It's My Birthday and I'll be Anxious if I Want To

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

It’s my birthday week! My birthday is the one time in the whole year I don’t mind being the center of attention.

Naturally, it’s also when I have the most anxiety.

I want to have a party with all of my friends. My home isn’t big enough for that, so I want to go out. The best time to get all of my friends together is a Friday or Saturday night. Most places where we would go out either don’t reserve space on Friday and Saturday nights, or they charge a hefty sum to do so.

So, first I’ll be anxious about arriving early enough to secure space for everyone. Then I’ll be anxious about everyone showing up. Wouldn’t want to offend the staff by taking up more space than I need! Then I’ll be anxious about more people showing up than I planned for, and not having enough space for everyone. Then I’ll be anxious about making sure to talk to all of my guests, not wanting anyone to feel left out.

Why do I want to go out again? Oh, that’s right – all year ‘round, I try to make things not about me. I give others the bigger slice of pizza. I serve my kids first, typically eating my meals slightly cold. I ask others where they would rather eat. I put everyone else ahead of myself, because others’ happiness is more important to me than my own. But one day a year, I think it’s acceptable to put myself first. All of the anxieties I have on that day are clearly proof that I’m still putting their happiness ahead of my own… just at the restaurant that I choose.

It’s three days away from party day, and I’ve already been stressing about this for a week.

Anxiety is the birthday gift that gets re-gifted to me every year. Maybe I should hold a mental white elephant exchange. No take-backs, someone else can have this grand gift.


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