I have been thinking a lot about how I see myself and how I want to see myself. That happens when you combine a looming 40th birthday and the year just beginning. Welcome 2013! I don't mean that to sound self centered or douchy. It's just that you reach a point in life where what people wish you were and what you thought you wanted to force yourself to be just doesn't matter any more. I've always wished to be a edgier, cooler version of myself. Get a tattoo, make things, be creative, dress in vintage clothing, etc etc. Now, some of that I truly do enjoy. But I have realized as I get older, I am who I am. Does that mean that I can't grow and learn and develop new interests? Does that mean that I am stuck in a rut, finished with discovering things? No, I don't believe it does. But it also means being really truthful with myself. To look at who I am, what I am and what I enjoy and what is drudgery to me. In a way, growing older can be a quite freeing experience. It allows you to have the luxury of looking back at the first half of your life and making plans for how you want to spend the last half. It is such a cliche, but time speeds by so quickly. You blink and five years have gone by. The older you get, the more you realize that every hour of every day is precious, that it won't be seen again. I want to spend the last half of my life doing things that I love, spending time with people that make me feel accepted and loved for who I am and going to far off places I have wanted to see for decades. Will I be perfect at letting go of all the bull that we put ourselves through, all the comparisons with others and their lives? No, I won't and I don't expect to be. But the more aware I am of life passing, the more I can be truly free to live life on my terms and to make myself happy.
In order to try and do a better job of living a better life, I have decided to do a yearly bucket list. I just think that one for your whole life is just mindboggling and overwhelming. If I break into a year by year, it may be easier to achieve. Here, in no particular order, is my 2013 bucket list:
1. Lose the last 46 pounds I have to reach my goal weight.
2. Be more active, whether that be in a gym or out in nature.
3. Take my daughter and husband to NYC for my 40th birthday/9th wedding anniversary.
4. Take more weekend/long weekend jaunts to rejuvenate myself and show my daughter all the amazing things to see and do outside of our comfort zone.
5. Tackle redecorating/renovating our house to make it more comfortable and more in tune with how we live our lives.
6. Write more, whether it be this blog or something else. The joy I get in spilling the thoughts chasing around in my head is unparalleled.
7. Attend a roller derby bout. Wanted to do this for years.
8. Start saving for a trip to Paris, some place I have wanted to go since junior high.
9. Get my daughter potty trained. Yes, she is 3 and not potty trained. This may be number one on my list for this year. To be done with diapers? Oh, my God, yes please.
10. Try new restaurants, activities and cuisines. Be more adventurous.
11. Watch my daughter go to her first day of preschool.
12. Have more Madeline and Mama time and create special memories just the two of us.
13. Make family time a priority, not a luxury.
I feel like I have a good shot of doing most if not all of these things this year. There may be others added as the year goes on, but I feel like this helps me focus on what will make me happy in 2013. 40 is a huge milestone and reaching it will probably overwhelm me with conflicting emotions. But it is also the start of a clean slate, the second half of my life. How I fill it, what is important and who I choose to spend it with is up to me. It is an amazing opportunity to reboot and start Melissa's Life, version 2.0. I can't wait to see what happens next.