2 years in a row i have blogged a "things to do before" list on my birthday.
i loved writing them, but each year i lost sight of the lists along the way.
perhaps the lists were too long to truly focus on. plus they were quite whimsical in nature to begin with. this past birthday (39) i still had list making on my heart, but i knew i wanted it to be more real. short and sweet and with a whole lot of personal purpose.
so here we go...
a few things to work on before turning 40.
ok. deep breaths....
- be authentic. i feel more in my skin this birthday than i have in years. i am taking this as a very good sign. to honor that i want to be more real, more honest, more me. at first i had this quote on my mind, "be you. everyone else is taken." but then just a few days ago my husband came home and shared another quote with me, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” -dr. suess. wise wise man that doc. i love this quote so very much because for as long as i can remember i have always been a pleaser. i am guilty of censoring myself too much in fear of what others may think. when in reality, those who matter get it, or even better, get me.
- eat better. this could really be named 1-B for if i am to be authentic i need to get real with myself first. so here i go.... i am overweight. i have been struggled with this fact my whole adult life. i take photos of my face because i am not comfortable with my body. about 8 years ago i lost a large amount of weight and it felt good to feel happier in my body. then i had 2 babies very close together and i let myself slide back into unhealthy eating habits and little physical activity and gained all that i had lost back, plus some. this will be very hard for me. i truly enjoy all aspects of food. i love to cook. i love to eat. i know i need to force some physical exercise into my routine and fast, that i am truly lacking.spring being just around the corner i know all of us will be outdoors walking and playing much more, this will surely help. this winter included far too much baking on my part. i hope by saying (or typing) this out loud, i will hold myself more accountable. eat less ~ chew more. i have no number in my head. i just want to feel stronger and healthier.
- find balance. i love my space here and over on flickr but some days i feel unbalanced by my pull to connect online. this is truly a double edged sword. on one hand i have made many true real life friends via the computer, but some days i feel like i simply cannot keep up enough and that in turn makes me feel guilty and that is unhealthy. so balance (that oh so tricky word), i must seek a better balance and let go of the guilt. i am a mom of 3, a wife, a home maker, a friend,a photographer, a blogger... i simply cannot do it all all the time and i need to be ok with that. i don't know how others do it with facebook and twitter of top of everything else!
- find my place. i often joke i have gypsy blood in my veins but really that is just an excuse for not feeling i "fit". we moved our family here many years ago for a job and then made the decision to stay put for the sake of our eldest who is now a senior in high school. when we arrived here 5 years ago, i had 2 small babies (one only 4 months old and colicky to boot) and our eldest entering her teens with brought new challenges and struggles. i boxed myself into home life and cocooned. i was insecure about making new friends in my new place... i was older than most moms of young ones adding to my feeling of not fitting. i made TONS of online friends but no one in person. i really dove into photography, busying myself with my new passion. i had no one to drop in on and bake muffins for. no one to share mommyhood with. no tribe. no village. and the longer it went on, the more secluded i began to feel... embarrassed even. then hubby and i had a rough patch (15 years together now) so all my energy turned inward. making social friends was just not going to happen then. we worked hard, and have happily come out the other end stronger, healthier and more connected. so i guess now i feel in that good space, but miss having friends in person to hang out with. i love being a friend. i love having friends. it is such a huge part of who i know i am. this june our eldest graduates and will venturing out onto her next chapter, this opens up a lot of opportunity for change for us. my hope is that we as a family find our place. wherever that turns out to be, i hope we connect to our community, find a circle of close friends to be social with, and then really make roots.
- give. give more of myself; to my kids, to my husband, to my community, to my world. i felt so completely invigorated on new years day taking the plunge into the cold atlantic raising almost one thousand dollars for maine's special olympics. i need to continue to search out ways to continue giving. giving is so needed and a i feel a responsibility. it is quite possibly the most important lesson i wish to teach my children. by giving you get so much more than you ever imagined possible in return...
do you have a list?