My colleague was downright breathless about my taking a day off from work tomorrow.
“What are you doing for your birthday?” she asked.
Having breakfast with a friend and then going to Marytown to spend the afternoon on a mini-retreat, I said.
“Like one of the retreats you’ve done before? Where you think about suffering and stuff?”
Well, not quite like that, I told her.
“Good for you!” she said happily. “This is a day for you!”
Um, yeah, kinda, I mumbled awkwardly. But not really.
Sure, it’s my birthday, but it’s not like it’s a spa day or something. I have a track record in recent years or hating my birthday. I mean, really hating my birthday. Like brooding over it. Either nobody notices it, or everybody notices it. I’ve vowed for years that I’d just as soon go away for the day, maybe go on retreat and focus on something besides getting old and feeling forgotten. And finally, I get a chance to do just that.
So no, I don’t want this to be a day just for me. Going to a shrine honoring a saint martyred at Auschwitz isn’t exactly getting a massage and a makeover. Spending the afternoon in front of the Blessed Sacrament isn’t a rollicking, self-indulgent whoop-de-doo. But I don’t want a big whoop-de-doo.
Getting “me time” for my Lenten birthday would be a most depressing gift, honestly.
A quiet, peaceful “Jesus time,” though? Sure, I’ll take it.