Tuesday, February 23, 2016


"Tipping point, huh sis? You're getting closer to 40!" my brother said with his teasing laugh, the one that always makes me giggle no matter what words like behind it.

This year's special day snuck in and by, cradled between the big move last week and our potential plans for our first married vacation since we've had kids. And since waking up Christmas Day, deciding to list the house, updating the whole thing in 1.5 weeks, selling within two and moving within a month all occurred, not much thought had been put into welcoming the new year besides how many perfect vacuum strokes you can get in a dining room.

That's why now that we're "settled" (does 50 unpacked boxes but in the house count?!), I'm taking a quick moment to reflect on how to be the best version of me at this new age, despite still feeling the strange mixture of 18 and clueless and 55, tired but wise.

Here's some things I hope the "new year" brings:

1. Better health: for decades my diet has consisted of none other than fast food and restaurant visits, Thin Mints and cherry sours at any sign of stress, diet soda and simply no restrictions. Though I don't know what this looks like quite yet, I know it means more energy so I can show up for my family and smaller pants sizes so I can feel attractive and feminine again vs. embarrassed. Right now I feel like a constant "before" picture and my soul feels it too. Time for some small steps toward big change. End goal: to want to play baseball each time they ask and actually be up for running the bases.

2. Gentleness: though there were so many magical moments at 35 and more joy than I ever anticipated, there seemed to be a third personality that developed out of fatigue, impatience and insecurity. Honestly, I don't like her. She doesn't match the flowers, pink and sparkles that everyone perceives her as. And she's taking it out on the ones she loves the most. I want to start at gentle, stay there and understand it. I read the most beautiful article the other day on how gentleness is a gift, and I want to give it to everyone I encounter. Those gentle people - they are some I admire the most. To be gentle is to be strong and have a quiet spirit. I'll take some of that.

3. Choosing him: "Your loved one deserves to be enthusiastically chosen. Every day." The husband and I have gone on with too many disconnected days. I will work feverishly to have him know why I choose him everyday. Because he deserves it.

4. Moments of adultness: as a Pisces, I tend to want to only live where the fun is happening. So things like laundry, understanding our finances and actually giving a solid consequence vs. using that sucker to bribe the toddler are generally not high on my priority list. Though party central is fun, it just feels like time to balance it a bit more and perhaps even model responsibility for the wee ones.

5. More acceptance: there's that old adage that you shouldn't compare yourself to others, and it's one I've been fighting for as long as I can remember. Immediately upon meeting another woman, I'm asking her a million questions so I can learn to be more like her, vs. working to be the best version of the lady that I am. She's always more organized, pulled together, gentler, more loving and successful in life. And I admire her for it and am awed by her daily existence. But I too, get up at 5:00 a.m. with the best intent, focused on the health and well being of my family, working diligently at my career, celebrating my friendships and cherishing my loved ones. Maybe I'm doing ok too?

6. Giving back once the sons entered, the focus was happily on rocking, dance parties, school and sports. Those moments of volunteering and making an impact in the community kind of fell by the wayside, filled with the healthcare and mommy work I was doing in and outside of the home. Now it's time to set an example for these same sons and show them what compassion, giving time and giving back can mean in helping others and shaping one's self.

I hear once you hit 40, some of this gets easier. Or, you just don't give a sh*t. So cheers to 36 and all it's opportunities. And to you for being part of this journey - you make me better everyday.

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