Today is my 41st birthday. I’m so thankful for the experiences I’ve had, the good ones AND the bad ones. I would say the past few years has been especially challenging, but then I think back to having a newborn who wouldn’t sleep more than two hours at a time and NOT in his crib, and I realize that it’s all with respect for what you are going through at the time. Sometimes my memory can get over things like never sleeping and remember the good parts of having a newborn, such as the fuzzy heads and clean smell, the cuddles and coos. So today, I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses at my life, and I am filled with a sense of happiness and gratefulness. I know things get tough, but I’m here, I’m alive, and today is my birthday. So in celebration, I thought I’d make a random list of things I’ve done over my 41 years. Because I like lists and today is my birthday and I can do whatever I want.
- I married my best friend 15 years ago and am still grateful every day for him. Cue the barf.
- I quit my corporate job in 2003 to be home with my kids.
- I climbed a mountain in the Tetons with my best friend, Melanie, back when we in early high school. Won’t ever forget being stuck at the top and having to find a different way down, which scared the SHIT out of my parents, who then went up after us, thinking we had been eaten by bears. When we got to the bottom, they were at the top. When we finally all reunited, no words were needed to tell us girls how bad of an idea the climb idea was.
- I saw a shooting star at the top of a mountain in Yellowstone National Park.
- We took the kids to Yellowstone and camped.
- I nursed a kitten from near death to health. Now he’s an overweight load who likes to steal my son’s stuffed dog and carry it around the house, meowing.
- I started a blog and have met some REALLY cool people because of it. I don’t do it for giveaways or money, I do it because it’s interesting.
- I’ve seen the Dave Matthews Band in concert more than 20 times.
- I’ve caught frogs, pollywogs, leeches, fish, and have been swimming in the lakes of Minnesota and Iowa.
- I ran the Boston Marathon.
- I drink wine out of a box.
- I’ve seen a sun rise over the ocean.
- I scare my husband whenever I say “Honey, I have an idea.”
- I trained a horse named TJ when I was a teenager.
- I moved two states away from home right after college.
- A year after that, I packed up my cat and meager belongings into a U-haul and moved even further away, just because I could.
- I flew back home to surprise my dad for his 50th birthday.
- I flew back home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day.
- I listen to music with swear words in it REALLY loud when I’m at home by myself.
- I tell white lies to my kids to throw them off so I can surprise them with something cool.
- I cry when I think about running marathons. In a good way.
- I joined my first running group in 2012 to meet people, never knowing how many awesome people I would meet and that I would crave running with a group after that.
- I give people my parking passes when leaving the beach. It shocks the crap out of many of them that I’m doing something “nice”, which shocks the crap out of me.
- I have bought a man his lunch without him knowing it was me buying it.
- When I was a teenager, I stole an eyeliner from a Walgreens. Still feel bad about it.
- I’ve sat on my mom and dad’s porch for two hours just listening to and watching birds. It was bliss.
- I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and only gambled $20.
- I was a Mary Kay consultant for about five years.
- I’ve eaten an entire bag of Halloween pumpkins. In one day.
- I learned how to swim in open water so I could compete in a triathlon.
- I’ve been the first woman to cross the finish line in a 5k.
- I’ve driven two full days with four cats in the back of the car and made it to the destination sane and with all four cats alive. Barely.
- I use the word “awesome” too much. It’s an awesome word and I like awesome words so I use the word awesome.
- I’ve been on the inside of the Hoover Dam.
- I threw up in Mexico.
- I tried to fry ice cream. Yeah, it didn’t work.
- I’ve ordered the Dirty Dime at the Icky Nickel.
- I graduated with honors from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Business Finance.
- I laugh at things for days if they strike me the right way.
- For most of my life, I feel like I’ve taken the road less traveled. It’s taken me some pretty funky places, that’s for sure.
- If given the chance, I wouldn’t change the decisions I’ve made (ok, there’s a few in there) because I wouldn’t be right where I’m at right now, and I think I’ve got an amazing life with amazing people in it. Thanks for being one of them!
Do you look back and “take stock” on your birthday? I didn’t used to and only looked forward to what I wanted to accomplish or change in the coming year. But really, the way I live my life, I always need to look back at what I HAVE done and accomplished. The little things, like holding a pollywog, and the big things, like quitting my job. You can lose sight on the fullness of your life if you never look back, which is what I do from time to time. I’m also looking forward. I’ve got big plans for this next year. My triathlon, my marathon, coaching a big bunch of kids, re-decorating a few of my rooms (lawd help me on this one!), having a summer full of adventure. This past year has been a big one, too. The Boston Marathon, getting settled in our new town, deciding to coach, learning how to swim. The most important part is to take out the negative and look at the positive.
My 41 years of life have been
amazing awesome, and I look forward to what the next year will bring! Thanks for being a part of the journey!