Every year, I like to share my birthday reflections and goals for my next trip around the sun. I find it helps me to focus on all that I accomplished and to help me to think about where I want to be. Here are my birthday reflections.
It’s trite, but so much can change in a year. I remind myself of that a lot lately. I am skeptical and cynical by nature, so I always rolled my eyes when I heard that platitude, but this past year has really shown me that. I firmly believe the universe is constantly teaching us lessons and often painful situations are part of those, and sometimes they keep coming until we learn what we need to know. I don’t know if that’s why we went through all the things we have in the last several years, some of which I’ve shared, but I now have a sense of optimism I never did before.
I used to doubt my dreams could be mine. I used to live in fear of the bottom dropping out. When bad things happened, I’d see them as a permanent condition and just wait for more tough times. I had trouble seeing my way out. When good things happened, I’d live in fear of that happiness being taken away. I often let my anxiety rule my world.
But this year was transformative, and changed me in so many ways. After dealing with the rollercoaster of infertility and a pain that was completely out of my control, I found out we were expecting just a few months before my birthday last year. I tried not to get my hopes up, fearing I wouldn’t be able to handle it if I lost the pregnancy. But I got to reign in a new year on this earth with the hope that my dreams of expanding our family would finally come true. We didn’t do anything too special – just went out for my fave, Mexican food – but it was one of the best birthdays I can remember in a long time. I had so much hope, relief, and felt like a dark cloud had finally been lifted and my life could move forward after feeling stuck for so long.
And this year, I feel more blessed than ever to have a healthy baby girl, who is everything I could have ever imagined, an amazing three year old who is the light of our lives, the most mischievous dog there ever was, and a husband who I’ve been through it all with but is still my best friend. We’ve moved, renovated, started decorating – all things we had put on hold for so long. It finally feels like life is moving forward and even though we were always a family, right now, it really feels like we truly have become one.
I have always been super ambitious and goal-centered, and always felt like I wasn’t where I should be or achieving fast enough. I never took the time to enjoy what I had. I still feel in some ways that I’m not doing enough or where I want to be in all aspects of my life (hence my birthday reflections including my goals for the year ahead), but it doesn’t eat away at me in the same way it used to. And tbh, it’s a part of me that I wouldn’t want to completely disappear either.
When we were in the depths of some hard times, I worried things would never turn around. Now I can look back and see that they did and that gives me comfort and trust in the universe and God’s plan for me. It may not be on the timeline I want or happen exactly as I think I want, but I am just as deserving of happiness and just as capable of making my dreams become a reality. The universe isn’t against me. And I am so very blessed to be where I am today and to have my family as I begin a new turn around the sun. As I share my birthday reflections, I realize how much can change in a year and that sometimes you just need to surrender yourself to the universe. I am also realizing that there are seasons of pain and longing and seasons where your dreams and life start to come together, and having come out of the latter, I can appreciate so much more the season of fulfillment.
In addition to sharing birthday reflections and to recognize what I’m grateful for and how far I’ve come, I also believe in setting my intentions and saying them out loud and sharing them. In the past, I would have been afraid to say them, fearing I’d be made a fool because they’d never come true, I wasn’t the type of person who could achieve them, and a lot of other negative thinking. But that’s the thing about walking through the fire — you realize in some ways, you have nothing to lose, and when you emerge, you feel more powerful and capable than ever. For that, I am grateful for the struggles we’ve had over the years although I wouldn’t necessarily ever want to go through them again, and quite frankly, I’m still a little scared of facing similar struggles again.
But I want to focus on this year ahead and what I want to get out of it, so here it goes. This year, my goal are the following:
*To grow this blog into what I dreamed it could be. First up: look for some more profesh photos (sorry insta husband) and new columns
*To grow my career in the ways I have been dreaming about while also appreciating that I have the job I always dreamed about growing up and to find a way to better integrate work/life balance that allows me to be passionate about the work I do while also having time for my family
*To make my health and my family’s health a priority, starting with nutrition and exercise. My goal is to move every day but actually workout 4-5 times a week, and to clean up my diet by cutting gluten and dairy and sugar (here’s why I’m cutting those from my diet) and focus on veggies, fruits and whole grains and not worry about how much I’m eating. Above all, I want to set a good example for our kids of healthy eating and taking care of myself. I also want to spend more time moving and outdoors with my family and rid our house of toxins (stay tuned for more on this)
*To make time for friends and dates with my husband (first up: an anniversary trip without kids this month… eeek/yay!)
*To be more patient and loving with my kids and focus on quality time and helping them to learn
*To finish building our home and sharing that journey as I explore another passion of mine – renovating and restoring homes and finding value in properties.
*And finally, one that I’ve been afraid to say out loud after our previous struggles but I think I need to put it out into the universe, to grow our family again and continue building the big, full, crazy family of our dreams,
Thank you for following along. I want this year to be a big one for me and my family and to make the most of my time here. While I typically don’t relish turning a year older, this year, I’m excited for a new year filled with goals and a new purpose and attitude toward the world and my life.