Another year older… and wiser?

A couple weeks ago, I went to mark my calendar for a friend and fellow Gemini’s upcoming birthday dinner, and for the first time it dawned on me that my own birthday was only a couple weeks away.

It really crept up on me this year! Bathing suit season always does (amirite?!), but I’m usually pretty aware of my own birthday. I had the foresight to schedule a baseball outing for it in advance, but other than that, I hadn’t really thought about it at all recently.

So, today I am 34…. whooo. hoooo. It’s off to a rockin start:

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It’s a pretty unremarkable age. At the same time, I feel really good about life right now. The past year has probably been one of the best of my life, in terms of personal growth. I was just looking at this post the other day that I wrote at the end of 2015 in which I refused to make official New Years resolutions, but I acquiesced to making some “resolutions in progress,”  as I called them.

In this post, I decided to do a little check-in with myself on these goals. The italics are from my post in December 2015.

  1. Stop comparing myself to others.

Envy is a deadly sin for a reason. It’s so unhealthy, and more than that, it’s pointless. It really is. First of all, you never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life. More than that, though, so what if someone gets something you desire or don’t have? We’re all winners and losers on any given day of the week. That’s life. I’m wasting way too much time and energy on this instead of just appreciating all the things my own life has to offer. I want to be genuinely happy for others’ successes and support them in their struggles, and get that in return. When I find myself putting that into practice, it actually works.

UPDATE: I’m pretty much nailing this one. I was approaching some of my relationships with a toxic envy filter a couple of years ago, and I’m grateful I got a hold on it before I lost them. I think it has to do largely with being really secure in myself and my own life. I also feel in the past I was constantly looking for validation from other people on my life and my decisions, and now it’s more about, is it working for me? Is it making me happy? Then fuck ’em.

2. Stop trying so hard.

Part 1: Now, I’m not saying don’t stop trying. But sometimes I try way too hard to appease people. And here’s the thing — sometimes I’m not even right. I’m off base in what I think someone wants to hear or expects from me, so I just wasted my time doing something I didn’t even want to do. How stupid is that?!

UPDATE: I’m doing well on this front also. If I don’t feel like doing something, I don’t do it. If I don’t know this song or that band or have tickets to that event — oh well. Good for you if you do. I have what I have.

Part 2: There’s also something to be said for “it is what it is,” and while efforts make inroads, sometimes it doesn’t matter. People are going to think and feel how they feel no matter what, so you might as well stay true to yourself in your own comfort zone (assuming it’s a healthy place for you).

UPDATE: Yes, sometimes people want to try to mold you into what they think you should be. RESIST. Resist unless it’s something you really want. Yes, it may cause friction with people who don’t agree with you, but either they will come to accept you as you are, or they won’t, and you’ll either have to move on from the relationship, agree to disagree, or politely ignore the demands they keep trying to put on you because in reality, they are unhappy and nothing you do is going to change that. It’s very liberating to get to this point. Freeing.

3. Love Myself.

Ickkkkkk, right?! It just sounds lame. But it’s actually something I really struggle with. I’m very self-critical. I try to make it humorous a lot of the time, but it’s pretty clear I don’t trust myself, and sometimes, I don’t even like myself. But part of that relates to #2- I’m way too concerned about where I stand in others’ eyes. This is my life.

UPDATE: It’s going. I have made strides in not feeling ashamed for not having certain things, like a house or children or a more healthy bank statement and waistline. But this one is more day by day, as I’m sure you know. There are good days and there are bad days. I would say the good days outweigh the bad.

4. Be a better partner.

Always a good thing to strive for, in my book. {Luke} is an inherently good and genuine person in a way that I find very unique and special, and that inspires me. He really motivates me to make positive change, and he’s one of my biggest cheerleaders. You can work toward this in your friendships and family relationships, too, but don’t forget it’s a give-and-take — you need to know when to keep fighting, and when to walk away.

UPDATE: Hmm, you’ll have to ask Luke, haha. I’d like to think I am doing very well on this one. Sometimes he probably feels like I’m nagging him about various things, but as I tell him, I’m just trying to help push him to his best limits. He’s so laid back, and I’m so not (well, I’m better than I used to be), so we balance each other out well. If he would just look at that damn calendar…

5. Separate work and play.

This goes BOTH ways. I’m guilty of taking care of personal things at work, but I’m just as guilty of checking my work email and fretting about things when I’m at home. Both need to stop. If I discipline myself to be more productive at work, I can relax more in my spare time. Conversely, if I shut work out during my spare time and enjoy myself, I can feel more refreshed when I return to the office. It’s actually not rocket science!

UPDATE: I would say I’ve made bigger strides in saying “eff off” to work on my own time than I have in not thinking about personal stuff at the office, haha. I do think I’ve gotten more productive.

6. Give it time.

This is huge. I’m so reactionary. A lot of times, things will resolve themselves if you just give it a minute. This trickles down to the most basic things, like making social plans. Being with {Luke} has opened my eyes to a whole world of “chillin.” That man gets riled up about very little, and very rarely makes any kind of advance plan. While this drives me nuts at times, there’s something to be learned from it. For one thing, without a plan, you can’t exactly freak out when the plan changes. Now, clearly, there is a happy medium here. There are some things I can’t not plan for, but I can take a pretty big step back from the level of planning I’m currently at, and probably be a lot happier. I’ve tried it here and there, with mixed results, but I think the majority of the time, it makes things better, not worse.

UPDATE: This one has its good days and bad days, too. I feel like I’ve made tremendous strides in at least trying to go with the flow when things go wrong. Like when you sit in traffic on the way to Miller Park for a Brewers game only to find it’s cash only for parking and you have to leave and find an ATM. This may or may not have happened on Sunday. It was not my original plan.

In summary, perfection is not attainable, and that’s something I’ve had to grasp as well. Just because I’m not doing it right all the time doesn’t mean I’m not doing well. Everyone fucks up here and there. But I’d like to think I move on from these fails more quickly than I used to, and I try to learn for next time. I try not to let the pitfalls and setbacks completely derail me from the path.

So, with that, covfefe! Ole! Let’s celebrate!

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