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Making My Birthday A Mental Health Day

I know a lot of people that don’t like celebrating their birthday. Especially as they get older.

They see it as a sign of aging perhaps or looking at my uncles and aunts, they see people around them fading. Of course, with the situation as it is around the world with Covid-19 and lockdown in various stages, celebrating your birthday can be a bit trickier.

For me, my birthday is like Mother’s Day or the fourth of July. Not to say that I am celebrating my independence, but it is a day to take a step back and take time off.

It’s a planned mental health day, if you will.

I have some rules for my birthday and you may find that rules and a celebratory day don’t mix. I disagree. Here are my rules:

No alarm clocks.
No work.
Don’t do anything you don’t feel like, even if people mean well when offering.
Don’t decide a long time ahead what you want (unless you really want to throw that big party)
Last but not least: give yourself a birthday gift and make it something special. Something indulgent. Something that you want to get from yourself, so that you can cherish the fact that you gave it.Or Something that has no other purpose than making you happy that you have it.

This year my birthday gift came early. Last year, my beloved dog Douglas passed away and it was tough to come to terms with. He had been my companion for 16 years. I decided that while life without a dog is possible, it is definitely not happy.

And so, I have adopted a puppy called Bowie. I am so happy with the little furry fellow and he is definitely good for my mental health.

birthday buddy

I do admit, though that some of the rules then went out the window. Bowie is 3 months old now, and he is a positive little monster. The little furbaby yapping and pawing me at 6 am meant that the “no alarm clocks rule” was blatantly ignored.
Still, having to get up early is palatable when you do it for such a cute face. Most of the day was spent with Bowie in various ways. We went on long walks past horses and farms with pigs and other animals that were all wondrous to him. We played with my friend’s kid on the playground and jointly tried out the slide. Bowieeeeeee!

We tried out new tricks like walking backward or shaking paws. And we worked on a puzzle – a dog puzzle that is. After a dinner with family, we watched The Secret Life of Pets.

All in all, it did turn out to be a perfect mental health day. Apart from positive birthday wishes, I had no contact with the outside world, but was in a wonderful bubble of furry goodness that needed all my attention. So in the end, I had no chance but to be in the moment fur-real the entire day and had our own little pawrty.

Best of all, we have so many more of these pawsome birthdays together.

So while last year was ruff, anything seem pawsable now that I have a fluffy friend to share the bad and the good times with.