Today is my 35th birthday and I am so f*cking grateful.
Life has been a crazy rollercoaster. Everything that I had planned either didn't happen or has its own apparent timeline. Kids, jobs, marriage, travel, life as a whole, becoming mature (heh, delete that one), the whole she-bang.
My goals, ehh, well some have been checked off the list, some seem like an eternity away, and some I've decided aren't actually things that excite me anymore.
On to the next one.
Remember when you're little and you're like I just want a toy for my birthday. Then you get older and it turns into a car or a party with friends. Then a bit older and it's like some time away with a spouse, family, or friends. Or maybe it's a throwback and you want to have a night that you won't remember with the friends you'll never forget. Remember that quote everybody put on their AIM in college? 🙊
Non-the-less, birthdays have always been about stuff or a special event. I must be getting wise like my adorable grandma, God, I hope so!
This year, it's a reflection. Ahem, welcome to my therapy session.
A lot is happening in life and it's happening quickly. I clearly remember my Aunt Lisa giving me the "Mouse Trap" game when I was 5 years old saying technically I needed to wait until I was 6 to play but she willing to help me out a little and give me a head start. Thanks for doing me a solid AL 🙌🏽
That event was exactly THIRTY years ago. Dinosaurs? Are you out there?
Moral of the story, if there is one, is that there have been some big hairy lessons learned.
Through it all, the good bad and the ugly, I am so f*cking grateful. I keep a log of what I'm grateful for so I can peek back at it and cry on my paper when I start to whine 🙅🏽 DAMN HORMONES. There's a lot of shit to smile about when you make that your focus.
Here's my gratitude / I'm human list today. It grows by the minute:
I've made some great friends, kept some solid friends, and let go of some that don't fit anymore; grateful.
I've got 5 healthy, hilarious, happy, little humans; grateful.
I've got a husband who loves me, who knows when I need a nudge, a massage, a hug, or a laugh; grateful.
I've got siblings that I couldn't have picked better myself; grateful.
I've got parents who have guided me with love and support through life and now are like close friends; grateful.
I've got air in my lungs and a strong body; grateful.
I've got a daily quest for laughter and experience that leaves me feeling fulfilled; grateful.
I've got built up resilience from all my past struggles; grateful.
I've got a big heart that's always seeking to bring joy to others; grateful.
I've got a competitive nature that shows up on the regular; grateful.
I've accepted that life is a growth cycle, there is no finish line; grateful.
I lose my shit daily, get scared, anxious, and fearful. I am human & grateful.
I can stop complaining and change my situation anytime; grateful.
I am a fucking good mom, even though I say fuck; human.
I need to actively show my hubby how much I love and appreciate him daily; human & grateful.
I still struggle with comparison, but I'm learning; human.
I obsess over experiences but often struggle with 'presence'; human.
I am mega stubborn but am working on letting it go; human.
I lose my marbles trying to put my kids to sleep; human needing wine 🍷
I am goofy as hail and also capable as hail; grateful.
I am a procrastinator. It's where I shine; grateful.
My favorite time of day is waking up to get 6 hugs totally un-bribed; grateful.
At this point, I'm mostly trying to figure out how to raise respectful, capable, confident, life + people loving humans; phoning a friend/grateful/human.
I struggle with mom guilt, wife guilt, sibling guilt, friend guilt, self-love guilt. ALL THE DAMN TIME; human.
I am a fucking masterpiece that will always evolve but never be finished. Grateful, accepting, human.
Gratitude is the secret sauce. It keeps you grounded, positive, and from losing your marbles when there is absolute chaos around you. No, my children, of course, I'm not referring to you 😉
Life Challenged Me This Year - Here are My 3 Big Lessons:
1. You define yourself.
My business got tough this year what that meant to me was that I was inadequate. It really took a while to let it go and honestly, it still lingers with me a bit. It's a slow progression but a necessary lesson. Everything is a work in progress and I'm learning to separate myself as a person from my success or failures. Nothing external defines you.
2. Don't Drop the Glass Ball.
I learn a lot from stories and podcasts. This reference caught me off guard and I've thought about it regularly ever since. I believe it was Jeff Hoffman that said it but don't quote me.
Your family and relationships are the glass ball. Your business is a rubber ball. If you ignore your business for a bit, your rubber ball won't bounce as high and eventually, it'll stop. You may be able to pick up and bounce the ball again and it could go on to bounce higher than it ever has. The rubber ball is flexible.
Your glass ball, your family and relationships, if neglected, will break. The ball may break into a few pieces where you can glue it back together, but it may never be the same. You run a large risk trying to juggle the glass ball if you don't know when to come back to it.
3. It's ok to change your mind
I was dead set on being, doing, thinking, acting, raising my children, and working a set way. I realized this year that there's a beautiful 'lil' thing called evolution that magically moves you forward if you'll allow it to. It sucks when you feel 'stuck' or unfulfilled. It sucks, even more, when you don't explore options from that place to get yourself to a better place. Give yourself permission to 'try on' different ideas. It could be something like being committed to yoga and being curious about also trying CrossFit. Don't stop yourself from trying CrossFit because you put yourself in the damn yoga box. There are no real 'boxes' and you are free to change your mind and explore new avenues.
4. Attitude is clutch
I recently heard a podcast from Ryan Moran at Capitalism.com. He is one of my favorite business 'mentors' on the planet because he shares the good, bad, and ugly. He interviewed a guy named Hal Elrod and I was fascinated by their chat. Hal had escaped death twice in his life and is about 40 now with a family. He radiates positivity, love, and happiness and is exactly the type of person I hope to be in life.
He essentially was pronounced dead in a car accident around 20 years old, then got diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his 30's that the doctors said he was 90% likely to die from.
His attitude was incredible. He called his wife to tell her about his diagnosis and promised her that he wasn't going to die from it and also said he's essentially going to come back stronger, happier, and more fulfilled.
I remember a previous talk he gave and he said if you're ever frustrated, defeated, mad, bitter, or angry, to allow yourself 5 minutes to cry about it. After those 5 minutes are up, now you've got to move onto a new emotion and a place of problem-solving. He wouldn't let himself dwell on the fact that the doctors told him he wouldn't be able to walk again. He cried for 5 minutes and put himself in a positive, problem-solving position.
Here are a few of my secret weapons for gratitude + life:
This is my birthday list for 35. Let's see if she grows at all this year, folks 🎊
Motherhood is tough, I'm done giving a f***
Co-parenting is tough but great
Our Most Epic Family Vacation Ever