Last night I caught up with one of my best friends, Becky. She was telling me how she spent yesterday with another friend of hers who was celebrating her birthday in a rather unique way.

It seems this friend found herself disappointed every year when her birthday rolled around because her husband and four teenagers didn’t acknowledge her special day like she hoped they would.  Instead of allowing disappointment to turn into bitterness and anger, this mom decided she would take things into her own hands this year for her birthday.

She announced to her family how she was going to spend her birthday.  She took the day off work, invited her daughters and several girlfriends to join her for lunch and antique shopping for the day and then had her daughters drop her off at her husband’s work in the late afternoon so he could take her out for dinner.  Her husband and teenagers seemed to have no problem meeting their moms birthday wishes…they were quite willing to join in the celebration she carefully communicated.

Becky said that she thought it was the neatest thing how her friend decided to take care of herself.  And I had to agree.

Most of us would “hope” that our family would plan a celebration in some way.  Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t.  Occasionally something someone else plans isn’t exactly the way that the birthday person would actually have liked to celebrate their special day.

What if we moved from being reactive to being proactive more often, cutting out disappointment before it could ever even creep into the picture?  What if we took more of a leadership role in how we’d like a special day to be celebrated (birthday, Mother’s Day, anniversary, etc) rather than “hoping” that our family members would think to ask us how we’d like to celebrate or better yet, read our mind and somehow miraculously match their plans with our desires.

I, for one, think Becky’s friend is on to something.  So what do you think?

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