I’m sitting at the computer thinking of how I would like to begin my blog for Aspire Wellness. Today is one of the really cold days in January where the air feels like it’s biting your face. It’s very cold. And on my drive into work, I have my heat cranked up in my car really high so that by the time I get out of the car, I’m kinda sweating a little bit. This makes me chuckle. But I do have like 5 layers on. Plus my scarf. But then I suddenly feel emotionally grateful that I am able to get relief from the cold to the point that I am too warm. Because I know there are so many people who are struggling to find where they can get the relief they need.
It seems like such a little thing sometimes, that the idea of being of “being able” to come in from the cold would make me emotionally grateful. Like tears in my eyes. And I think that I feel this way because I have taken this for granted for a long time. Being able. I have taken being able for granted for a long time. So many people are not able for a lot of different reasons. Not able to feel, not able to love, not able to forgive, and on and on.
I’m so thankful that I am capable of so many things in my life. I’m able to think, and learn, and decide, and work, and love, and feel emotion, and walk, and talk. I don’t think of these things in depth on a daily basis.
But not everybody has the capability to do these things. For whatever reason, they find themselves not able. Perhaps it was trauma in their childhood, or a physical disability. Whatever it is, they are unable.
On a smaller scale, you probably have been stuck in a decision with fairly minor consequences. As an example, been in a clothing store and you’re trying to decide between the blue one and the green one? And you go back and forth, trying to decide. And you feel a bit stuck. Which one to choose?!? Feels almost silly that something like this could be a tricky decision. But here you are, back and forth, back and forth. Suddenly unable to decide.
Obviously, deciding that is much different than feeling emotions. But, similar to that, there is a sense of being stuck, of being unable. And it isn’t only about the things that require a conscious decision. People unable to love haven’t necessarily decided not to love. Likely there was another perpetuating factor. But anyway, I’m starting to veer off my point, which is really me being grateful and thankful that I am able.
I know there are plenty of little things that get on my nerves and there are lots of times I complain and get annoyed or aggravated. But on days like today, when the wind is whipping at my face but I am able to get in my car, and I’m able to drive to work, and I’m able to hold down a job and own a business, and I’m able to get warm….no wonder reflecting on that brings tears to my eyes.
So tell me, what are you thankful and grateful for? Because when you truly think about the big and the little things, there are so many reasons and ways to be grateful. Today,
I am celebrating being able.
It occurred to me the other day – I make things really HARD sometimes. As if I have to struggle to achieve whatever I want in life. Understandably, I value hard work, a strong work ethic, earning your keep, going the extra mile, over preparing, striving for the best… you get the idea. I tend to be pretty hard on myself.
Are you this way? In this post, let’s take a look at:
1. How do you think things “come” into your life?
2. What thoughts appear in your mind when you contemplate adding something to your plate?
3. Is there a way to make things easier?
How things “come” into your life
A few years ago, I was introduced to the idea of manifesting. You all have heard about it, right? You think it, ask, wish, and live your life as if you already have it, then BOOM, it’s there. It’s magical and not at the same time. For instance, I manifested that I could finish a marathon. But, I didn’t just wake up one day and run 26.2 miles. I still needed to take massive action to train for this manifestation to become reality. But, each time I ran, I could picture the finish line of the marathon. I played it over and over again in my head, until it came to be. It was a mindset.
I seem to be pretty good at manifesting the “small” stuff. Green lights, a close parking space, a new lamp. I’ve even been known to manifest some bigger stuff, too. A doctorate degree before I turned 30, opening a business, buying a house, adopting a baby. Again, not without effort and work, but I still decided these things, and then planned and prepared for them to transpire.
But, there are still other things that just seem to remain elusive to me. Losing weight, earning money, being healthy, having a baby, etc. After all, I FEEL like I’m manifesting these things the same way… so what gives??
Or am I?
What thoughts appear in my mind when I contemplate achieving these things?
Here’s the thing: I can manifest these things all day, but what if I have conflicting beliefs?? What if my beliefs sabotage me from ever achieving the goal? What if I didn’t even know I had these beliefs because if you questioned whether I “actually” wanted these manifestations, I’d say, “Of course I WANT this! Why would I do something to stop it??”
