Today, I am 32 years old.
In the past year, I have laughed, I have cried, I've screamed in anger, and squealed in excitement. I've experienced times of pure happiness and bliss, extreme frustration, devastating sadness, and sheer love and joy.
I have tested the strength of relationships, and worked on building new ones. I've gotten to know people in ways and forms I hadn't expected... both good and bad. I've discovered new people that have my back, and have felt the blow of being stabbed in my back all by people I'd never expect it from.
So much has happened in the past year. And every bit of it has melted together making me stronger, wiser, and grateful for the true blessings that have been bestowed upon me.
And not a single moment of it would I want to do over or erase, because at the end of the day it all plays an important role in making me the person that I am today and the person I am to still become.
I am not sad or upset about turning a year older. I'm now two years in to my thirties, and not feeling the slightest bit of regret or disappointment. I have had opportunities to experience things that some people twice my age have never experienced. I look at my age as simply a number. I have accomplished so much in the time on this earth, and still have plenty to do.
I am still young at heart, and believe that I still have PLENTY of dashes to make on my life's tally counter.
Life has given me so much, and still has a lot to offer.
Thirty one was a solid year. An amazing year. I finished up my first year of teaching, bought my first house, taught my first year of summer school, and started my second year of teaching. I made some amazing new friends. And did some serious repairing to family relationships that were starting to see signs of crumbling.
I have been a person to lean on, and have needed to do a lot of leaning on others.
A few months ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. That was, by far, the lowest point of my entire year. But, in a way, it was also one of the highest. It's sad and unfortunate to admit, but that disaster has and will continue to bring about a strength in my family that has been missing for some time.
I watched and listened to doctors giving her the options and information about her disease, and seeing the inner warrior shine in my mother. She is most definitely a fighter, and in a matter of a few weeks was standing toe to toe with the enemy, and blasted through the battle fields with guns blazing. The cancer was removed, she went to healing, and is now going through the protocols to make sure it doesn't have the guts to return.
But, in those few weeks, I learned how much we take for granted. How quickly a life can be turned upside down.
Each day I dedicate to my mom... because life is DEFINITELY worth fighting for.
And now, the clock starts over. Time to hit the reset button. What is in store for me at 32?
I know there are going to be some drastic changes made at work. I'm hoping to be taking on new adventures, trying new things, and continuing to develop myself as a teacher.
There will be drastic changes at home. I have a child heading off to high school, and that will bring about it's own new set of adventures and will undoubtably keep me on my toes.
I know that I want to make some changes with my family. Spending more time with the people I love, and doing things together to create long lasting memories.
But, with all these things that I know about and expect, I'm also excited about the unknown. What surprises and challenges will I face along the way?
My goal for myself this next year is to take life by the horns. Try new things, embrace the new, and not back out just because I'm a little worried about possible outcomes. Apart of learning and living is facing challenges even if they fail. Sometimes the failures are just as important as the successes.
I plan on continuing to build the new relationships that have been blossoming, and taking myself out of my comfort zone with those new adventures. No more standing on the sidelines waiting to be put in to the game, but just running out there and playing.
I plan on digging deeper in to the relationships that have started to crumble. Deciding if it's better to just cut my loses, or if they are worth fighting for.
I plan on finding the balance between work and life...a balance that has been extremely hard to find.
I don't want to spend any amount of this next year worrying about the family time I'm missing because I'm neck deep in work, and don't want to let the work get out of hand because I just want to blow it off and do something with my family. I know there is a balance there, somewhere, and I just have to find it.
I want to dabble around with some new hobbies. My crocheting hobby has been pretty lucrative so far this year, and I want that momentum to continue. Keep making and creating, even if it's to store it all up to sell next fall/winter.
I want to try some gardening. I have a blank canvas waiting for me on one side of my house. A little garden area that has the potential of being such a beautiful place to sit and enjoy some peaceful time on my own. But, first, I need to transform it in to the oasis I picture in my mind. I've never been much of a gardener, but I'm willing to give it a go.
I want more social time. Meaning girls' nights, and dinner dates with Hubby, and spontaneous trips to the movies with the kids. Another balancing act between kids, Hubby, and friends. But, again, worth the time and effort.
And, at the end of the day, I just want to be happy. As happy, if not happier. I have such an amazing life, and I just want to embrace the good. I have a very bad habit of dwelling on the minor frustrations, and they begin to consume the parts of my life that are worth worrying about. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to learn to let more things go, not dwell too much, and just have an amazing year.
I have so much planned, so many hopes... but today I just want to focus on today. My day.
A day with my mom. Doing like we do.
Sounds kinda corny, but that's how I want to spend my day.
I love my kids, I love Hubby, I love my friends... but, when asked what I want for my birthday?
Just a day with my Momma doing one of my most favorite things: Playing bingo.
It may sound selfish, it may sound weird... but this is MY day, right?
So, it's time to get to getting on that.
I want to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU for all the birthday wishes and love I've seen on my Facebook and through the text messages I've received this morning. It makes a girl (yes, girl.. 32 hasn't taken that away) feel very special to see that people have taken the time just to wish me a Happy Birthday. And for that, I am truly grateful.