Growing up, I hated having a summer birthday. My displeasure was rooted in the inability to have my classmates enjoy special treats, sing to me, and come to my birthday party. Getting people together for a summer birthday is comparable to herding cats. [And all the summer birthdays said amen!]
While most children celebrated the freedom of summer, I found it slightly miserable. I loved the part about no school for the sake of homework and alarm clocks because I’m smart like that, BUT if my party wasn’t planned by the last day of school [and it wasn’t], I knew I would be lucky to have one or two friends join me for a sleepover and music video marathon.
That perspective followed me for decades. My outlook on summer moved beyond my birthday disappointment. Many years after my school years ended, I found myself still cultivating a displeasure for summer. The idea of the school year ending brought me legit anxiety. While others delighted in summer vacation plans, I battled a paralyzing fear.
What started as a general birthday sadness, became a deep sorrow. After a grueling custody battle, I found myself with an unwelcome summer routine. My children would be gone for extended periods of time each summer. While I knew it was in their best interest, I couldn’t see a way to survive the long periods.
Year after year, I was the one person in the world dreading the beginning of summer. Some accused me of not enjoying having the 24/7 kid noise and presence-which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I carried summer dread from my childhood and this loss of time with my own kids fed my summer fears.
It’s funny how one small detail can affect and alter a mindset. It is easy to let my train of thought go off the rails and spiral in unhealthy ways. I mean, I’ve spent years dreading summer because my classmates couldn’t sing happy birthday to me. That was an open wound welcoming further negative perceptions of summer.
I’m far more aware of my bent toward summer sadness these days. While this doesn’t eliminate the struggle, it does help me consider the source of my displeasure. It’s good to know what’s driving a behavior, but it does little to just know. It’s important to drill beyond knowing and excavate the broken pieces.
I’m learning to be honest about the cracks in my story. I’m sharing more about the places where things haven’t turned out as I’d once hoped. What I’m noticing is there are many areas of life where I’ve nurtured unhealthy perspectives. I’m finding places that need to be recalibrated with truth greater than the pain of my past hurts.
In the middle of this summer month, I offer you this little piece of encouragement. Dig deeper. Go beyond the memory that holds your pain and find the false truth you’ve been believing. I once thought I wasn’t worth celebrating, but now I understand it’s hard to align calendars in summer. I once thought I was a bad mom because my kids weren’t around full-time, but now I know I learned to parent with intention during the time they were home.
Don’t let faulty thinking rob you of the joy of who you are. Who you are is good, friend. Chase down unhealthy lines of thinking and replace them with a new outlook. Perspective matters. If you don’t know how to change your outlook, ask a friend. Most of the people around us know where we are going wrong in our thinking, but they are often too scared to tell us.
Recalibrate your thinking. Reach for new habits. Reconsider the trajectory of your thoughts. It will be to your benefit and those around you!
#momentoftruthmonday #summerbirthdaywoes #perspective #faultythinking #reachfornew #lifelesson