to today and our differences, our “normals”, caused friction between us. Not because one of us was right and the other wrong. Simply because we were different with different backgrounds. It took me explaining it to him, letting him know what my expectations were (I hate surprises and I don’t mind planning out my entire birthday), and him understanding and accepting it without letting his expectations get in the way (he loves surprises and still tries his hardest to keep at least one thing secret from me).
Celebrations are important because they carry meaning for us. But they carry meaning for each of us, in unique ways. So tomorrow I’m going to celebrate by eating brunch at a French cafe, getting pampered with a mani/pedi, reading my favorite magazine, and indulging in a delicious dinner with my handsome husband. Oh, and anxiously awaiting the reveal of my birthday gift which, almost miraculously, my hubs has managed to keep secret. Because, hey, it’s my day.
PS. Stay tuned for a special post tomorrow on what I’m challenging myself with this 30th year of my life. Yikes!
PPS. Photo found via Grey Likes Baby.