Creating Your Own Happiness

When it comes to birthdays and a few other holidays, I spent my twenties and a good part of my thirties being disappointed. The people in my life at the time didn’t plan anything special, and to my disappointment, I never got the grand gestures from anyone like I saw in movies and TV. It seemed even though I eagerly celebrated the people I loved, everyone was too busy and too distracted to celebrate me. That left me feeling hurt, disappointed, and sad. So instead of enjoying the day, I was miserable. In my mid-thirties, though, I decided to start creating my own happiness, and it was truly one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. 

For my birthday, I plan a full week of fun things for myself:  a day of pampering, a day of shopping, dinner with friends, another dinner with friends, dinner with my Big Strong Handsome — whatever it is, it’s an absolute fun-filled week, planned down to the last detail by me, myself, and I. And you know what? I never disappoint. It’s always a good time, and everyone is always excited to join in. 

Create your own happiness. Don’t rely on your husband, your parents, your friends, or your children to make your birthday special. 

“Happiness is an inside job.

Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.”

–Mandy Hale

Your Husband

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Do I really need to say more? In the rare case you married a hopeless romantic man, congratulations. The rest of us are watching his romantic gestures in head-tilting awe, and nudging our husbands as we tell them what your husband did for you. For those of us who didn’t marry a hopeless romantic, chances are he’s proud of himself if he remembers to get you a card. Their brains don’t work like ours, ladies. So make a reservation at your favorite restaurant, buy yourself a new outfit, and have a fantastic birthday celebration with your husband. 

Your Parents

Let’s assume you have a drama-free, healthy relationship with your parents. They’re a little older now, though set in their ways, and probably see the world a little differently than you do. It might not be top of mind for them to plan a big birthday celebration for their grown adult child. If they do, good for you sister! Your parents are gems! I’m jealous. If your parents don’t plan a celebration for you, though, and you want to spend time with them, you schedule it, and make it happen. Now, if you don’t have the best relationship with your parents, why in the world would you want to celebrate and spend time with people who don’t fully support you? I recommend setting healthy boundaries and focusing on spending time with the people who actually show you love and support. You’ll be happier for it, and feel much more fulfilled. 

Your Friends

Your friends are busy and overwhelmed with life just like you are. Remember that just because Tina just posted a picture of coffee on the beach doesn’t mean she’s carefree and has all the spare time in the world to fill everyone else’s cup. She’s tired and busy just like you, but you know what? I bet she’d love to celebrate your birthday with you! So schedule a lunch, or dinner, or both with your friends for your birthday. Don’t wait for them to plan it. Create the happiness yourself. 

For Mother’s Day, it took a bit more time for me to master this one. If you’ve read my other articles on Jacksonville Mom, you know that I’ve struggled as a full-time stepmom, suffered through multiple miscarriages, failed IVF, and two failed adoptions. Mother’s Day, to say the least, is extremely challenging. Some years, what I need to be happy on Mother’s Day is to hide at home, binge-eat comfort food, and watch trash TV. On the years I feel a little stronger, I make brunch reservations at one of my favorite restaurants with my family. Either way, I create a day that will fill my heart with happiness. 

READ: Mother’s Day Is Hard

For Christmas, every year is a little different, and you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes we stay home and celebrate with just our cozy little family. Some years I load up our calendar planning multiple celebrations with friends and family. Other years we travel out of town to escape the chaos. Regardless of how we celebrate, I schedule it in advance, with a lot of thought and consideration, with the people I love the most. 

“To be happy you must be your own sunshine.” –C. E. Jerningham

Amber Junker
Amber is a wife, a full-time stepmom, a passionate food blogger, and a proud voice-over talent. Growing up in the small town of Penney Farms, Florida, she was always too much of a princess for her hometown but too Penney Farms to fit in anywhere else and was nicknamed the Penney Farms Princess. Hardworking and poised, she now proudly wears the ‘crown’ of Penney Farms Princess. Follow her for recipes, restaurant reviews, a little fitness & real life along the way.


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