A birthday wish, from a 30 something…

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You guys, I turned 31 yesterday. How the heck did that happen?! I’m not sure where the last year went, but boy did it go fast. Every year around my birthday I seem to go into a really reflective place. I try to pay attention to where I’ve been over that last year and where I want to go during the next 365 days. More or less, I’m making my grown-up birthday wish.

To be totally transparent, last year at this time I was NOT in a good place. Turning 30 kind of hit me hard. Was I really where I wanted to be? Had I accomplished everything that my childhood head thought that I would by 30?! I was really struggling, and it was something that I did not let on to many. There was a plethora of things going on that involved my career, my long term goals, our land/house hunt, the hormone shifts from stopping breastfeeding…but none of them are enough of an excuse for how I felt. I knew I had to make some changes. Around the same time, I had finished reading Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, and I’ll be completely honest and shameless in saying that it changed my life and the course of the next year.

 Last year on my 30th birthday wish trip
Last year on my 30th birthday weekend away

Last year’s birthday wish

I decided on my 30th birthday that enough was enough and that if I was unhappy, that was on me…. yes this is one of my favorite Rachel Hollis quotes. Now, this goes without saying, especially if you know me well, you know that none of these feelings had to do with my husband, children, family, or friends. If anything, nearly every ounce of happiness that I felt during this time came from them. They are my biggest blessings and I never felt that I took them for granted. However, I knew that I was not being the best that I could for them. I knew that over the next year I wanted to change my perceptions of what was happening around me and realize that I did have control over my happiness, and ultimately how I was living my life.

Related Post: Stand up. Be brave. Keep going.

I never made a list, or a plan really, I just decided that I was going to try to do little things every day that pushed me in the direction that I wanted to go. Sometimes that just meant smiling when I really wanted to cry. Other days, it was putting on some music and dancing around the kitchen with my kids when I wanted to zone out in social media land. And many times it meant climbing into bed early, and leaving the household tasks for another day, because a good night’s sleep always helped the next day go that much better. I listened to a bunch of podcasts, and have read a few development books that have brought me a lot of clarity. In the end, it was many little changes that brought me to where I am now.

This year’s birthday wish

This year, though, my grown-up birthday wishes are bigger. I really feel like a different person than I was a year ago. Consequently, literally every aspect of my life has followed suite, and it’s kind of amazing. But, because my wishes for this year are so big, I know that I need a plan. Ultimately, this year I want to focus around intentionality. I want to be intentional with how I spend my time, with how I choose to develop myself, with how I am raising my children, with how I am a partner in my marriage, and with how I lead my pharmacy teams….intentional.

In true 2019 fashion I just googled “what does it mean to be intentional?” and the answer is perfect.

“It means you are purposeful in word and action. It means you live a life that is meaningful and fulfilling to you. It means you make thoughtful choices in your life.
Being intentional means you actively interact and engage with your life. You wake up every day and ask yourself, “how am I going to make this day great?”
You respond instead of react. You love instead of fear. You embrace instead of expect. You accept instead of resist.”

Source

Intentionality- what does this have to do with my birthday wish?

Well, in order for these wishes to come true, I need to be intentional. As a kid we believed that by making the wish as we blew out the candles that it would happen. And maybe it would! You wished for a new bike and when you opened presents after finishing your cake, you discovered that mom and dad totally picked up on all those hints that you dropped. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works with a grown-up birthday wish.

Plans help us reach our goals. Intentionality drives plans. Plain and simple. So, I’m going to be intentional. I want my mind, body, marriage, parenting, relationships, career, and blog to be at their best, so those are my focus areas. My birthday wish(es) for the next year are all in line (directly and indirectly) with moving the needle in these areas.

birthday cake to make birthday wish

So let’s get at it…. Here are my 32 wishes by my 32nd birthday

  1. Start keeping a gratefulness journal (I’ve owned one a year now…time to start using it!)
  2. Get back into a workout routine (walking, running, lifting, dancing- just something)
  3. Get back to my morning prayers
  4. Wake up earlier for “me time” and work on 1, 2, & 3
  5. Be more consistent with my blog (exciting stuff coming this fall!)
  6. Date night with my husband at least once monthly
  7. Girlfriend time at least once monthly
  8. Try to spend more time unplugged- preferably the first hour of the day
  9. Pick one area of the house to declutter/pack/donate weekly
  10. Clean out and pack up our house- purge as much as possible
  11. Decorate for each holiday (something that I used to love, and totally slacked on this year)
  12. Neatly repack all of my holiday decoration to move to the new house (I cannnnot wait to decorate there!)
  13. Continue with meal planning (makes for smoother evenings)
  14. Do a few freezer meal prep events (one every few months)
  15. Challenge myself to shop my pantry (use up what we have instead of just buy more)
  16. Be more transparent (help others feel camaraderie in this life/parenting/marriage thing)
  17. Work to keep a tidier bedroom (I’m not a tidy person by nature, this is hard for me)
  18. Start (and hopefully finish) our house build!!!! (FINALLY)
  19. Try not to stress toooo much during that process
  20. Save up the remainder of our down payment for our new house
  21. Take each twin out on his own for mommy/son date a few times each – even just to the grocery store and a milkshake!
  22. Let the twins “help” me with more tasks- build their confidence and pride
  23. Get to bed earlier (aiming for 10pm most nights)
  24. Take a family trip- just the 4 of us
  25. Get family photos done
  26. Do a short (1-2 nights) getaway with my husband (5 year anniversary maybe?)
  27. Take some high quality photos for my blog’s homepages
  28. Change my thinking to see obstacles as opportunities (change my language from “I have to” to “I get to”) ps- this has already been a game changer for me!
  29. Finish 6 development books (a few of which I’ve already started…and not finished)
  30. Continue to stay in my own lane (no comparing to the Joneses)
  31. Finish my blogging course – and then go through it again!
  32. Capture the real moments, not just the perfectly posed ones. These times are so precious, even with a stained shirt, and messy house, I want to remember them.

Phewwww! That’s a lot. After all of that I think its important to note that my happiness, or success, or fulfillment does not ride solely on the completion of 1 – 32 wishes. That’s still up to me. However, completing even one of these wishes/goals/bucket list items will move me forward and closer to where and who I want to be a year from now- a more present and intential mom, wife, friend, leader. Most of these items are going to be a work in progress, and some I probably won’t start immediately. Some will take the whole year, and maybe I won’t be able to check off everything on 8/22/2020… but I’m striving for more, and that is something that I am proud of.

Do you reflect around your birthday? What goals do you set for your next year of life? What wishes are you working on? I’d love to hear from you. Let me know below!

Your Millennial [31 year-old] Mama,

Amber

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