Then, I noticed the trend in my thoughts. All these things I haven’t achieved… I think they are HARD. Don’t get me wrong, as you can see from my list above, I’ve done some pretty difficult things. So, in comparison, these “other” things on my list should be within reach. Some may even say they are easier than other things I’ve accomplished.
Ahh, but alas the issue – “easy” is in the eye of the beholder.
Somehow it doesn’t seem to matter than I’ve done harder things. For example, let’s talk about losing weight. It is the New Year, after all, and it tends to be a pretty popular Resolution.
What if all that matters is that I think it’s hard? Let’s break it down like this – if my belief is that losing weight is hard, it’s going to be hard to lose weight.
So, can I still lose it? Maybe. Maybe not. Could my own mindset, my own universal belief that losing weight is hard actually prevent me from losing weight? What if I decide that I can only lose weight if I put in the max amount of effort, and anything less than a struggle will result in me failing? I have to really earn it! Grind out every calorie! Therefore, I’ve decided I need to work twice (or three or four) times as hard to lose weight.
Even though I have manifested losing weight, my values and beliefs related to just how hard I think I have to work – just how much effort I believe need to expend – will determine the outcome of the manifestation. Have my values and beliefs outweighed (ha good time for a pun) my ability to manifest the outcome I want?
Maybe this is how people get stuck. I’ve heard so many times things like, “I can only lose weight if I run… workout an hour every single day… stop eating carbs… use slim fast…” Etc, etc, you fill in the blank. Without this max effort, they will not, under any circumstances, be able to lose weight. Because that is exactly what they have told the Universe.
Is there a way to make things easier?
Well, I’m not exactly sure. I will need to test the theory, but…
What if I decide it isn’t hard? What if I decided it wasn’t a torturous struggle? What if I decided that every time I ate, I make great choices which result in a great result every time I step on the scale? What if I decided that summer dress in my closet will, in fact, fit me by summer? What if I just made a plan, and broke things down a little at a time and DID IT consistently verses deciding that it is overwhelming?
What if I decided losing weight was easy?
Could it be as simple as that? I have to do the work either way, right? Hard… easy… either way, the weight isn’t just falling off with no effort. But, for years, I’ve decided everything about weight loss is hard- finding the time to exercise, the exercise itself, the food restrictions, the healthy habits that I have to implement, the feeling of being hungry, the idea that I’m missing out, the idea that I have to work so very very hard to lose the same as anyone else. So what if I tried it a different way, and decided that it was going to be easy? The worst case scenario is that it’s still hard, right?
I have begun to wonder how it will turn out if I apply this concept to all these other areas of life that I think are HARD…
Maybe things aren’t hard, and I just think they are hard. Maybe I don’t have to work this much, plan as much, expend as much, or give away as much as I BELIEVE that I do. Maybe I have to change my outlook first, and the rest will fall into place. HARD is holding me back.
Look out, 2019. I’m gunning for it! A new mindset. Everything I want to achieve in this life is easy.
I’m going to make it look easy. Because it is. I just decided.
I relate to song lyrics on a regular basis. I guess I hear them differently at different times. Or when I’m meant to hear them. I was listening to my iPod the other day and a song I have heard hundreds of times and have sang along to on a regular basis, came on and I was singing away. The song is by no means a new release, and after all the previous listening to this song I have done, these particular lyrics stood out to me as poignant. This day, when I was meant to hear these lyrics….
The song lyrics are from a band called Nine Days. The name of the song is “If I Am”. And the specific lyrics I’m writing about is “You should never let the sun set on tomorrow, Before the sun rises today.”
I have been struggling recently with staying positive and I have been worrying a lot. And I worry about certain things in my life coming to an end or not working out. And I think the meaning of these lyrics, for myself in regards to what has been happening in my own life, is really about taking things one day at a time, being in the moment, and not giving up.
It might seem to be a stretch for you to get that message from these 2 lines of a song. But song lyrics, as a lot of things, can be subjective. I suppose a lot of my worrying stems from things being out of my control and not knowing what to expect. And I guess, in a way, these lyrics are telling me that I can do something different today to change what could happen tomorrow. Put another way….Don’t give up on tomorrow before today has a chance to play out.
