34.


Today is my birthday, which I really, truly don't care that much about. Sure, a tiny part of me wishes for grand gestures and being excessively spoiled for a few hours, but that's never been the way and I'd probably feel uncomfortable. Plus, I have shit to do. No time for bells and whistles, folks. The pies won't bake themselves and Sawyer can't exactly drive himself to the dentist or flu-vaccination clinic, right? 

But still, it's a birthday. And that's a reason for some reflection, if you ask me. Here are some things I've learned in my 33rd year that will hopefully make 34 a little better:

I Measure My Worth in My Productivity
I can't help it, I seriously feel a rush of adrenaline crossing things off my to-do list and staying busy. Tuesday I got up, took Sawyer to three different grocery stores for our weekly shopping/Thanksgiving prep, put everything away, got back in the car, got gas, drove to Buena Park to hang out at Knott's Berry Farm for four or so hours, drove home, cleaned three bathrooms, played LEGOs, vacuumed upstairs and down, put together three bookshelves, cooked dinner, hung out with Sawyer some more and did the bedtime routine, went back to the store for something I forgot, made pumpkin bread, finished a book, and then went to bed. It sounds like a ridiculous amount, I know, I admit it, but I literally felt giddy by the time I went to bed because I had accomplished so much. I am addicted to productivity and this year has helped me accept and embrace it. It's who I am. 

I Don't Care What People Think About My Internet Presence
I've never been extremely hung up on what other people think of me, but I do try to be conscious of not bombarding feeds. But you know what? I don't care. I still don't post excessively to Facebook, my blog, or regular Instagram, but if I want to put up ten Instastories a day, then I will. If I want to blog three days in a row about non-book topics, then I will. If I want to link to a progressive, liberal article on Facebook and risk pissing off a relative or coworker, then I will. I try not to be obnoxious or annoying, but I've come to the realization that people have a choice about what kind of media they consume and if they don't like what they see they can stop viewing it. You can't please everyone and you shouldn't have to. 

It's Time to Amp Up the Skin Care Routine
I've been noticing things I'd rather not in my face lately, so I've tried to really up my game when it comes to skincare (I actually have a post about my current favorite products coming soon). I know aging is normal and natural, but I can slow it down a bit, if I'm willing to shell out a few bucks and be consistent. 

It's Time to Go (Without Guilt)
This past year has made me realize how much I need to travel, and how much I deserve it. I have a few degrees and credentials, I work hard, and I've saved a more-than-adequate safety net. I need to stop feeling guilty about spending money on travel when I'm financially responsible and have a true passion for seeing other places. I've been hemming and hawing for weeks about booking our Banff trip, but I really, really intend to do it before I go back to work. I've run the numbers a million times, have done my research, and now feel really confident with the Great Car Seat Situation (basically I just learned how to install one a week ago). I owe it to myself, and I owe it to my son as well. 

My Friends are the Best
I have a group of maybe five or six women that I consider close friends and who all play different roles in my life, but are equally important. I know who I can go with if I have a weird parenting question, or who to talk to about relationship stuff. There's someone for politics, for work, for random outings (and some of these overlap). My friends range in personality, age, and background, but they all have helped me through rough times whether they realize it or not. They always seem to check in at the right time or suggest making plans when I need it the most. They aren't needy, they have realistic friendship expectations, and they're all just really special. 

Make the Best Out of Things
There have always been bumps of various sizes in the road and my 33rd year was no exception. But the older I get the better I get at handling things and quickly morphing into problem-solving mode (my default setting). It's so corny, but this is all we're getting, unless you believe in reincarnation (god, I hope it's not a real thing), and you have to make the best out of things. Sure, I do freak out still and I do overcompensate in planning and saving, but the older I get the better I am at taking a breath and making a plan.

I think thirty four will be great. I have at least one half marathon planned, a few trips, will see my seniors graduate, and will get to watch my kid keep growing and thriving. I plan to read great books, maybe get in some writing of my own, and keep surrounding myself with the people I love and respect. 

5 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! Hope this year is one of your best!

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  2. Why do you hope reincarnation is not a real thing? I've spent so much time in my life just wondering IF it's a real thing, that I never thought to consider if I'd even want it to be! Food for thought.

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  3. Happy birthday and thank you for sharing your wisdom with us. I'm almost 30 and I have also realised that my happiness very much depends on my productivity. I like to stay busy, and although I have been told many, many, many times that there is more to life than working (in my case 'working' includes reading and writing), I can't help myself. It's good to know that there is more people out there like me, and that it's OK to accept it and just be happy!

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