September 27th was my birthday. When my husband left for work he kissed me and said, "Happy Birthday Hon." After three deaths in the family I did not think I would have a happy day at all. "I'll try," I replied.

Three deaths are too much. For months I had been walking around in a fog or thinking about the basics of life. Who was I? What do I do? Could I still do it? Would I be happy again? Daniel Goleman, PhD discusses the body's responses to happiness in his book, "Emotional Intelligence."

According to Goleman happiness increases activity "in a brain center that inhibits negative feelings and fosters an increase in available energy, and a quieting of those that generate worrisome thought." Happiness also gives the body a chance to rest, he says, and generates enthusiasm and energy for pursuing our goals.

I did not have much energy lately. Three successful deaths had generated hundreds of worrisome thoughts. I was not sleeping well. The financial and legal paperwork came in faster than I could process it. Although I made daily "To Do" lists, at the end of the day the lists were longer, not shorter.

Since I have been in crisis before I have good coping skills. I have learned how to care for myself. Kelly Osmont, MSW writes about self-care in a booklet titled "More Than Surviving: Caring for Yourself While You Grieve." "Your life is important," she writes "To regain a sense of control over your own life, start by taking charge of its direction now."

What an empowering idea! I could take charge of my birthday. Maybe I would not have a "Happy Birthday" in the ordinary sense of the phrase, but I could have a productive and meaningful one. How did I spend the day? I did some of the things I love most.

Cooking is one of my passions. Fall apples had arrived in the grocery store. I baked some apple-cinnamon muffins. The smell of the baking muffins was comforting and took me back to childhood. I froze the muffins for another day.

Decorating is another passion. We had needed a bedside table in the guest room for years. I ordered a table from a catalog store and paid for it with credit card points. It was almost like getting a table for free. The table will be delivered next week.

Volunteering is also a passion and I volunteer for health organizations. I was working on a nutrition outreach project. This was the perfect day to finalize details and write the press release – tasks that took hours. When my husband returned from work he asked, "How are you?"

"Fine," I said. "I had a productive and meaningful day. I worked on the nutrition project, ordered a bedside table, and baked muffins." My husband wanted to take me out for dinner, but I wanted to stay home. We had an easy supper, clam chowder and apple pie a la mode, and went to bed early. I snuggled in my husband's arms, whispered "Happy Birthday," and went to sleep.

Copyright 2007 by Harriet Hodgson

Source by Harriet Hodgson
[ad_2]

Please complete the required fields.



Copyright ©2020 Birthdaybuddiez.com. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy / Terms of Use / Careers / Promotions / Sitemap

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending
or

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

or

Create Account