And while I would like to believe that of course, I’m not giving up, sometimes my not so positive attitude makes things a little bit harder than they even probably need to be. And I stay in this cycle of worrying and not talking, and continuing to worry about what might happen tomorrow (or further down the road). Dislike this cycle. I don’t want to be a pessimist. I’ve decided I am going to have a more positive attitude and outlook. Yep, just like that. I decided.
To be cliché, I’m not going down without a fight. J In fact, no reason to think I’m going down. Things are going to be ok. They will work out like they are meant to. I don’t know the rest of the story, but if I’m thinking of these lyrics that have turned me around a little bit, then I can’t give up on tomorrow before today has even started.
So, don’t get discouraged by roadblocks. They are probably there for your own lesson. Things you have to work through. Same for me, but that is a whole another blog subject….
“You should never let the sun set on tomorrow, before the sun rises today….”
Too often we women focus on how we look instead of what’s most important, what will connect us to our partners and ensure long-lasting confidence, how we feel.
When we focus on how we look, we’re focusing on external validation. We’re basing our feelings about ourselves based on someone else's criteria of how they think we “should” look, and often we do this not even based on their words but on how we “think” they think.
This sets up for continued insecurity, vacillating confidence and the inability to self-correct when our confidence waivers.
By letting go of how we look and tuning into how we feel, in our bodies, about ourselves, our actions, and about our world as connected through our senses, we not only connect to others in a meaningful way, but also, and let’s get personal for a moment, we have more satisfying sensual intimacy in our romantic relationships.
For example, if we have anxiety, fears, or a hard day, obsessing about that will only ensure that we try to self soothe by stuffing those feelings. Instead, if we tune into how our body feels, we can slow down, savor our food and use food (or whatever other experience we’re using to numb ourselves) as it was meant to be used, to nurture not disconnect our body.
All women are beautiful and valuable just the way they are, they just have to tune into their bodies and feel it, so they always know it.
I tried and tested this Self Appeal workshop in California and am so excited to bring it to Delaware. If you have any questions, check out selfappeal.com/local-classes for video testimonials, or call or send me an email. If you have no questions and you’re interested in a taking a couple hours before the holidays settle in and you feel rushed to “do” for everything and everybody else, sign up. Spend a couple hours using all your senses to tune into your body and reset your mind so you know how to tune into and feel good in your body with confidence all the time!
Are you living your true self? I mean, really. When you sit back and think about it, do you even know your true self? Sometimes I wonder if I’m my own unique individual at all. Maybe I’m just a collection of ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and values that others have impressed upon me. From the time we are born, we are taught rules, views, this vs that.
Sure, I can critically think and decide. But, what are the basis for my decisions? Are they rooted in making others happy, society norms, popular belief? If so, that leads me in a circular pattern wondering how do I actually find myself in all that mess?
It’s a lot to think about, and as caught up in “my life” as I am, I wonder if I disassembled it all, what would be left - of just… me.
We live in a very judgey place. Yes, judgey. And, yes, I know it’s not technically a word. But, you know exactly what I mean.
In a time in history where we preach freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom to be creative, build what you want, do what you want, be who you want… I wonder how many of us are really doing that.
I think freedom to be one’s self is an amazing idea. I think we all crave to not feel caged in. It’s like we want to rip open our chest and let that power inside us, out. Unleash it to the world! It sounds so freeing. So pure. Like a breath of fresh air.
It is a time in history where we are publicly watching all kinds of freedoms (of speech, of beliefs, of values) being played out right in front of us on a world stage. And it seems quite the opposite of pure. In fact, it’s in-your-face shocking. Terrifyingly so.
Yet, for every yin, there is a yang. The truth is, we don’t all breathe fresh air. Some of us breathe fire.
Yes, technically we all breathe both at times. It’s a balance. But what is happening in your micro world (in your home, school, workplace) is the same exact dynamic that is then brought to a bigger platform (your community, neighborhood, town, city, state, country). It’s all a mirror.
My question is, in which way does the scale tip for you? What are you bringing to the stage?
What I have personally found is that the fire seems to suck the fresh air right out of the room. No matter what move you make, no matter how good your intentions, those fire breathers just light it all up and burn it to the ground.
