This weekend (Saturday specifically) was my birthday. I was greatly looking forward to a visit from Alex and some fantastic tourism of the Bay area variety. I woke up feeling good on Friday morning . . . only to have had my fantastic weekend plans completely unravel by the end of the day.
To say that Friday was awful would be something of an understatement. At work, I talked to my mom about running shoes (we're participating in a marathon relay in April) and ended up agreeing to having dinner with the family at home. I was REALLY looking forward to going out to PF Chang's with my family and Alex -- the food is great and there are plenty of vegetarian choices.
I really beat myself up over this; I felt like an awful person for being so selfish, but I didn't really know what to do. What should I have said? "No, Mom, I'd really rather go out"? I'm certain if I had, my mom would have been fine with it, but my not-wanting-to-be-a-burden tendencies (an oldest-child complex, I think) made me think better of it.
Feeling rather glum, the day progressed with some more "meh." My mood was significantly lifted when I ran into old friends at lunch and got to enjoy some good company at Chipotle. I felt so much better going back to the office, until later.
While in a meeting with a much-respected design firm, a colleague interrupted to "remind" me of an upcoming deadline for a news release I hadn't published yet. I would like to write a bit more to explain, but it's a bit complicated. Suffice it to say, it was neither the time, nor place for them to have approached me for the discussion and I was beyond mortified in front of some very smart, very successful and very nice, helpful and generous designers who were walking me through our new layout for Discover SHC, the monthly newsletter I manage. I felt awful, and completely helpless as one of the designers asked me, "Do we need to leave?" "No, of course not," I stammered, "It's fine." But it totally wasn't.
After the meeting concluded, I cranked out all that I needed to do, making my deadline like I had expected and been so rudely reminded of. I excused myself and cried in the bathroom to release that stress and frustration. It wasn't that I felt awful, it was the mental agony of what these designers now thought of our office -- of how our future business will go. Ugh.
I ended up talking to my boss about it, which helped, but I still didn't feel great. The clincher to my day?
Alex tried to call me twice while I was in my meeting. Due to the projects on my plate that afternoon and the lousy reception in our office, I didn't really get to pick up the calls. Two voicemail messages let me know that he was sitting in the doctor's office with a high fever and a bronchial infection. I knew without him saying, he wasn't going to be here this weekend -- and then I cried all the way home.
Saturday, I still felt lousy, but somewhere during that afternoon, after my mom and I had talked, I showered and went to the mall. I decided I had to decide if I was going to let my awful, awful day yesterday cloud my entire birthday weekend. Coming from a stubborn girl who likes to really celebrate birthdays, the idea of giving into the yucky feelings was a little too much. So I shopped a little, treated myself to a pedicure (I really think the sparkly fuschia toes were a catalyst to the bad mood lifting) and drove to my parents house.
We ended up going to PF Chang's after all and mom (who typically makes carrot cake on birthdays) even Google'd a recipe to make red velvet cake - just for me because it's my favorite. And truth be told, her cream cheese frosting is the best in the world. No doubt.
The following day, Annie spontaneously came to visit me. And then we met up with Katie (also in the area for slightly spontaneous reasons) who introduced us to some seriously awesome people. Warm, welcoming and truly fantastic people. (You reading this Jeremy? Probably not . . . but if you are, that's you I'm talking about!) A night of good company, good conversation and some good wine -- it was wonderful. Such a good night. We drove all over San Jose and blasted Hanson (yeah, you read that right). The next day, Annie and I made a pilgrimage to Mecca where I found a brown duvet set that I loved, a plant stand for my growing herb garden, and some other fun things.
All in all, the weekend certainly turned out better than I expected it to once I gave in and allowed myself to experience the possibility for good things to happen in spite of such a sucky, stilted beginning. Alex and I have rescheduled our plans to see each other and I'm looking forward to it. I'm also glad that he stayed home and had the chance to rest his body and get better (even though I missed him terribly). Yes, it was a good weekend (and a three-day weekend at that!) and now I can truly say I am thankful for the good things that happened -- good friends, family time and relaxing -- that I might have taken for granted otherwise.
I think God has a pretty good sense of humor sometimes.