Just one more spin on this subject.
I pretty much hate my birthday and have since I was a kid. I've mentioned it before. Awful things happen. People die. I wind up overdrawn at the bank or get stuck working a triple shift (sometimes, both on the same day). I get into fights with whoever I'm married to. Nobody calls.
Most of my birthdays have the feeling of a mafia funded karmic hit. I feel lousy for being miserable and disappointed. The worst is the guilt of expectation. I want it to be great, know it can be --every once in a great while, it even is, which completely throws me, but usually it isn't. Usually, it's just shy of a nervous breakdown.
I've tried forgetting about the day. I've tried working through it and also taking the day off. I've tried mocking it and making fun of it. I've tried raising the bar and lowering it to the point you couldn't even trip over it. I've even tried to celebrate on my own.
Results are typically pretty depressing. Most of the time, by the end of the day, I end up staring into the dark, hoping for sleep untroubled by disappointment, guilt or anger.
I now have three weeks to figure something out, to come up with a plan to mark the occasion. The clock is ticking. I turn 40 in three weeks. I just want it to mean something.