The result? You hold in the pureness; the breath of fresh air is never felt; the creativity is trapped inside. And it eventually turns into fear. Fear of being exposed. And then lynched.
Why? Because, frankly, it takes so much stinking courage to be yourself. Every being needs love to thrive. We seek it. So, yes, it’s very clear to me why we care what other people think, and why it’s hard to block it out and turn it off.
No one likes to be squished. Bullied. Ripped apart. Criticized. No one.
Let’s be honest, there are productive ways to give feedback, and there are unproductive ways, as well. We’ve all been on the delivery and receiving ends of both ways.
But, in a world of ultimate freedom, I’ve never seen more people afraid to be their true selves than ever before. Why? Because no matter how great your creativity, uniqueness, or talent, there is a fire breather lurking around every corner ready to burn you to the ground.
Our world of free speech allows everyone to have an opinion. In fact, I bet someone is reading this right now that is ready to blast off some fiery comments in response. Why? Just because they can…
For a long time, I’ve felt the need to live my life under the covers, so to speak. It’s not that I’m an incredibly private person, but most people know nothing beyond the surface.
Why? Because I don’t want to be criticized, made fun of, or bullied. I don’t want bad press. I don’t want your opinion on if I’m right or wrong. I also didn’t ask your input on how I use my time, money, or energy. I don’t want you to hold things over my head. I don’t want to hear that you were talking about me around someone else’s dinner table. And, so goes the smoke and mirrors game.
I can’t tell you that I struggled with self-identity issues after my son was born. I can’t tell you that I have a fragile self-esteem. I can’t tell you that I struggle with health issues, that my body hurts a lot, and that I’m not sure how to fix it. I can’t tell you that I worry about making ends meet. I can’t tell you that half the time I feel like I have no direction, and I question why the hell I’ve made the decisions I have.
I also can’t tell you about amazing gifts that I have either. I can’t tell you that I can communicate with animals, that I see people in other dimensions, that I talk to God regularly (and he talks back), that I don’t always feed my kid vegetables at every meal, and that I go on vacation a few times a year because if I don’t, I will go completely insane.
I bet there are people that will have plenty of opinions about any of the above. Some encouraging. Some less so. The point is, who cares. None of us come without baggage. Not one of us.
Who am I to judge you? Just as who are you to judge me? Furthermore, if your unsolicited feedback brings nothing constructive to the conversation, why bring it to the table at all?
On a world stage, it is hard to breathe fresh air. It takes resilience, strength, courage to let your own light shine.
Be different. Be weird. No one ever got to an amazing place doing the ordinary. Let them talk about you. For as many fire breathers, there has to be an equal amount of oxygen.
I’m here to live MY best life. If you are here to do the same, then you have no need to insert fire breathing comments as to what I’m doing. So, I’m going to be the oxygen. In order to do that, I need to come out from under the covers. I am not going to be the change, because I don’t need to change. I just need to be me. And you need to be you. Hopefully, that’s something we can all agree on.
I was talking to someone the other day and the person said to me that they thought this was funny…. They were having a conversation with someone else a couple days prior and between them, they had mentioned a third person that they hadn’t heard from in a while. Then the following day, one of them got a phone call or email from that third person. They thought it was funny because that wasn’t the first time that had happened to them. Thought maybe it was coincidence.
I chuckled when they told me that, because a couple years ago, I probably would have thought the same thing. Coincidence. But, I’ve been learning a lot of new things in the past couple years. One of those things is how you can put “stuff” out into the universe. All your thoughts are a conversation with the universe. So, the chat those 2 people were having above, when they mentioned that other person who happened to get in touch…not as much coincidence as it is manifesting.
Have you also experienced this? I have many times. You think about a hamburger and then you see a commercial for one. Or you think about how you haven’t talked to your nephew in a while and he calls the next day. It’s all the little things you put out in the universe…. and the big things too.
You probably always hear people saying things like: “Be Positive” and “Be Kind to Yourself”. Well, there is merit and meaning behind this. As I mentioned before, all the things you think and say is a conversation with the universe. So when you say negative things, the universe hears this as a want or a demand. So that’s what you get. A good example of this would be hitting all the red lights while you are driving. Has this also happened to you? You are rushing out of the house and you probably should have left 5 minutes earlier. And you think that you will likely get stuck at all the red lights on your way to your destination. And sure enough, you do. Well, my friend, you might have created that for yourself, unless some other Divine intervention is happening. You have thought about the red lights and are now stuck at them.
