Even my daughter’s freaked out about my birthday. 

Hello 40! How are ya?

I’m great, thanks for asking. Let’s get a few things straight. I’m not happy about you’re here, but I’ve decided to embrace your arrival. I’m going to stop whining about being older and be grateful for the wisdom I’ve accumulated. I’m also going to embrace this new year and get a few things taken care of. To that end, here’s my must do list for 40. Keep any judgements to your self and just be happy I’m not kicking you to the curb.

And, oh 40? It’s going to be a good year. Better hold on tight. xxoo

I awoke at 5:30 AM this morning–who does that on their birthday, right? It was a combination of worry about work and a toddler’s elbow in my face (somebody small decided to sleep with Mommy last night). The Keurig called, and as I write this post, I’m wondering why I don’t get up this early every day. The quiet is heavenly.

I am serious about a “must do list for 40.” I’m not calling it a bucket list because that sounds morbid. Rather, it’s a strategy for turning this 40 business around and being cool–excited even?–with my new decade. (OK, excited is ridiculous.) Here goes…..

  1. Take 5 minutes every day to focus on that for which I am thankful. {Now that I’ve cut my hair, I can use the extra time in the morning for this. If I spend time focusing on that which is good/amazing in my life, the little stuff won’t matter so much. Or, at least that’s my plan.}
  2. Send 40 people in my life 40 thank you notes for their influence on my life.
  3. {Not the typical thank you notes for birthday gifts, peeps. These are going to be heartfelt, thoughtful, just because letters.}

  4. Learn how to make my Mom’s famous coffee cake (commonly known as her J-Cake). {This is the best food in the entire world. Hands down.}
  5. No more cursing. {If I do, I’m putting a $1 in a jar and giving the money away to a charity. I hate this habit of mine.}
  6. Be more patient. {This one is already setting me up for a bit of failure as impatience is in my DNA, but I’ve been trying this with the kids when they misbehave: take a deep breath and count, out loud (or in my head if out loud’s a little weird), to ten (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi….), before getting too frustrated and saying something counterproductive.} 
  7. Say yes more often to fun. {I am a Cancer. We are homebodies. I’m going to work on shaking that up.}
  8. Develop a plan for the future of Red Shutters. {I love writing for Red Shutters and want to make this blog more sustainable and engaging.}
  9. Be open to change. {Hard, right? But (to be a bit trite) change can be good, and as noted in #6, I am willing to shake things up.}
  10. Go to church more regularly. {When I go, I feel better, a bit more grounded, part of something larger, part of a community. Making time for this, and getting my kids more accustomed to sitting in services, instead of the child care room, is a goal to work on.}
  11. Travel. {Specifically, go on trips to visit family; I have two such journeys in mind.}
  12. Save more. {If you want to see money disappear quickly, buy a house (like us) that needs a lot of work (like us). Now that the big ticket items in our renovation are over, I’m planning for us to save more ’cause money in the bank will help a lot more toward retirement than pretty bathroom tile.}
  13. Teach my son to read. {R devours book and is close to learning how to read. And, I know he is going to love, love, love it.}
  14. Be a better friend. {One of the challenges of juggling marriage, family, and career, is making time for friends. I have so many wonderful friends in my life, and I don’t feel like I ever have enough time for them. I want to fix this by being more present and active in these relationships.}
  15. Make more quality time with my husband a priority. {Regular date nights. Technology free nights at home when we actually talk about things other than taking out the compost/recycling, the kids, or the house renovations. I have some radical thinking going on, eh? PS, yup, that’s him in the picture below.}
  16. And because this birthday list would not be complete without it…. Be healthier. {I thought about writing “exercise more,” but really I want to do more than just the treadmill. I want healthier eating, more sleep, better skin care (can’t forget those wrinkles!), and more laughing. So, be healthier it is.}
That’s quite a list. I thought about listing 40 things–since I am 40 and all–but realized soon enough that a realistic must do list is more important than a clever one. I’m planning to blog about my progress on this list, in the hopes that, by writing about it, I’ll really be able to make this new year filled with change–good, me-directed change. 
Let me know what you think by posting a comment below: did I miss something? what would you have included on your birthday list? 
Oops…got to go…birthday present opening awaits!
Happy birthday to me! 
Thanks for reading!

  1. July 3, 2012
  2. July 3, 2012
  3. July 3, 2012