The Perspective

I posted this photo on Wednesday, which was Jacob’s 33rd birthday. I immediately got comments from followers and texts from friends about how cute the banner was, how good I am at planning birthdays, and how our day sounded just “perfect”. It reminded me that what we see on Instagram is never the full story.

What I didn’t share in my Instagram post was the days, actually weeks, leading up to Jacob’s birthday that were filled with anxiety and feeling unprepared. I have no idea if I’m the only one who struggles with this, but birthdays and Christmas are always slightly tainted by my self-consciousness. I don’t feel like I’m a good gift-giver. I am the person who stands in Anthropologie, staring at the earring rack for 20 minutes, trying to decide which earrings to get her sister for her birthday, but then leaves empty-handed because she can’t decide on the “perfect pair”. I also second-guess any plan I make, concerned that the person won’t like the activities I’ve planned. Instead of thinking of them, I’m thinking of myself. Instead of enjoying, I’m worrying. I actually found myself feeling a little annoyed with Jacob this year because he didn’t give me “enough gift ideas”. How crazy is that?

The day before his birthday I had only gotten him flamingo socks and margarita glasses and had no plans. I was dreading his birthday and feeling unprepared. I don’t remember exactly what brought about the change of heart, but I realized I was thinking more about myself rather than him. I immediately texted his friend, “Hey, can you take Jacob to lunch for his birthday? I’ll treat.” Fortunately, he said yes! I knew Jacob would love getting out of the house with no kids, drinking a beer with his buddy, and playing ping pong. I had also secured our babysitter for the afternoon, so even though I had no idea what we would do, I knew he would appreciate some alone time alone with me. With a new perspective, I was feeling better about just celebrating him instead of trying to buy or plan.

So, on Wednesday morning, instead of waking up feeling anxious and annoyed because I didn’t have the perfect gift or the most amazing plans, I just decided to be sweet and excited. Once I shifted my focus from myself and whether I had delivered on the perfect birthday for Jacob, to Jacob and just truly celebrating him, everything changed. All of a sudden, ideas flooded my head. I’ll use Lilah’s kraft paper roll to make a banner! Jacob is still sleeping so what can I surprise him with? “Lilah! Get dressed. We are getting donuts!” I don’t know what we are doing this afternoon so I’ll just write, “Surprise!” and figure it out later. We ended up having a really sweet day together eating yummy food, getting massages, and ending the night with our Bible Study group.

I don’t know if this counts as a little love story, but I guess it does because love is often messy and it often means getting over yourself and just enjoying life and relationships and birthdays (like, duh).

Read the last Little Love Story | Visit the Little Love Stories Page | View all Little Love Stories

Follow Us On Instagram

@weheartstudio

Menu