So with this logic, if the universe hears your negative thoughts and delivers them, how about delivering the positive thoughts? Yes! They can be manifested too! When you are thinking your thoughts, make sure they have a positive spin on them. The best way to speak in the positive, is to avoid the negative! What do I mean exactly? Well, say or think about what you actually want. Here is an example. The statement “I don’t want to get sick” is a very common expression. You might have said it at times too. But how many times have you heard someone say that and then they end up sick? Uh huh. A more positive way to say, what we intend to be the same thing, is to say “I want to be healthy.” See what I did there? ;)
There are endless ways and situations where you can work on changing your words into the positive. It does take some practice and in frustrating or upsetting situations, it is easy to fall into speaking or thinking negatively. But the more you practice this are of manifesting, the easier it becomes to speak and think positively and the quicker you can change your own thoughts around. Even in those troubling times when negativity surrounds you.
So manifest away! Say and think all the positive things you want. And remember, the universe is infinite. You can never ask for too much. But remember….the universe hears all your thoughts….
Interesting things happen when you’re alone. I mean, truly alone.
I recently completed a 21 day Self Care Detox Challenge. I made up the Challenge, and hence the “rules,” but in a nutshell, I pushed myself to set aside 30 minutes a day to do something for myself.
Yea, I used the word “pushed.” As if you really need to “work hard” at doing nothing for 30 minutes! Well… some of us struggle with that. We are so caught up in work, running, chaos, bills, productivity, squeezing more out of life and into our days, that we neglect the most basic form of self-care.
When I say basic, I mean basic. Being quiet. And alone. Basic.
What I noticed as I began my 30 minutes for 21 days is that we often make things super complicated. I had this whole conversation in my head about, “Well, what is self-care? What activities ‘count’ as taking care of myself? What is a good enough use of my time? Is one thing better than another?”
I hear you, as you think this is all ridiculous. And it is. But, how many times have you tried to outdo yourself – to top your own ideas – to weigh what is “better”? I bet you have.
I think we really use money to level the playing field. It’s a language we understand. You can break things down into dollars, and therefore, now we know which “thing” is more valuable.
News flash – value is in the eye of the beholder.
So, during my 30 days, I did a range of activities. Some cost me money. Some cost me nothing. They all took time. In the beginning, I was wrapped up in making the experience super meaningful. So, as one of my first activities, I got a massage. A massage, to me, is obviously self-care. Everyone knows that…
As my 21 days went along, I realized something very interesting – my belief that money made something more valuable. It’s not hard to know why I think this; we are programmed to believe this our whole lives. So, therefore, the money I spent on the massage made it more valuable than the quiet meditation I did in my hammock at home.
I also stumbled upon my own irony – tying my own self-care to activities to other people. I’m not getting a massage without a therapist, right? Then I raise the question: How much responsibility of my own self-care do I place on others? Is it the therapist’s job to make me feel great? So, if I don’t feel great, does that mean that self-care is hogwash?
Raising the bigger question: How much of my self-care do I actually do MYSELF? When I walk, I use headphones. When I get a massage, I see a therapist. When I got to the chiropractor, I see a doctor. When I zone out at night, I watch Netflix. When I want to escape my reality, I read a book. When I have a few minutes to disconnect, I do the opposite, and scroll through Facebook. The list goes on and on.
What I found in the 21 days is that the best quality of self-care I received is when I spent time alone. In my head. Just me. It is in that space that I found peace, calm, and freedom. That’s where great ideas are born. Revelations are made. Strength and answers are found.
That isn’t to devalue a massage, a facial, the chiropractor, a good book, etc. It’s just my realization that it’s different. I think many of us struggle to be quiet in our minds. We struggle to be alone. We struggle with our own thoughts when there is no one around to listen. We want validation from others. We judge our worth and time based on how much we spent or by the qualifications of the person we were with.
The bottom line is, you are enough. Just you. Just your thoughts.
