AKA: What you want in your "life toolbox" before you turn 50
I have been working on this list for MONTHS. In May and June of my 42nd year, I kept this list as one of the tabs on my computer and I revisited it constantly. It got better/ more articulate day by day, but it never felt "right" or "done." Then, I switched to summer mode, and I got tired of looking at that tab. I wasn't feeling like I'd ever get there, and I needed to step away. After a break of about a month, I returned to it and made major changes I was excited about over the course of an evening, and it quickly got closer to becoming the list I've attached.
I opened with that little story because I feel like I will feel that way again as I embark on this project. Some items on this list I feel like I could already check off. I'll still take time to articulate how I feel I've achieved that goal, but for me, a few will be easy, & a few will be way harder. I'm putting it out there that there might be breaks. That's ok. Often times I have my best ideas after I step away, just like I come up with a better approach to dealing with a behavior I don't like from my children after I've taken a deep breath, or when you come up with a good retort in an argument after you've left the confrontation.
I know I set this up as having a deadline, & I really do want to aim towards it for myself, but I wanted to make sure I opened the list with an understanding that we all live our lives on our own timelines. You do you, & if this helps you do you & take care of you & enrich you, more power to you.
The List: A Toolbox for your second 50 years
1. Balance between respect for yourself and respect for others when you communicate and make decisions.
2. