Tomorrow is the big day. The infamous birthday. The one that started it all.
Today I will embark on my final adventure of my 40 before 40.
But that post is for tomorrow. Sorry friends, my finale will have to wait because today is about reflecting…
On what I’ve accomplished and what I have learned.
Don’t worry…this doesn’t end here my faithful readers.
Did you think my annoying blog posts would end after “The Birthday”.
Oh no. My adventuring will continue. Remember I have an ambitious bucket list.
I started this blog in hopes that I may inspire YOU.
To adventure and live your life like you mean it.
That age is just a number. It doesn’t define you. Be proud of the wisdom you’ve gained and the experiences that have made you the person you are today. If you don’t like that person, change. No regrets.
Oh and I hope I’ve made you laugh once in a while. We definitely need more of that in our lives.
So a quick recap of the last 365 days for those of you who haven’t been on this journey with me (click the link if you want, it’ll take you to that post):
- Nose piercing
- Climbing Mount Pilchuck
- Sunrise and Swim
- Savannah, GA
- Charleston, SC
- Husband’s 40th
- Spartan Sprint
- Running a 10k
- Old Ladies Night Out
- Moms on Skates
- Spirit Week
- Paint Night
- Milk a Cow
- Husky Basketball
- Exploring Houston
- Hot Yoga
- San Fransisco
- Ropes Course
- Book Club
- Blood Donation Fail
- RAK Date Night
- Dunk Tank
- Cali Road Trip and Part Two
- Waterfall Hike
- Helicopter Ride
- Bubble Soccer
And here we are…the last adventure is today.
But again, that’s for later.
What I want to share with you today are the things I’ve learned over the past year:
Appreciate your family and friends
I’m serious. They are your glue. Your lifeline. The ones who make it all make sense.
I’m surrounded by good people. People who love me and accept me and all my faults and annoying characteristics. I always knew I was lucky in family and friendship. I mean don’t get me wrong. They’re crazy and weird and have their own set of issues, but that’s normal. We all have shit. It’s the fact that they accept my shit and still want to hang out with me.
But this year, I’ve really grown to understand how much I’m impacted by the people in my life. They motivate me, inspire me, push me to be better. I’m pretty floored by their goodness. We see so much negativity that I think you need to take a close look around you and say thank you to your people. If you have people that suck and don’t do those things for you. Find some new ones. It makes all the difference.
To my people: thank you for going on this journey with me. Thank you for teaching me about kindness, passion, joy, wonder, love, forgiveness and badassness. I know…it’s not a word. But I like it, so it’s staying. And most importantly, thank you for teaching me that I CAN. Trying new things is SO empowering.
You don’t have to be perfect
This one was a hard one. I’m a perfectionist by nature. But not all of my adventures have been perfect. In the past, I’ve been known to back out of things for not being perfect. I’d think it was better to not do it and avoid looking stupid than to try and fail and look stupid.
And what do I teach and preach every day in my job: you can’t get better unless you practice. You don’t know unless you try. I can’t be a hypocrite.
I’ve notoriously not tried things because I feared the unknown. This year has put me in check. So let’s talk about what’s not been perfect.
Golf…I’m terrible. I did it anyway. And I went back and tried again.
Running. I NEVER thought I’d be able to run 6 miles straight. I did it. I also completed a Spartan Race and that definitely made me feel like a badass.
My book club wasn’t perfect. In fact, we haven’t met again. I was more worried about my perfectly themed event that wasn’t perfectly themed. Guess what? My friends did not care what my house looked like. They just wanted to hang out. I hope we can start back up in the fall.
The blood people wouldn’t let me donate blood. My heart rate was too fast. What the heck? That wasn’t perfect, but I counted it because I tried.
I didn’t follow through on a couple of adventures. I won tickets to one of them. And I cancelled. Because I was tired and overwhelmed with life at the time. You know what I learned? It was okay to say no. It was okay to not be perfect. I mean I still felt guilty, but it was okay.
Hey moms, we can say no once in while. Our family will forgive us. Our friends will forgive us. And all those people we are trying to impress really don’t care. If they do, get rid of them. See #1 above. They suck the joy out of life and we don’t need them.
I’m a work in progress. But I’ve started to accept that I don’t have to be perfect. I can love my mom bod. I can mess up. I can say no once in a while. I mean I’d rather say yes, but when I’m overwhelmed and have too much on my plate, no is okay too. And I can try new things, even if I don’t think I’ll be good at them.
Adventuring is expensive
SO expensive. See my last post about wakeboarding. My poor bank account. My poor husband. He’s been very tolerant of all my adventures though. I promise, after today, I will go back to being the cheap ass coupon cutter that I used to be. Sorry for all the profanity. It just makes the point better.
I have had some adventures that haven’t cost anything. Running. Doesn’t cost anything (except a good pair of shoes). Hiking. Well, you do have to pay for the pass and gas, but mostly it’s inexpensive. The dunk tank didn’t cost anything, except my dignity. Just kidding. It wasn’t that bad. Milking a cow was free. I’m not sure how many of you feel the urge to do that though, but it does bring me to the next thing I learned…
Laugh at yourself
This is a must. If you can’t laugh at yourself, what the heck are you doing with your life? I hope that I’ve made you laugh. Or at least smile. Most of the time you were probably laughing at me, but that’s fine too. I have laughed so much this year. I’ve cried too. My kids growing up. Experiences that I’ve shared with the people I love. That stuff is emotional. Sometimes I cry. Which messes up my mascara. Which makes me mad. All these emotions. Sheesh.
Anyway, find people who make you laugh. And don’t be such a stuffy perfectionist (see #2 above) that you can’t laugh at yourself. I’ve made myself look ridiculous trying all these new things. Sweaty bubble soccer and sweaty hot yoga, for example. What about spirit week, snowshoeing, milking a cow, and that dunk tank?
Let’s talk about the amount of adventures where I’ve peed myself. Okay, you’re probably thinking, is she really going there…
Yes, friends. I’m going there. Squeezing two babies out (a million years ago) ruined my bladder. So running, jumping, falling, coughing, sneezing, laughing…all those things make me pee.
If you can relate, I hope you’re laughing WITH me and know you’re not alone.
If you can’t relate, I hope you are laughing AT me and I apologize for the TMI.
You’re never too old
Some of you may argue that there are things we are too old for. I don’t think it’s age though. It probably has more to do with how well we’ve taken care of ourselves or our fears.
Age is just an excuse my friends. Stop using it. I know that 40 is not old.
I think we should be honest with ourselves. We might be too scared. Too out of shape. Too caught up in our own heads. But we are not too old.
My very own Grandpa was still jogging in his 80s. When you get to your 80s, go ahead and use the excuse once in a while. You’ve earned it. But not in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s or even 70s. Push yourself. Challenge yourself. Change now. It’s not too late. Go back to school if you want. Change careers. Run a race. Get healthy. Take better care of yourself. Love yourself. Tell the people who matter that they matter. Spread kindness. Be good. Be a badass.
There is no time like the present.
You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Until next time,