Thanks to my parents, I was given the best birthdate of the year! The first day of summer and the longest day of the year-June 21st!
This year it also happened to be Father’s Day, International Yoga Day, an opportunity to see a solar eclipse and my 12 hour Zoom Birthday Party!
I have taken zooming to a whole new level!
Usually, I love birthday surprises.
I tell everyone around me, like a 6 year old, that I want to be ‘surprised’, leaving the burden of all the planning to those who want to listen.
Unfortunately, I am a detective and it’s really hard to keep a surprise from me…so it’s not always the easiest job for my loved ones.
Yet, they amuse me…annually…without complaint! I truly am loved!
This year I decided to change things up. I think we’ve had enough of a surprise with COVID.
So I thought about what I wanted to do during a pandemic, for my 47th birthday, on the Summer Solstice…
…and decided it would be an all-day-long international zooming birthday event!
And I planned the whole thing. Including getting my own cake and sushi dinner for our family!
Talk about removing surprises…I didn’t even allow for any! This may become my new norm.
But why did I want to do this?
I’ve felt more connected to people around the globe since COVID hit.
The mutual experiences that we all have right now have created an empathy that is driving me to want to be with others. More than ever.
I’ve always been a people person, an extrovert and truly love getting to know someone. Connecting people gives me life.
But on top of that, we’re in a time when we can’t unleash and just be whimsical and fancy-free as we may have wanted to be during any other summer.
Those who are leaving their homes and going out still need to consider the physical distancing, wearing of masks, limited time with others, where you can go, limited travel, closure of loved landmark summer trips.
And there are some who can’t leave their homes and are stuck inside.
So I thought getting those I love together online from around the world would create a time to play, talk, share stories, and be…
…and as a result I reunited with people I haven’t seen in over 20 years!
Some friends I had shattered relationships with and I felt it was time to bridge the gap, bring in forgiveness…some who are in other parts of the planet who I haven’t seen and don’t know when I will be able to see again…some who I see regularly but it’s never enough simply because it just is never enough when you love someone!
And I got to introduce people to each other who may never have crossed paths otherwise.
I divided the day up into small chunks of hours and put groups of friends and family members together who I thought had things in common to avoid 72 people trying to talk over each other.
And what a celebration of life it was!
I actually think this may have been the best birthday party of my adult years, so far.
That thought is kind of crazy. How can a birthday, without being able to touch, hug and be in the same room, result in such a satisfying experience?
Probably for the same reason I enjoyed zoom dating.
I can see everyone and focus on their faces well. We can meet in any environment.
No one needs to get ready and run out to make it on time.
No worry about parking.
(Or I’m just crazy)!
People were in their cars-driving and parked on the side of the road, sitting outside in the sun, hanging out in their living rooms and bedrooms, walking outdoors after kayaking, making cakes in their kitchens, sitting in the mountains…
And everyone was happy (even if they have been miserable as a result of what COVID has done to their lives)…
…and not just because it was my birthday, necessarily, but because we were giving each other time to be together.
I keep saying this, and I mean it-most people need to be able to connect with one another.
I know I need to be able to connect with people.
More than anything, I was honored and humbled that so many people gave me their time.
They took out time from their days to stop what they were doing and log on to zoom. That takes effort. And it takes desire.
The love I felt was overwhelmingly huge. I could see rainbows in the sky, hearts of sunshine glowing over the planet and felt pure, unadulterated love.
So, if that is not the best birthday ever, I don’t know what is.
And the birthday gift I gave myself was to free myself of that man who expected me to unmask for our first date.
He tried to control me and I noticed it. I allowed myself to feel all my emotions and the one that reigned above all was self love. That self love would not allow a man to dominate over me, so I told him we weren’t a good match.
He didn’t take it that well, raised his voice but I didn’t lose myself in it and gracefully said thanks to him for our conversations.
At 47 I gifted myself the ability to speak up for myself after opening my heart and honestly digging in, asking the hard questions and unwaveringly giving myself the love I wanted from someone else.
That’s a birthday!