A Year Older

a vase of pink peonies on a dark wood table

My birthday is on Sunday. I find that every year around this time induces a bit of anxiety – not so much because I’m dreading getting older, but more because (other than Eric who works hard to make my day extra special) I often feel like my birthday is an afterthought to my family and friends. So, I always approach the day itself with mixed emotions. This year, however, is a little different. This year is getting close to a milestone birthday. And while I am happy with my age, and not worried about growing older, there is a bit of soul-searching going on. There are so so many blessings in my life. Too many to count really. I am grateful each and every moment that I have with this amazing man I married. And ten years ago I couldn’t imagine being where I am now, being as happy as I am and being so very lucky for the life I have. So, what’s the issue?

I feel like, for being the age I’m about to be, I have a certain expectation of where I should be in my life and what my life should look like. And I think that because it doesn’t look a certain way, or doesn’t fit my expectations of myself, the number attached to this almost-milestone-birthday is causing me a bit of panic. Like the night before the big exam and you realize you’ve been screwing around instead of studying. That feeling.

Maybe this is why the book Eat, Pray, Love struck me so hard. It’s that moment you wake up and look at your life and think WTF? It’s not that I’m not happy. It’s not even that I have regret. It’s just that I want more. I want to live my life fully, and I haven’t been. And a full life is not based on external or material things, those things are just signposts that show you where you are. So, I’m trying to think about what I’d like to see change in my life over the next year – where I’d like to be. Of course, first and foremost I want to continue building my relationship with Eric and making our marriage that best that it can be. Working to not take each other for granted and remembering each day what a blessing it is that we have each other and that we’re both in this together.

But, how about those external signposts?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working hard to be a more fit and healthy version of myself. It’s important that this next year sees me at a healthy weight, where I am healthier and happier in my own skin. I deserve that. And it’s truly within my ability to make it happen.

woman measuring her waist with a measuring tape

And also of utmost importance to me is starting a family with Eric. The timing hasn’t been right before due to him being in school, then me being in school, job situations, etc. It is really important to us to have children, so this is definitely something I’d like to see happening in the next year.

sleeping baby on top of a humongous pink rose

We are also wanting to buy a house. A couple of years ago, we were ready to buy a house and started house hunting. We never really found anything we fell in love with and perhaps that’s for the best because I was laid off from my job at Christmas that year. We haven’t gotten back into the house hunting due to all the same reasons above for waiting to start a family. But, owning a home of our own and finally purchasing furniture together instead of existing with hand-me-downs, is a huge dream of mine. The house that we rent was a shining beacon in the sea of “oh hell no” houses we looked at when we got married. But, it’s not our own, and I’ve tried my best to make it a home, but it only partially feels that way. I’ve got a few rooms to the point where I’m happy with them, but most of the rest of the house is a Feng Shui nightmare. So, having a home of our own is definitely on my list of wants for the next year. Of course, in the meantime I’m going to focus on making the house we rent feel like a home.

living room with dark chocolate brown walls, a chandelier, a chocolate brown square coffee table, zebra print folding stool, tan couches

The last big piece in my wish list for the Universe is travel. Eric and I love to travel and unfortunately school and job situations have cut into our ability to travel the past couple of years. Travel may have to wait a little while if we’re working on starting a family and buying a home, but it’s still an important piece of what I’d like my life to look like. And I truly love going to new places and experiencing new things together with Eric. I find that exposing myself to different cultures and seeing new places is an integral part of what makes me who I am. And travel has been a part of our life together from the beginning, so I would like to make sure it continues to be.

a temple in Bali surrounded by water

So, all that said I’m actually feeling a little more relaxed about my birthday – I feel like I have a plan forward, some goals to work toward. And hopefully Sunday will be a big kick-off to an amazing year. I fully expect that at this time next year, my life will be very different, and hopefully I’ll have some checkmarks next to some things I’ve expressed intention to accomplish.

But, in the meantime…I am absolutely certain that this weekend will involve cake.

scene from the movie Marie Antoinette with her surrounded by cakes and a maid tending to her shoes

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