Yesterday was my birthday and I tried to not mention it at work earlier this week. Only because last year, the birthday thing kind of snowballed out of control. We got into this birthday frenzy going out to eat, meeting after work or getting cards and gifts for every birthday of everyone in the office. Heaven forbid someone was forgotten. It was just crazy. We eventually just let the birthday plans fizzle out.
But, my birthday secret slipped. I really tried not to let it, but you see, it was simply an exhausting, anxiety-filled week. At one point I just happened to blurt out, "I just don't want to have to work this weekend, of all weekends - it's my birthday weekend!" Well, apparently the ears of several co-workers perked up at that comment.
So, Friday rolled around. It was a long, tiresome week. I work for a non-profit and this is the busiest time of the year. Everyone is hyped up on chocolate and coffee and feeling a little beserk when one of our colleagues bursts in the office and announces that the boss just called a mandatory meeting - quick, but important. "Everyone grab a notebook!", which translates to more work coming down the pipeline.
I grab the chocolate bowl for us and we trudge to the conference room. We're trying to organize the seating and my boss calls for someone to get more chairs from his office (our conference room is a tad small.) But, alas, instead of more chairs she comes back with more people - a group of folks from other departments! She's holding a beautiful plant and cake and all of a sudden, the room bursts out in song... "Happy Birthday to you!..."
Holy cow! My very first surprise party - and boy, was I ever blindsided! I wanted to laugh out loud, but I just happed to be trying to swallow a Hershey's kiss that I ate in preparation for bad news! How funny and bizarre the whole scene was at that exact moment.
I got a lovely card from all my sweet friends, we sat and enjoyed cake and laughed at my utter shock. Our media manager shoots pictures in the background and my boss has to pat me on the hand and reassure me that there is no meeting. Really. (I admit, I'm perhaps slightly type-A personality!)
It was crazy and funny and such a joy. I'm so grateful for such wonderful, supportive colleagues. I've already framed my lovely card and will hang it in my office to remind me that life doesn't need to be taken so seriously. Funny how that reminder sometimes comes in the strangest ways.
Thanks guys - you are all super-awesome!!