Stella's latched on to this idea that one must first and foremost love and respect oneself. I don't recall having that exact conversation with her, but it's a philosophy I support so I imagine she's picked it up from us.
It sounds like the opposite of being humble, living in service etc etc - but I don't think it is.
I think you can only be happy if you are happy with yourself. You can only make a positive contribution if you're coming from a positive place. This is elementary right?
Yes, love yourself above all others - not in a cocky, presumptuous, entitled sense - but in a practical one. Love yourself enough to be happy, to make happy choices and then spread that happiness into every single thing you do.
Make your own happy.
Just like birthdays.
My birthday is a special day for me because I know I'm worth it. Because I make it so by deciding to be celebratory all on my own.
I go back to bed with tea and a book after the girls have left for school. I work as little as possible. I buy myself expensive shoes. I bake apple-crumble cheesecake because that's the flavour I feel like.
I reckon I could have a fabulous birthday even if I was alone in the world.
But luckily, awesomely, wonderfully, I'm not.
Every birthday I am reminded of how much I am loved - by the people who also tell me everyday, as well as by those who don't usually get this soppy.
Who said technology is the death of human emotional expression?
And here's the thing - I couldn't actually have a fabulous birthday if I was all alone in the world.
I am happy because I'm surrounded by people who make me happy.
I am happy because I've been raised to believe I'm worth it.
I am happy because I've been blessed with a sunny nature.
Nature, nuture and a hugely wonderful bunch of the super nice people = luckiest girl alive.
On my birthday this year my parents produced the newspaper clipping with my birth announcement. (And Mum was well enough to join us for pizza after all!)
On my birthday this year my youngest cousin left a voicemail message which reminded me so much of my Granny Molly that I got all tearful, 20 years after she's passed.
On my birthday this year, as with the last 3 years, I missed that birthday call I'd always get from my Grandad.
On my birthday this year I got some reddy-orangey things.
On my birthday this year I was, as I am every year, spoiled and loved and celebrated. And not for one moment do I take for granted how incredibly privileged I am for that.
Birthdays are RAD. Even fortieth ones.