Hi again! I wanted to add a little update to my last post after having a flower filled week that was too good not to share!
I am one of the many February birthday babies out there, and this past week I celebrated with some of my closest friends. In the weeks leading up to my birthday, though I had several friends who kindly offered to take up the majority of the planning, I was feeling the pressure to make birthday plans that I wasn’t very excited for. Dinner after a long day at work didn’t sound very fun, a big party sounded too overwhelming for my work-stressed introvert, and nothing about celebrating my creep up the age scale seemed appealing. Then I wrote my Valentine’s Day post and as I brushed my teeth before going to bed that night, an idea surfaced. I’ve often celebrated Valentine’s Day and my birthday together, and so why couldn’t I take up my own challenge of giving back on Valentine’s Day by using my birthday to help me? By the time I pulled up the sheets and set my alarm for work the next day, my excitement for my birthday had turned 180° and I couldn’t wait to get planning.
Within 24 hours, the invitations were sent, the phone calls were made, and the vases were counted. The invitations went out asking my friends to join me for my favorite meal (brunch in the form of french toast and scrambled eggs,) but in lieu of gifts, cards, and food to fill the table, I asked them to each bring a small bunch of flowers. You see, my light bulb moment earlier that week was to ask my friends to celebrate my birthday by joining me in spreading some floral joy in our community for Valentine’s Day; the flowers they would bring would be made into Valentines bouquets for the women at Rosie’s Place, one of the women’s shelters in Boston. And let me tell you – my friends jumped right on board and brought a huge spread of flowers that morning that made our apartment look and smell like a florist’s shop. I have never been so happy to celebrate my birthday, and I was so moved by my fantastic friends and their generosity!
After eating delicious food and spending a lovely morning with everyone, the afternoon and evening was spent crafting 20 mini bouquets for each of the 20 women who are staying at shelter. With such a large assortment of flowers, each bouquet was completely unique, and I spent several hours in pure floral bliss while arranging each one. The next day we packed up the vases, headed downtown to drop them off, and the staff at the shelter helped us unload the bouquets into a big basket for delivery.
While I didn’t get to stay for the moment when the women would see the basket of colorful blooms that would adorn their rooms, I was thrilled that they would be enjoying the flowers as much as I did in the 24 hours beforehand. And as we drove back, I knew that this birthday/Valentine’s Day would be one to remember because it was filled with love and joy not just for me, but for many others. So I hope that even if you missed the opportunity to extend a hand of love and joy this holiday, you would consider taking some time in the next week, month, or year to do so – I promise you won’t regret it!