Happy birthday to me! Today I turned 45….ironically it is national Evaluate Your Life Day on some silly calendar on the internet. I figured why the heck not.
Parenting…..let’s say on a scale of 1 to 10 I think I will give myself a 7. My Bigs have turned out to be functioning adults with no significant psychological scarring from my crazy parenting. When they were small we were broke and I feel like I spent a lot more time just hanging out at home and doing silly things like dancing in the living room. We watched movies together and ate picnics in the living room and fed the ducks at the park often. My biggest regret as they got older was that I was way too anal about little things that really didn’t matter much like a clean house and way to lax about things like making sure they were involved in church. At the end of the day I do know they know they are loved and supported without question. I did, however, learn a little from my mistakes! With my Littles I am not nearly as worried about screwing them up. If their rooms get out of control and we don’t have time for it, I just shut the doors. They are responsible for their own bathroom and I often find myself panicked if we have a guest because I realize how long it’s been since I’ve stepped foot in there! I made sure to introduce church when they were little and I talk to them often and openly about God and Jesus and all that goes with that. Even with these improvements, I do miss some of the simple times I shared with my Bigs. I honestly am not sure I’ve ever had a dance party with my Littles and we spend far too little time being silly and playing games. Something to work on!
Marriage…..well obviously I failed marriage 101 the first time with a big ZERO! Getting married for the wrong reasons, trying to “make” someone love you….all the while acting like a complete selfish loon just doesn’t make for a great ending…heck it didn’t even make for a great beginning. Thankfully my ex and I made divorce look good and we remained good friends but mostly great parents together. After growing up a lot I do know that most marriages can work out if there is a strong commitment and whole lot of selfless acts of kindness. Marriage number two will continue to be a work in progress but I’m going to give myself, 13 years in mind you, an 8. This may be overly optimistic but man I feel good about marriage these days. Once I realized at some point that Jesus was really the only one that could fill my heart and putting that on Keith day in and out to be my everything was just way too much. I also learned that comparing my husband to anyone else’s husband…or my marriage to anyone else’s marriage was definitely a love waster. Somedays are harder than others to look at him and see that he is perfect for me….some days I really just wish he would fix the darn lawn mower or organize his fishing stuff but then he sends me some random text to let me know I’m on his mind and my heart melts all over again. Marriage is hard y’all….but it’s much easier when you realize you have just as active role as your spouse in creating a happy home.
Friendship…..geez…well….there are days when I will tell you I knock this one straight out of the park and would give myself a total 10. I can be supportive and give sympathy and empathy and I definitely can join you for happy hour! I definitely desire to be that friend that everyone would turn to and look to for advice as much as laughs. Truth is over the years I haven’t been the most trustworthy friend. I have definitely done my share of letting people down….sharing things I should not, letting my jealousy over their life overshadow my love for them, etc, etc. I also totally suck at being a good listener…..I really, really just love to talk and to hear myself talk. Eek..admitting that is really hard. I have a friend that is so good about engaging others and she immediately begins asking someone she has just met questions about themselves that will draw them into a conversation and make them feel welcome. Observing her has definitely helped me try to focus more on showing more interest. I do forgive very easily and always, always try to consider someones intentions before jumping to a conclusion and ruining a friendship. I also have become so much better at remembering that God has graced me with so many gifts and mine may be different than my friends and that has definitely helped me to refrain from comparing myself to others and therefore sucking some joy out of a friendship. I think right now I would probably grade myself a 7….I truly do love people and it takes a whole lot for me to not want to be a friend.
Fitness…..I have always been an active person and it truly is something I love. When I was younger I was super competitive but as I’ve grown older it has shifted more to competing with myself. I have also shifted from measuring my success based only by the number on the scale. I wrote a previous blog post about that here. Working out is not an option for me anymore……I need the endorphins for my mood big time. I have weeks that I totally fall off the wagon with my eating and I beat myself up and sometimes that works and sometimes I just continue to fail myself but I always know at some point I will get back on track because the way I feel about myself is just that important…..that and I have way too darn much invested in my closet to just let myself go. My younger self would have been trying every fad diet that came on the market or taking some pills or just surviving off diet coke…but my old self feels so much better when I get to eat REAL food and life some weights or go for a run with friends. While the scale may tell a different story to some, I would score myself a 8 in fitness as well. I’m committed to finding a way to be the healthiest I can be without stressing myself over every little bite I take and giving myself a break when I only make one workout a week.
Career….wow…well I definitely have seen some major growth and change in this category. I would say on the success scale professionally I would grade myself an 8. I feel like there were years when my only goal was to make more money….I thought about it constantly and always wanted to move up and gain more responsibility. It wasn’t until I changed from an accounting role to a role that is more in financial analysis and forecasting that I really saw major growth. My thought processes became so much stronger and I learned to participate in conversations and truly learned to appreciate all the input that was received from varying opinions. Really having to think about why one option would be better than another and taking into account multiple scenarios and outside influence in a situation is so much more fun to me than following accounting rules and doing the same job over and over. If another opportunity arose I would consider it but money would definitely not be the driving factor in my decision.
Time Management….I flat out am going to say I’m like around a 3 here. I make lists and I try to stay on a schedule but golly geez I’m just gonna say I suck at it. I think social media overload has caused me to have some serious ADD issues. I have always been a procrastinator and truly do believe…I know you non procrastinators out there think it’s complete crap…that I work better under pressure. Rarely do I not take care of business…..but it just may not happen until the very last hour of the very last day. This year I went back to a paper planner….I love my fancy pens and I love writing all my meal plans and my activities and my plans for the week but it turns out YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO OPEN IT DURING THE WEEK AND LOOK INTO IT for it to actually keep you on track. There are weeks like this when I have a free Sunday and I meal plan like crazy and have all the kids lunch treats individually sorted and ready to go for the week….and then there are weeks when all my friends just have to fend for themselves. My goal this year is to do better….even if it’s just a little better…and maybe just in one or two areas better so that I don’t get discouraged!
At the end of the day I truly feel very happy to be celebrating my 45th birthday. I am healthy and probably the happiest and most content I have ever felt in my life. The struggles I have are really not any easier than they have ever been…in fact with parenting kids from 9-24 there are weeks when I cannot even believe the range of things I’m trying to give direction on. The game changer for me has been Jesus…..He has always been there and in the back of my mind I knew He was but I had to realize that I was worthy. My life is not perfect and I will continue to make decisions that are sometimes just UGLY but now I know that I am redeemed by a God that gives me a love I do not deserve. I spent a lot of time thinking there was no way I could ever make up for all the wrong I had done in my life…..how grateful I was when I finally realized that is not how our God works. I hope that in the coming year I can live my life in a way that helps others see how faith can change a life.
Happy birthday to me! Cheers!
Linking up with a few fellow bloggers today!