Like New Year’s eve, when we sit back and evaluate the year that was, and we make resolutions for the new year that awaits, I think birthday eves conjur up the same sort of feelings. My 30th year was good; it was not without its trials and testings, but overall it was a good year. It started on a high with my 30th celebration with my nearest and dearest, and it ended on a high with us moving into our own home. This year I thought I’d make a bucket list of sorts for my 31st year – so a list of things to do in my 31st year, not a list of things to do before I die! I will review this list from time to time and hopefully tick things off as I go. This list is not a list of weird and wonderful things that I must achieve in order to feel good about myself, but rather a constant reminder that will propel me to do the things I need to do to grow myself to new heights. I don’t think of myself as a procrastinator, but I do have a tendency to “leave things be,” when just a simple tweaking would make a world of difference.
So here’s my To-do list, in no order of importance, for my 31st year.
- Get into a swimming pool and start training for the Midmar Mile 2013. Having done it once before some years ago, I’ve always wanted to give it another bash. A friend of mine has promised to do it with me, so I need to get myself wet if I have any intention of not drowning in the middle of the dam.
- Go on a holiday without the kids. This was on my 30th year to-do list, and it was such a good experience, that we’ve decided to do this annually, even if it’s just for a weekend.
- Go on a holiday with the kids. Not to Durban. Durban isn’t a holiday for me because we spend our time there usually visiting extending family and meeting up with old friends which is wonderful but not exactly a holiday. I want to go away with the kids, just the four of us.
- Grow my green thumb. Everyone always talks about how gardening is therapeutic, and a good way to release stress and how rewarding it is to reap the harvest of your sowing when your garden blooms. I want to start with a herb garden because the pot is already well placed outside my kitchen window; how awesome would it be to stretch out my hand while cooking and grab a fresh bunch of coriander or thyme to add to my pot? It would be awesome!
- Nurture my relationships. I want to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. As a wife, I am going to try to overlook his cringe worthy mannerisms (and there are a lot) and focus on doing more to make him know his worth and his value to the kids and I. As a mother, I really do need to be more present in the moment, yes I CAN multi task but I don’t want to multi task my time with the kids, I want to put everything else down and just focus on them and remember them at this age and not wish away this day because I am so tired and have so much to do. And as for the rest, I want to make more phone calls, visit more often, Skype more regularly, remember birthdays without the help of Facebook and just really love on the people I love.
- Forgive and forget. I don’t want to dwell on things that make me sad or angry. I want to be able to release those people who offend me, intentionally or unintentionally. I don’t want to bear grudges against anyone because while they go about their lives unaware, there I sit seething and miserable. It’s just not worth it.
- Save more. This is such a critical point for me. My dad worked so hard at investing in us, a spirit of saving and not of spending, and it worked because I understand the value, I understand the importance and the downright need to save. But it failed because I just love to SPEND! Ha! What happens if I lose my job, or the kids get really ill or God forbid I or the hubby dies? We need a backup plan for the unfortunate events that could possibly happen to us. So I’m going to work on my nest egg this year for “just in case.”
- Take care of my health. Those of you who know me will know I hardly ever go to a doctor for myself. I will self medicate myself to death one of these days, because I think I know what’s best for me. This year I am going to see a dermatologist about all these moles and bumps and lumps. I am going to complete the dental work that I need to. I am going to go for all my annual checkups: gynae, GP, blood work – the whole shebang or as much as my medical aid will allow at least.
- I’m going to focus on me. For the last three and a half years, I have dedicated my life to my children. I have no regrets about this, it was a decision I made. I vowed to give myself to them in whatever way they needed me and often got scoffed at for being “that” type of mother. It would drive my husband insane and he has told me in more than one argument that I cannot lay my life down for my kids, that I need to live and that they need to learn to be more independent. I was/am one of those parents who do not believe in your children fitting in with YOUR lifestyle, but that you as the parent need to adjust to fit in with THEIR lives. I knew it wouldn’t be forever, and I conditioned myself to change my life for them. And I loved it. Now that they are older, I don’t feel bad about going on a date night with my husband, or packing them off to Durban when I need a break, and more so for my 31st year I am going to stretch the apron strings even further. I am going to focus less on them and more on me. This may mean that I join a book club, or enroll for a Bible study at church, or that I meet up with my girlfriends and leave the kids with their Dad, or that I schedule a mani AND a pedi on the weekend without feeling guilty about missing out on “family time.” And I know my kids will not judge me for it, they will be happy for me. As will my husband.
- Lastly, I want to love what I do and do what I love. Whether it be work, raising my children, blogging – wherever I find myself I want to be joyful in it. You see, there’s a difference between being joyful and being happy. Happiness is dependent on your circumstances – things will happen that will shift you from being happy to being sad very quickly. But joy is deeper than that, the real joy of the Lord bubbles up from deep within you and it isn’t dependent on circumstances. It is a joy that KNOWS that today’s trials will not last forever. It’s a joy that KNOWS God wouldn’t put you to it, if He wasn’t going to get you through it. It’s a joy that allows me to be happy, even when I’m sad.
Hip hip hooray, happy birthday to me!
ps: tonight the kids and I are baking my birthday cake. I’ll let you know how that pans out for us!