____________________________________________Yesterday I turned 39 – or as I like to call it, my “I’m not yet 40” birthday. But the countdown is now on.
I’m not afraid of turning 40. Actually, I’m quite excited about it. I’m ready to embrace it. Because 39 is going to be an amazing year. I know it!
This is the year I plan to turn things around. My health, my spirit, my soul… I want to be authentically me.
I feel like I’ve spent a long time trying to be what I think people want. Trying to make people want to be my friend or in my life by changing things about me to make myself what I perceive to be more likeable, or relatable, or whatever it is that makes a person popular. Or whatever it is.
I’ve spent way too much of the last few years feeling sorry for myself. Wishing I could be the kind of person that people just WANT to be friends with. The kind that just draws people to them like a moth to a flame. (That’s not cliché right?) Then, when I’m sad or depressed because I’m sitting at home alone looking at Facebook pictures of friends out having a good time, I tell myself, and try to convince myself, that friends are overrated, friendships aren’t as important as my family, and I don’t need it.
Truth is, I DO NEED friendships. I treasure friendships. I like people. I like relationships. I like going out with the girls, no kids. I like going out with the girls AND kids. Trying to tell myself I don’t is just crazy.
I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and books that preach being authentic. Being real. Cultivating relationships. And it may seem very tree hugger or Oprah-like, but it’s all so, so true.
So that is why I am making 39 the year I “Oprahfy” my life.
I want to be healthier by watching what I eat, eating less processed food, getting more exercise through workout and activity, and relaxing and relieving my stress as much as possible. Yeah, I have an idea of what I’d like to weight when it’s over, but I’m not making that the focus.
Along with my physical health I want to work on my spiritual health and growth. I didn’t grow up in a religious or church-going house, and while I’ve always felt spiritual and believed in God, I never really felt it necessary to go any further. But recently, thanks in BIG part to my visit to Hillsong NYC back in May, I really want to examine my faith and find out more. Recently I’ve had some questions. I want better figure out where I stand, what I believe… Music has always been huge for me, and I’m listening to a lot of Christian Music and loving all that I’m discovering. It’s helping immensely.
I also want to expand my mind. I’ve spent so much of my life, the last few years especially, watching TV and mindlessly browsing social media. A lot of times it’s because, by the end of the day, I’m just too exhausted to do much else. Also, the lives on TV and on the internet seem much more exciting than mine. But recently I’ve been reading a lot more, trying to use my time for personal growth and not just mindless entertainment (although I still adore mindless entertainment and watching TV – it just can’t be ALL I do anymore).
I also want to live a more simple life. Reading “Notes from a Blue Bike” has completely inspired a new way of thinking for me. It’s what inspired my new mantra, “Life is about relationships and experiences.” It’s why I want to travel more, take more adventures with the family, get rid of all the clutter and crap we have been hoarding in our house, and just be more authentic. I’m finding a thrill and excitement about the future when I read books or blogs like that, and I’m constantly trying to figure out how to incorporate some of those ideas into my life while still being me, and our family being (here’s that word again) authentic.
There are a lot of things I’m trying to remember this year:
Learn to Adapt – when something doesn’t go exactly as planned (activities with the kids, Christmas etc.) adapt to the situation and make it work, make it fun, and make to an experience anyway.
There are no rules – There isn’t one right way to parent. There isn’t one right way to decorate, to dress, to dream… Do what feels right to me, what’s right for my family, and make sure I’m AUTHENTIC
Life is about relationships and experiences. This is self-explanatory. In the end, the relationships we have and the memories we’ve made are all we have. The stuff we accumulate is great and can add to both our relationships and experiences, but most of it is a temporary “high.” The most important things are how you treat people, how you spend time with your loved ones, that you DO spend time with your loved ones, and that you enjoy life. We’re only here once, and only for a little while. Like the words from on my favorite songs by Francesca Battistelli, “It’s your life, what’cha gonna do?”