We also have so much power within us. So much of what we seek truly lies in our souls. Just be comfortable enough inside your own skin to hear and feel your own thoughts. The guidance we receive in the quiet spaces in our mind is our true path. No road signs and flashing lights of approval are needed by anyone else. Trust yourself.
If you struggle with being alone in your own mind, whether it’s fear or just a hectic life you lead, I challenge you to put aside the busyness and connect with yourself, even if you have to make an appointment with yourself to do so. No need to rely on anyone else. You are enough.
Skinny, hilarious and unforgiving is the kind of girl that lives inside my body. Let me explain unforgiving before anyone loses their mind over that statement. I have lived for a long time at a size that makes no sense. A lot of people justify their weight and can look back and give you the day that all of this fat just happened to them. I am unforgiving in that I blame myself and months of habits vs giving any credit to years of doing right. I blame myself when I look back and can clearly see a two year old that had no control over what was in their mouth when she was first labelled obese by doctors.
One of my students was commenting this week about how he couldn't run a mile he claimed that he was "too fat" for that. I sort of laughed and I said if I can run a mile, you can certainly run a mile. He stood in front of me maybe weighing 165lbs and looked at me with all seriousness and said "Ms., I have gained 20lbs since I got here, I am just not used to being this big and I can't exercise to that extreme at all.". The conversation continued and it was in convincing him that he can definitely run a mile that I realized perhaps I am wrong.
I have proven to myself that in this fat suit that I am wearing I can do anything. Honestly I have become pretty successful at a lot of things at this weight...but somehow in proving to my body (and everyone looking at it) wrong, I have also gotten comfortable in my skin. Great for confidence and being a mother that is raising kick ass kids that will always know their worth...but sad for the part of my spirit that has always felt trapped in this body. I have somehow forgotten about her and become complacent as long as I can still do and accomplish!
Because of that realization I know it's okay to focus on my goals and not just be happy with what I have. My accomplishments are many and I am very grateful but it is okay to want to chisel myself out of the rock that is holding me here and stop living my life from within.
I recently heard a pretty amazing quote. “What we know is a drop. What we don’t know is an ocean.” I was watching a series on Netflix called “Dark”. Not sure who to actually attribute the quote to though. The character, the writer, someone else who has said it first? Anyway, I wanted to give credit where it was due, just don’t know who it’s due to.
Back to this quote…..when I heard this, I was struck with the trueness of this statement. While I have never really thought that I know everything (how could that possibly be anyway), this quote reminded me of how much more there is to learn and to understand and to discover. I like to think of myself as intelligent and having common sense. But there is still an unimaginable amount of information that I will never know.
I think there are things or topics that we haven’t even begun to investigate. Referring back to the ocean specifically, I remember hearing a statistic about how much of the ocean we don’t know about. I had to go back and check what that was and according to the National Ocean Service website “More than eighty percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored.” That’s a huge amount that we have no idea about! HUGE! And that’s just the ocean. There are forests, and the atmosphere, and time, and energy, and people’s minds. I could obviously go on and on, but I think you might get the point.
I feel like we have all met a person in our lifetime that “seems” to know everything. At least that’s how they act. Obviously, no one can know everything. But anytime there is a conversation about anything, they know about it and can talk about it or know a better way to do it. Well, I think we can all agree that they don’t know it all.
This isn’t really about the know-it-alls out there. It’s about the desire to know what I don’t know. To learn things I haven’t been exposed to before. To allow myself to be taught new things. How freeing it is to be exposed to a new topic and just give yourself the time to think on it. Contemplate it, discuss it, and wonder about it.
There are so many things that we might have heard of in our lifetime. Or have seen on a tv show or in a movie. A topic that has been discussed that seems unbelievable or that at first seems to be unbelievable. But as we dig further into the topic….maybe it’s not so crazy or not unreal. Remember the whole debate on whether or not the world is round or flat? Well, you might not remember first hand, but that debate didn’t go as most people would have thought all those years ago. Time travel…..”Back to the Future” movies. The idea has come from somewhere….
So it seems plausible that the idea of what we know is a drop and what we don’t know is an ocean. Think of that the next time you fill your bathtub, or see a pool, or even notice a puddle. Think of what you know as one drop of knowledge living in that space of all that is yet to be discovered. And then think about how awesome it would be to have 2 drops of knowledge in that cavernous space.
