The Year of Sarah

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet but I have a big Birthday coming up this year.  Like Huge!  One that makes you take stock of your life, and maybe think about adjusting your course a bit to start the 2nd half of your life on a better track. Yes dear friends, I am turning 40, and as we creep closer to the day – July to be exact, I am getting more and more excited to start this 2nd chapter of my life.  To celebrate this awesome event, I have decided that I need more than just a day, really more than a few days.  I really feel that I need to celebrate through the entire year, and perhaps beyond.

Why you might ask?  Well let me tell you…… I have spent the last 5 or 6 years in a real funk, I’ve struggled with the loss of my father, my body image, my girls growing up and not needing me in the same way, a dead end job that doesn’t stimulate me, but pays better than I’ll find elsewhere (for now), aging.  I’ve worried about how I’m perceived, how I’m treated, how others make me feel.  Basically I’ve spent all of this time worrying about outside forces that have no real bearing on my life or what should be making me happy and me.

A few months back an interesting thing happened, I was running into the office, late, I’m dragging my purse, my lunch box, my “work related bag”, an umbrella and a heavy coat.  I can barely stand upright and now I have to figure out how to get the first of 3 doors open to get to my cube.  I struggle to swing the first one open as far as I can and rush through before it closes in on me like a vice.  As I’m pulling my badge out to open the second door, I hear a voice right behind me say to another nebulous figure “I hate it when people can’t hold the door open for you, how rude is that?” And I quickly realized she was talking about me.  I was stunned, I was weighed down by everything I was carrying, I could barely get the door open in the first place and she was concerned that I hadn’t been courteous to her?  Me? The person that you see getting stuck holding the door for the one old lady somewhere, only to keep having to hold the door for the sudden line of people that decide to leave at the same time.  Me, the one that will rush to help someone regularly and smile all the time, brushing off any thank yous and not worying when I don’t get one.  Me! Really?  And for the first time in a very long time, I decided I was done.  I turned to her, looked her dead in the eye, and asked her if she thought I had my hands free enough to keep the door open for her, and for that matter if she was so close behind me why didn’t she offer to help? Her friend snickered – I don’t think either expected me to say anything, the woman just stared at me for a brief moment, muttered Bitch under her breath and badged past me into the building.  Stunned as I was at the experience, the first thing I thought about when I got to my desk, was why didn’t you just open the door a little wider?

And isn’t that the way we’re all programmed to be?  I felt bad because I didn’t do more.  Weighted down with my own crap, literal and metaphorical I was adding guilt onto myself because it still wasn’t enough.  So I stewed on it for a few days, and then said screw it!  I need to start thinking about me, but how?

I stared by digging into my self help library (I have a thing for books and ever more so if they’re of the self help, cooking, or of the craft variety).  I began pulling inspiration from the people I follow on Instagram and Snapchat, and lastly I started thinking if I could try a few new things, or do something I loved again, small things, and just a few a month for the next year, what would they be? Digging a little deeper, if I could do anything I wanted what would that be? Slowly but surely I developed a plan, on how to get back on track with my life, and then took it even further and added in a few things each month I wanted to do, just for me.   So what does that look like in my life?

I stared a morning routine again, I had done one previously, but gotten out of the habit  probably about the time I hit critical mass with my undiagnosed Sleep Apnea. Now that I have that relatively under control, I feel I can do more with a little less (as long as its quality) sleep. I read the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod – its a little campy for me, and every few pages does try to push you out to his website to buy, join, or subscribe, but the basics are solid and very similar to things I had done at different times of my life.  Things that when I do them regularly make me feel better and get me really revved up for my day.

I took some of the smaller things from my list, things that were easy or short in duration, and worked on making them happen.  Like making sure I’m spending time with those I love and that make me feel good to be around – I scheduled dinner dates with our two favorite couple friends.  I found fun things that happen over the month and made them into a dinner party.  January was a 12th night and Epiphany dinner.  Next month aside from the obvious (Valentines Day) I have plans for National Drink Wine Day (2/18) – Groundhog Day (2/2) Pizza day (2/9) and a few others. I have some big ideas too, like Take a Cruise, visit Disney Paris, write a book, run a Disney 10k, things that I might not accomplish in 2017, but I’m really going to work toward making them happen, and just maybe I’ll surprise myself.

Lastly, as I was reminding everyone about my big 40th birthday this year, my grandpa reminded me he would be 85, and my mother will be 65, and my Auntie will be 55 (on Monday – happy Birthday Auntie Paula – I love you).  Steve’s best Friend Bob will be 35, my Cousin Kevin will be 30, My oldest will be 21 and the youngest is turning 18.  ALL THIS YEAR!  So I thought let’s try to celebrate all of those events as well – make them big and awesome and really live in those moments when they’re happening.

I want to look back on this 40th year of my life and feel like I really did some things, big, small, easy or hard, matters not. Just so long as I when I end this year and I’m reflecting on the things that I’ve done, I’m not disappointed in all the things I didn’t do.

Welcome to the year of Sarah.

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