A 31st Birthday Review

This month I turn 31! The past year has seen the navigation of packing up my life, moving across the country, and starting again. It has been fun and challenging in the good kind of ways. Though always a work in progress, I’ve seen positive self-growth, healthy relationship adjustments, and I’ve defined new boundaries with myself as needed. Age 30 has been a good, full year. Let’s assess 🙂

Favorites (from this year):

  1. Favorite way to start the day: crushing a living room workout with Sydney Cummings.

  2. Favorite way to spend a day off: sleep-in, pancake breakfast, then following whims to see where the day leads me.

  3. Favorite TV shows: Normal People, Vice Principals, The Good Place

  4. Comedy became very important to me this year. If it’s not funny, I don’t really want it.

  5. On that note, I laughed my way through these podcast episodes: David Sedaris, Stanley Tucci

  6. Best parenting resources: The Wonder of Parenting podcast and the book The Self-Driven Child

  7. Best self-help resource: Deepak Chopra’s Soul of Healing Affirmations (this is available to stream)

  8. Interesting change: getting Invisalign – it marks my third round of orthodontic care, but I can now chew food well for the first time ever! I was hesitant, but I am so glad that I committed. I am only halfway through and already see great improvement.

  9. My dog, who loves her family more than I could have imagined possible.

  10. I’ve tried meditating but just cannot seem to connect with it like others swear is possible. So instead, I just lie on the floor and close my eyes for a “brain break”. It gets the job done without the pressure of thinking or not thinking or not scratching that itch, etc.

  11. I’ve been following the diet plan laid out by Matt Fitzgerald in The Endurance Diet since June 2021, and it has led to an immensely positive change in the way I view and consume food.

  12. I always enjoy talking on the phone for hours with my best friends, mom, and grandma. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it is magical.

  13. The job I am in now is the best job I’ve ever had. I hope I can work it until retirement.

  14. I discovered that I cannot cook dinner from a recipe, but I can craft a concoction that is good and filling, no recipe needed. This came about from my desperate need to have a dinner with less than five ingredients, ready in 20 minutes. Anything more and I become overwhelmed.

  15. A defining thing about me is still my beloved use of curse words. I also enjoy hitting Californians with my best southern “y’all” and seeing where it lands. 🙂

  16. I have enjoyed uncovering new-to-me music, a lot of which could be described as alternative/indie country.

  17. Talking to people, even strangers at the grocery store, is a great way to find surprising connections. It matters.

  18. “Do what you want, baby steps each day, and the next thing you know, you’re up the fucking mountain.” – Bill Burr

Challenges (lifelong, but finally being examined):

  1. Sometimes I forget to breathe.

  2. I am a stingy miser of a person. My plan to move past this mindset is to ask myself 1) “Will I use this item?” and 2) “Is the cost reasonable?” If yes, I will give myself permission to purchase the thing.

  3. My parenthood walk has asked me to step back from doing every. single. thing. for the child and focus instead on doing the right thing at the right time, in the right way which is simultaneously easier and harder, and constantly humbling.

  4. I am easily distracted by other things I feel I need to be doing, which means I start six jobs before I finish the first. I know that multitasking is not efficient, but my innate tendency is to follow my whims around all the things that need doing, and so nothing ever gets done in an appropriate amount of time.

  5. I worry about things that I cannot control, and it takes great pains to soothe the self-induced stress.

  6. I forget to “see the forest through the trees.”

  7. If I like an idea, I run with it full-throttle, only to realize that it wasn’t as good as I initially thought, and now I have the problem of trying to undo what I committed to or, more often, begrudgingly accepting the fact that now I have to do it. This is so frustrating! When this happens I’m just like, “Emma! Why?! Just take five minutes to think about things next time, ugh!!”

  8. I use daydreaming to escape reality, which contradicts my desire to be fully present.

  9. I must really, really restrain myself from reorganizing the damn dishwasher. Because, what a colossal waste of time!

  10. I am judgmental. I would prefer it if, as long as the other person wasn’t hurting anyone or anything, I didn’t even notice enough to care.

  11. I think a lot about how to be nicer to myself, and the first part of that is to work on self-acceptance.

The Journey Continues:

  1. “Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”1

  2. In the face of evil, I want to be brave and work to serve Good. Right now, for me, that looks like donating to causes that serve goodness and who are working to protect humanity. Will you join?

5 thoughts on “A 31st Birthday Review

  1. Happy 31st 🥳Birthday! What a wonderful reflection of positivity, growth & things you want to work on. You have wisdom beyond your years & a ♥️ heart full of compassion & love! You are inspirational❣️ I feel that this blog entry encourages all of us to make a list that is enlightening & most valuable!! Thank You❣️ The picture you posted shows your beautiful energy that radiates from within & shines through your smile 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love these reflections! So glad you enjoyed The Self-Driven Child and the sentence about your job just made me smile from ear to ear 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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