My friends, the magic of learning and being taught is astounding and never ending. Who are we to say that something isn’t real or couldn’t be possible. Just because we can’t see something doesn’t make it fake. There is so much to know….we won’t ever know it all. But the fun comes in learning about the things that aren’t yet discovered.
So keep your thinking hats on, everyone! Embrace learning and do your best to add a couple more drops to the ocean of the undiscovered.
As (my) world turns. Another trip around the sun.
Happy birthday to me! Happy middle age. Augh. I’m not sure how I feel about the “middle”. Perhaps because it feels that much closer to opposite end of where I began? Obviously, it’s all relative and illogical anyway. Who knows when the true middle is? My middle could have already passed. Or maybe it’s still yet to come.
Do you ever stop to think about your birthday? I mean, more than just “oh it’s my birthday.” I feel like there are two types of people: 1: people who operate like it’s just another day, or 2: IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!
I’m in the second category. I LOVE my birthday. I’m not even sure why. Maybe it’s a nice mid-way point from Christmas? Maybe because it’s near July 4th and people are already in party mode? As a kid I always secretly believed the fireworks were just for me. Obviously, I don’t know how I would feel if my birthday was in another time of year.
This year is a BIG one for me – 40. I always thought it wouldn’t really be a big deal to turn 40. Age is just a number! Sure. Until I’m turning 40.
I don’t think it’s so much about feeling old. I feel about the same as I have over the past couple of years. Nothing has suddenly changed. But, it feels… different. Like a shift in time. Or a shift in mindset.
By 40 I feel like there are no excuses. This is life. You’re living it. You have experiences. You’re not too young for stuff (like renting a car or signing a lease). You’re also not too old (AARP hasn’t called just yet). But, at this point, either you have it together or you don’t.
Does anyone ever truly has it all together?? I think our world is clouded with the picture perfect images we all want the world to see. Not that anything is wrong with that, per se. I surely don’t like the world to see everything chaotic in my life.
But I’m beginning to understand the mid-life crisis. It’s a turning point of reflection. Where you are seriously wondering if this is it. When you realize that you’ve been kicking around this “life” thing for a while and you are nowhere near where you want to be. When you decide that going through the motions seems fairly unproductive and silly and you want more meaning behind what you do.
I have a list of 100 Things I’d like to do. Call it a bucket list, wish list, goals, whatever word resonates with you. There are little things on my list (like spend more time with my dogs) to bigger ideas (like be incremental in passing legislation). When I wrote it, I really took time to contemplate the “things” in life that mattered to me. I didn’t judge or filter my thoughts. I just simply wrote things I wanted.
Who knows if I will get to do even half the things on my list. I can’t say I have a plan of action to knock off all these items. I think it’s okay to not be so programmed in getting them done. But, every once in a while, I look at the list, and it reminds me that I’m alive. I’m more than my job, more than a mom, more than a wife. I’m alive, on a journey all of my own. Having experiences.
The thing with 40 is that time already feels like it’s flying by. Years seems to go faster and faster. When I look at my list of 100 Things, the key is that I FEEL GOOD while doing them. I don’t want to waste time feeling crappy.
Feeling good is HARD work. I know I don’t feel like I did in my 20s. I can’t imagine what I will feel like in my 60s. But right now, in this moment, I want to feel awesome. Feeling good is not something I want to achieve one day. I want to be it every day.
Turning 40 makes me realize that I’ve been fortunate enough to live this many days already. None of us know how many more days we get. What I do know is that I want to feel good for as many of them as I possibility can. There is no waiting around till next year, next month, next week. Just chose be feel good in every moment as they happen.
Do things that make you happy. Do things that make your body feel good. Give it good fuel. Give it good rest. Have fun. Exercise (after you do this enough, you realize that it actually does feel good!). Breathe.
I’m not really ready to “tackle” the next 40. I’m ready to live them in the present moment. I’m ready to learn how to just “be.” Seems hard to believe it’s taken me 40 years in this body to just begin that journey. All in due time, I suppose.
As my 39th trip around the sun concludes this weekend, I open a new chapter of life. Learning more about who I am, and learning to enjoy the present moment. As we all know, the present is all we truly have. No better day to do it than on a day I already love.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.