You turn the key of your home as you’ve done for the past 20 years.
You hang your jacket in the coat hanger in the hall, leave your umbrella in the vase allocated by your partner to this purpose and expect the sound of your family’s “hello”.
Just like every day.
Instead, there’s an eerie silence, darkness and a suspicious smell of baked goods.
Suddenly, as you turn into the lounge room you hear a roaring “SURPRISE”!!! Followed by a “For s/he is a jolly good fellow”, cheers and whistles.
Far too many whistles for your liking…
Because, all you wanted to do on your 50th birthday is to put your feet up and lose yourself to the mind-numbing sound of your old TV set.
The last thing you wanted today was to be reminded that a great part of your life is gone.
And what have you done? What have you achieved?
You were supposed to have conquered the world by now! Become this big executive! Earned all that much money!
But none of that has happened.
All those expectations weren’t met.
Where you are now at in your life is nothing like what you were expected to be at this age.
And you feel disappointed, depressed and sad while the attendees at your “surprise party” insist on saying that “you are a jolly good fellow”.
Don’t mourn that picture-perfect life you don’t have.
Don’t let all those false expectations consume you.
Tackle your “Birthday Depression” head-on and enjoy this and many more birthday celebrations that are sure to follow suit:
How to prevent and tackle your birthday blues at 50+
01 Rejoice in your victories
It’s time to look back and gloss over everything that you have accomplished in a very positive light.
Don’t get bogged down in the feeling that time has passed and you have nothing to show for it.
You know perfectly well that’s not true.
So, force yourself to see it.
Make a list of your major accomplishments.
Go through old pictures of good times (just good times, please! Avoid anything that is going to render this exercise pointless!)
By focusing on everything you have done and accomplished, will keep you from thinking about all the things you haven’t yet accomplished or that you think you should have accomplished.
Focus on what you’ve already accomplished. Be happy about it. Be proud of it.
02 Keep yourself busy
Do you know what you’d like your birthday to look like (other than drowning yourself in sorrow!)?
Then do it.
Don’t sit around waiting for someone else to do it for you.
Go and see your children.
Go to the movies and watch the film you want to see when you want to see it and eat as much popcorn as you want (or as your doctor allows you!).
Write a list of all your achievements last year.
Or a list of things you’d like to do next year.
Just prevent your mind from taking the dark path.
03 Plan a Wonderful Year Ahead
Why not make your 50th birthday (or your 60th or your 70th for that matter!) an “adventure year“?
Imagine how you want your adventure to look like and write it all down.
Or how about using the number 50 as a theme for the year?
So, you could write 50 letters to people you know telling them how much you loved them, or try 50 new restaurants, complete 50 random acts of kindness or, go all the way and aim to visit 50 different cities in the world!
04 Learn from this “harrowing” experience
Yes, looking at father time up close and personal is intimidating.
You probably feel scared and overwhelmed by the speed of it all.
You might feel you are not meeting your own expectations.
Or you could simply use that feeling to motivate yourself and make an effort to get out more, meet people and embark on new adventures.
So, instead of letting yourself sink into a dark hole of inactivity and depression, find ways to be more compassionate and loving to yourself.
Loving and caring for yourself is crucial and you deserve it.
Especially on your birthday.
By the way, happy birthday! You’re a rock star! At 30! At 50! Or at 100!