Welcome to the life of an introvert. A whole 24 hours, dedicated to people talking to you every hour, incessant texts, emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages coming in from everyone? Attention to the max. Yikes. Talk about overwhelming. Just put me in the corner and let me drink my tea in peace.
But after last year's birthday debacle (please, for the love of my sanity, don't ask, because I won't tell...), I decided that I need to change something.
Maybe I need to change what I do on my birthday? I thought.
Maybe I should take the day off?
I should only spend it with family?
Or instead, only with friends?
Maybe I should fill every moment so full that I don't know what hit me?
Maybe I'll stop looking at a calendar in mid-May, and therefore won't know what day of the week it is. That way, I'll have no idea it's my birthday and will enjoy it like any other day. I will avoid social media, hide my phone from myself, turn off my computer, and sit and read a book for 2 weeks straight.
Suffice it to say that my birthday dislike went a little overboard.
So last week, I decided.
It wasn't just a decision. It was a decision.
The kind that makes you roll up your sleeves and change something.
I decided that, no matter how amazing or lousy my birthday is, no matter how many people tell me happy birthday (right now I'm way past 50 non-facebook well-wishes), no matter how many fondue jokes my brother-in-law tells (love you, Jake!), I will have a good day.
And you know what?
It's 3:32 pm and I haven't died, passed out, or anything of that sort. I have been genuinely, happily smiling all day, answering work phones with the joy of Pope Francis, eating yellow bell peppers as if they were candy.
It's going pretty a-ok.
Perhaps the great majority of my day's success has to do with the fact that I started it out with Mass. In one of the top-10 most ugly churches ever, or at least most ugly in Northern Virginia, complete with casual Mass responses and incorrect Mass aerobics. But it was Mass nonetheless.
Perhaps, in the 21st year of life, I have finally learned to sort my priorities correctly. That if I give the Lord place numero uno in my day, He'll give me all I need to make it through.
I guess this really has nothing to do with the fact that it's my 21st June 9th alive. That 21 years ago this time, my siblings were setting up camp in a hospital lobby, ready to spend a sleepless night waiting for their baby sister to arrive, and surprised when I came a mere 2 hours later. That tonight, as I have for the last 21 June 9ths, I'll be reminded of the car ride to the hospital when my name was changed from Rebecca to Allison. That in my 21 years of living, I have seen things that many people don't see 'til they're 45, and done things that I didn't think were ever possible.
So tonight, I will go to dinner with my parents and siblings and in-laws and aunt, and eat fondue like no one's joking. I will have my first glass of wine stateside and allow myself to celebrate. I no longer hate today, because people are simply acknowledging God and His work through my simple little life.
Because Life is good, God is better, and He's making me His own.