Monday, March 21, 2011


     Birthdays are always tough for me. Much as I might want the day to be ordinary, there is always that small thing within me which has an expectation that it should be more; more than just another day, special, indulgent, exceptionally fulfilling. And that sets me up for disappointment.
     It was my Birthday two days ago, and I was as much of an emotional freakshow as I have been in a long time. I hardly knew myself. I began it poorly by not getting enough sleep the night before. Four hours used to cut it, but no longer, especially given the levels of physical exertion that are required of me these days. I need hours to body replenish. So I was tired and thick headed, and then I had whispering thoughts inside of me, of all of the possible wonders that could happen, the fantastic surprises that just might be coming my way... and early in the morning I did receive just such a delight. My son wrote me the most touching card he has ever written. It made me cry in a good way.
     But rather than feeling touched and bathed in the love of my son, I thought bitterly that my fiance had not honored my morning with Birthday recognition the way I thought he should have. And so the day went on, peppered with small recognitions and blessings, and salted with my ideas about the way things should be going as opposed to the way they went, focusing not on what I had, but full of pity for what I had not. We happened to be working all day. For hours on end, I tore up a floor, which was brutal on the back and knees, and I slammed a crowbar into my nose on the final corner. Moments later, I whacked it into my shin. Beyond redemption, I slunk away from the job and my family and cried pitifully, and the floodgates were officially opened.
     Snapping out of it the best I could, holding it weakly together with my puffy eyes and bruised nose, we went off to dinner. A good friend surprised me by being there, and I burst into tears when she arrived, which seemed to rather startle her. No one seemed to know quite what to do with me, and I didn't know what to do with myself. I sniffed up the tears yet again and was the best sport I could be, and dinner was fun thanks to my friend, but I was a wreck of myself on the inside.
     Thankfully, it all ended well. At home, finally relaxed, I opened to gratitude and the love in my heart for my life. It was a relief to be through the day, on the other side of my own self-inflicted Birthday pressure. I wonder if I am the only one who does this to myself. It seems so riduculous. I know it even as I do it, but am hard pressed to stop the negative momentum.
     It's a reminder for me about expectations though. I must open to whatever comes, knowing that I always get just what I need, better than anything I could plan for myself... if I can get out of my own way.

I can trust in the perfect unfolding of each day, even the special ones. I don't need to orchestrate my life.