I am going to be 35 years old in 2 weeks’ time!
Where the heck did time go?
Let’s pause for some dramatic effect. Ha! I am kidding.
But I mean in all honesty, I have been feeling a little scared of my upcoming birthday.
My husband calls it my “mid-life crisis”. But, umm, I don’t think it is a crisis necessarily; more like a concern, a wow, I-am-not-so-young-anymore moment(s).
I feel like I was just 17, fresh out of high school, literally dying to turn 21!
And here I am, 18 years later, having a panic moment about what happened to my years gone by.
When a milestone birthday approaches, most of us start having a million thoughts plague our mind. Thoughts, resolutions, determined promises to oneself, whatever you want to call it!
But why is that so?
Is it the fear of getting older, or is it because we feel under accomplished or unfulfilled with our lives?
Or all the above?
. . . . . . . .
In anticipation of my birthday, I began creating a bucket list for myself.
I remember creating such a list when I turned 21 (Unconventional Bucket List), and I was able to accomplish many things on that list.
However, there are some important items on that list that I could not accomplish, and that makes me sad.
My husband always tells me, if you have something pending, just do it!
Yes, as if it were that easy!
Well, some things are not practically possible (from my bucket list), however, there is always an alternative solution if we are determined to accomplish something.
Keeping that positive thought in mind, I began writing a somewhat lose bucket list for life after 35 😊. It includes things like, invest more in 401K, attempt to get my MBA (I say attempt because I am still searching for a program), take my oldest on a Disney cruise, take a stab at minimalism, write more, etc., etc.
But as I was penciling the list, I started thinking.
Here I am writing things I want to do in my life and I forgot about things I have already achieved? My goals already checked off! Things I have already done in my life, and people and moments that I have experienced and am grateful for.
What about those?
You may ask, yes what about them?
Are they going to be just forgotten memories?
Do we build from our achievements, and if so, how?
I read this great article on Medium by Tom Kruegler and it got me thinking!
Instead of focusing on what I have not yet accomplished, I am going to clap for all I have completed and gained in life.
. . . . . . . .
I can be a negative Nancy. I am a perfectionist and if something is not perfect (according to my definition of perfect), I turn up my pessimistic side.
This nature has slowly lessened after being called on a few times by close friends and my husband! But for the most part, I need to work hard to be make my thoughts more optimistic.
Being a perfectionist is not the problem here; turning negative is.
And, becoming negative at things and people and situations only makes me ungrateful.
In the temporary negativity haze, I forget to appreciate what I have.
The truth is we only appreciate what we have if we see someone else miserable without it. This is called a gaining perspective.
You either lose it and gain perspective, or you see someone else lose it and learn to appreciate it.
I suffered two losses last year – my father, and a baby.
My father was the most important person in my life. He was my hero, my strong guide, my best friend.
And the baby we lost at 3 months pregnancy was someone I wanted so badly.
Sure, enough God blessed us with another child, but the loss of my father can never be replaced.
I gave myself time to grieve, to detach from everything and everyone, and to just be in his memories.
His loss has given me great perspective in life. Infact, it is giving me great perspective because I am still learning to appreciate everything.
. . . . . . . .
Now with a milestone mid-life birthday coming up, I have decided to give my brain cells some rest.
That’s true, being negative and ungrateful can really mess up your cognitive function!
Your brain starts to recognize the pattern you give it, and very soon, that pattern becomes the obvious path it chooses every time.
In other words, being negative always eventually makes your brain choose being negative as an instant response to situations.
Boy I sound bad, don’t I? Ha!
But that will change!
I will change it!
My goal is to start my gratitude journey.
That’s right, not journal, but journey!
A journey where I will start to be more grateful for what I have in life. And I don’t mean it in an abstract manner – be grateful for what you have – kind.
No matter how busy my life gets, my goal is to make time to reflect and think of all the things I am grateful for. Making time for it may be tricky but it is possible.
After all, gratitude changes your “personal vibration”, and “you radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots”.