My birthday weekend started with new cars. What a way to start the weekend! I love cars! Our leases were up so it was time to pick up new cars. We learned a lot about what is going on in the world of cars:

  • The car market is different than we are used to.
  • There aren’t a lot of cars available.
  • There are a lot of waitlists.
  • We need to be able to be patient or take whatever is available.
  • We need to work with a salesperson we are comfortable with and trust.
  • Be open minded.
  • Adjust your expectations.
  • Have creative problem solving.
  • Make quick decisions before you lose the car!
  • Tell your salesperson what you are looking for as they may find a car for you that you never would have thought of. They are able to see what stock they currently have all around town.

I was thrilled to turn in the Chevy Traverse and leave with a Subaru Ascent. We never would have thought of a Subaru. That was all Emily, our fab car lady. She knew our price range and what kind of SUV style car we were looking for and she found  it. We are very happy. We never would have thought of it!

A wonderful lobster dinner with a homemade orange chocolate cake made by my kids Max and Ella was our exciting Saturday night. Fun fact: I’ve been having lobster for my birthday dinner ever since I was a little girl.

Sunday morning, my actual birthday, I woke up to donuts and coffee from my husband and lots of decorations from my daughter Lillie. I always go on a birthday adventure, so it was my job to pick what adventure I wanted to take. My advice is don’t ask your kids. Just tell them what you are doing. I wanted to go to a theme park, but my son seemed too tired for that. I knew it was going to be hot so that ruled out a few things. We went off to Canada to explore Niagara Falls and get some Swiss Chalet. I grew up eating Swiss Chalet. We can’t get it where we live anymore. It was a fun adventure. I love a good family adventure. Even if it included some complaining!

The kids were overheating and wanting air conditioning. The day went pretty smoothly until we got home. My birthday advice is:

Don’t discuss anything important on your birthday. Don’t aggravate yourself. Ella made the mistake of telling me something about her school schedule changing that she never told me. Aggravation number one. Then Seth and I started talking about our trip to Virginia and we got in a fight about what day we are coming home. I wish we could redo that conversation. We can’t beat ourselves up over it. That will do no good. We can learn from our mistakes, and we do every time we fight. I’m a firm believer in debriefing after an argument to discuss what we could have done better.

Lessons learned:

  • Reactivity makes it worse.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  • Try to talk calmly and rationally.
  • Take a break from each other and tell each other. “I’m going to cool off, but I will be back to calmly discuss this.” You don’t want your partner to think you are “abandoning them.” You want them to know that you want to talk when you can.
  • Problem solve together.
  • Appreciate each other. Appreciate and be thankful for how busy Seth is at work.
  • Be partners and treat each other as equals.

My birthday weekend certainly wasn’t perfect. When you have a family of five plus six grandparents, that equals a lot of people to throw into that mix. We can’t expect everything to go smoothly and perfectly. We need to be clear about what we want to do, and we also need to have realistic expectations. I also think our families get trained over the years. My family knows that I am going to want a birthday adventure, lobster and a cake. I’m very predictable! Maybe next year I will just float in my pool!

I’m not happy that my birthday ended with an argument but there is no one I would rather argue with. I went to bed sad, and I woke up thankful. I know how much Seth and my kids love me. I know we are not perfect. I also know that I have everything that I ever could have dreamed of. Kids whine and complain sometimes. Couples fight sometimes. I love my family. I love my life. Ready to take on 47 and be an even better wife, mother and social worker. Go with the flow of life. Celebrate every year. Be thankful. Taking on 47!

Laughing, Learning, Loving,

Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R

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