An Imperfectly Splendid Birthday

Today is my birthday! Well, actually yesterday since it's now past midnight.

I have this thing about birthdays... I usually dread them. I know that’s a bad attitude, but it’s just a reality of where I usually am. It usually stems from the fact that days leading up to my birthday I’m usually struggling with depression. And then I feel even more awful, because I feel guilty for not feeling super awesome on my birthday. A day where I feel like I’m “supposed” to feel super happy.

Today started off much of the same. But then this morning I got this glimpse of an idea. I wanted to be intentional to find moments of joy throughout the day. And I challenged myself to capture them on camera. And so, I did. 

My morning started off similarly to most other mornings off.

I decided to do a bit of calligraphy. These were the final words that I was drawn to. My hope for the day...

I enjoyed so many texts from so many friends. I got a video message from some of my kiddos singing me Happy Birthday. Little voices saying, "I love you" melts my heart like nothing else.

I didn’t have many plans for the day. I did need to do laundry though, so I planned to head to Greg’s house and watch a movie together. Neither one of us felt up for cooking, so we swung by McDonalds.

We didn't get much time, because we had to be at church by 4pm. I could feel a bit of my mood slipping again, but I hung in there. Lots of people told me Happy Birthday. One of my friends got a bunch of the kids to sing to me, pretty loudly. While I don't necessarily like being put on the spot, I recognize that it's fun. I do enjoy it.

Sitting through the service was a bit rough. Old doubts and insecurities crept up. Thoughts of disappointment in myself resurfaced. But as it finished, I tried my best to shake it off. To trust the spot that I was in. To be kind to myself.

At the end of the night, I headed to my office...

The kids had it all decked out. Even completed with confetti on the floor.

I was thankful for the small moments. I was thankful for persevering through the tough moments. I was thankful for so many small conversations and hugs that lifted my spirit. I really am lucky to have so many people that love me.

I got ready to leave. I wrapped up some last minute details. I was planning to head home, but Greg said we should go to Chili's to celebrate. It was my birthday and he was hungry.

As we pulled into the parking lot, I saw cars that I recognized. Yep. I was tricked. My wonderful friends had planned a surprise dinner for me at 9pm.

When we walked into the room I was shocked at how many friends that showed up. They had connected maybe 5 tables together. There was a chair at the end with balloons tied to it. I walked up to shouts of, "Happy Birthday!!!" and others in the restaurant joined it.

My heart was so full. My face was redder than the booths people were sitting in. But I loved it. Every last minute of it.

So many different people had come to celebrate my birthday. I ended the night feeling full and peaceful and overwhelmingly thankful. I have a good life.

It was an imperfectly splendid day. I couldn't have asked for anything better.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to love me. You all are wonderful.


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