Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday toooo MEEEEE. Happy birthday to me.
YAY! Another day of quarantine *sigh…Yup, It’s hard for me to get too excited here.
Aside from the external factors that have made truly celebrating difficult
there is also the tinge of “celebration” guilt that seems to creep in.
Can I celebrate when thousands of people around are going through their own personal hell?
Can I be excited/happy/joyous when the dominant atmosphere is mainly composed of fear, anxiety, and an over all blah-ness?
Thankfully I truly believe the answer is YES!
Yes, I can. Yes, I will.
Today I celebrate my 36 years on this beautiful round planet.
More than how many years I’ve been here, today I celebrate that I AM ALIVE.
I’m ALIVE and that is enough.
Each breath is a blessing.
Each day, even in quarantine, is one I can be thankful for and am thankful in.
Each hour, even in the middle of crazy “pandemic,” is an hour that is filled with breath of precious air and exhale of creative purpose. To feel guilty about this is to feel guilty about life and I refuse.
Yes, I will enter into people’s mess.
Yes, I will grieve with those who have lost, and are losing loved ones in this war.
Yes, I will help my community and not shy away from the havoc this “stay home” mandate is causing.
Yes, I will celebrate.
Yes, I will laugh at socially inappropriate memes and offensive political jokes.
Yes, I will dance through the fear and sing (barely on tune) to whatever song catches my fancy.
Yes, I will unapologetically live as best I am able for as long as I have.
We, me and you, are capable of holding so much in our hearts.
So many contradicting emotions and conflicting thoughts. We are capable of holding these because our world is constantly full of all of these, all at the same time.
Everything has its season, every time its purpose….
Life & Death.
Killing & Healing.
Weeping & Laughing.
Mourning & Dancing.
Keeping & Casting Away.
War & Peace.
All of it, Covid aside, ebbing and flowing every single day.
…Lately joy feels like work. It’s not flowing freely in easy waves of constant presence. Rather, she seems to hide in quiet corners, waiting for me to pursue. To grasp her hand and tell her I am happy to see her. Affirm that she is wanted. Tell her I believe she is real and reassure her she is desperately needed.
Whispering to her that I believe she is more powerful than that my present atmosphere and would she please come out so others can see it with their own eyes. Will she please show us how very present she is, in every season. Not to escape, but to help us navigate the current of these seasons.
This birthday I am choosing to walk this season (hopefully my year) hand in hand with joy.
Eyes open to it all, delighting in what I can, present for every minute with eyes that choose to see the best.
With a heart that pursues gladness, that purposefully seeks it when it’s hard to see and creates it when I can’t find it.
Choosing joy does not minimize the sorrow.
Choosing laughter does not desensitize me to grief or remove the heaviness that sometimes traps me in its undercurrent.
But choosing joy does release me. She releases me from the burden of carrying it all with hopelessness.
She releases and then empowers me with gladness.
Strengthening my bones and energizing my resolve to press into whatever season I find myself in. Leaving me with hopeful excitement that no matter what season, no matter what year, what pandemic, I am alive.
I live, and Oh, what a gift it is.
Image credit: Lindsey Roman