I tend to become a little self-reflective on my birthday every year. I take the day off, do some things for myself, get together with someone I love. This year I decided to share my reflections. Enjoy!
My house is never going to look like a magazine. I’m (almost) ok with that.
The French Tuck has changed everything for me. I learned about it by accident a few weeks ago and I’m obsessed!
I wear more make-up now than I used to. Not because I feel like I should, but because I want to. And I also feel totally fine on the days I don’t.
I have more good hair days than not now. Serious shout-out to Ashley who is a hair magician! And to my flat iron, which I will never leave home without. Except for camping.
I now care less what other people think of me. I just don’t have that much energy anymore.
But still get a serious case of insecurity when I see people who look like “the cool kids” huddled together. WHAT AM I MISSING OUT ON??? ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT ME???
I’ve realized that life is too short to drink bad coffee.
I am too old to drink coffee past noon. I just won’t sleep.
I’ve accepted that I will always have some level of anxiety in my life and I’ve more or less learned the skills I need to tell it to simmer down when it tries to take over my brain.
I’ve become the kind of person who meal-plans a whole month at a time. And it is a total life-saver.
The last few months I’ve sucked at meal planning and life feels just that much more chaotic as a result. But I’m trying to be kind to myself about it.
I can be super tired, super overwhelmed with my own life, feeling bad about myself, and still show up and be present with my clients when they walk in the door.
I fully own that I don’t have all my stuff together.
I’m imperfect. And that’s what makes me interesting and keeps me humble.
I try not to be 40 before I’m 40. I can’t remember who gave me that advice, but it was good. I don’t have to know all the things or do all the things right now. I’ve still got 4 years. And 40 isn’t even close to the end!
I’m not always great at unplugging and being present with my family. It seems to be a continual work in progress. Sometimes I can do it no problem. Other times I’m checking my phone out of pure habit and I have no idea what I’m looking for.
I’ve learned to recognize my early warning signs of when I’m getting overwhelmed - I injure myself more and I find myself swearing under my breath (sorry, mom!). That’s how I know I need to take some time to myself, slow down, breathe. Drink a glass of water. Chat with a friend. Make an appointment with my own therapist.
My early parenting years were super hard. I’m coming to appreciate the sweet spot we’re beginning to hit. It doesn’t feel like it every day, but there are more fun days than hard.
I’m learning to be less passive-aggressive. I’ve realized that under-handed comments are not productive, and the brief feeling of superiority I get from saying them are not worth the damage I might do to a relationship with someone I care about.
I’m coming to realize my body won’t last forever. When asked my fitness goal from the coach at the Y, I said, “I don’t want to become a hunched-over old lady.” This is the only body I’m going to get, and no one else is going to take care of it for me.
I repeatedly fall off the “healthy living” wagon (whatever that is!) and then haul myself back up again. And again. And again.
I’m learning which friendships are most important to invest in. People who can deal with my intermittent nonsense and life-pondering and who are not afraid to call me on said nonsense. And talk me off the ledge when I’m working myself into a needless panic. You know who you are, and I adore you for it.
I don’t have a “best friend”. Other than my husband. Go ahead, roll your eyes. But really. He’s been my main squeeze since age 17.
My closest friends are individuals who bring out the best in different parts of me. These friends don’t even know each other. There’s no tight-knit band of girlfriends for a tour of wine country or whatever.
Sometimes that feels lonely, like I’m missing out on some necessary or exciting part of life that others get to have.
I’ve learned the art of a sincere apology. It doesn’t mean I always execute it perfectly, but after some self-examination, the value of making a relationship right is more important than maintaining my pride.
I’ve gotten better at standing up for myself and others. When something is unjust, I say something. Sometimes I’m way off-base and I get totally humbled. But I’m also happy I didn’t become a by-stander. Like last week when I saw someone purchasing thousands of dollars worth of gift cards and I was certain they were falling for one of those scams. So I spoke up and asked them. Turns out it was for their business and they thought I was a total weirdo. Oh well.
Life is far less black-and-white than I used to think it was. I’m continuing to learn the skill of thinking flexibly and seeing things from another perspective, even if I disagree with it. And even if I’m right. Probably more growth needed here.
I get less offended than I used to. If you knew me from the ages of 12-25, you’d know that I got offended. A lot. I still do sometimes, but now I’m offended by things that actually matter. I think. More growth needed here too.
I’m learning to value my time and energy more. I’m saying no to more things so I can say yes to the things that really matter to me. I still feel super guilty about it sometimes, but then I remind myself of who deserves the best of me: my family, my friends, my clients. So less school trips, less volunteering for every little thing, less being the one who’s out buying all the things for the gift basket raffle. More being ok with forgetting 100 days of school and crazy hair day and other made-up school holidays that we all somehow survived without.
I’m breaking up with perfectionism. It hasn’t served me very well in many areas of my life. It’s useful once in a while, but mostly it just beats me down. I no longer want to be paralyzed with inaction just because I’m not sure I can do something perfectly. Imperfect action, curiosity, and compassion for myself are my new goals.
Imposter Syndrome is real. And it’s a nasty jerk. Just when I think I know exactly what I’m doing and totally killing it at life, one little thing happens and I’m hit with a massive wave of self-doubt.
Rather than wallow in my self-pity and panic, I’ve learned to reach out to people who care about me for some much-needed reminders of my awesomeness.
Imposter Syndrome has also presented opportunities to learn. One of my mentors says that self-doubt always comes when we’re on a growth edge. When I’m learning something new. When a client with a challenge I haven’t seen before comes in. When my kids start having new issues or behaviours that we haven’t dealt with before.
Imposter Syndrome hasn’t gotten the better of me yet. I’ve always been able to rise to the occasion, with my band of loyal cheerleaders holding me up.
I’m learning to be kinder to myself. I’m not perfect at it by any means. But I’m more willing to listen to the kinder voice that tells me it’s ok to make mistakes, I can ask for forgiveness when needed, I can remind myself that I’m always learning and growing.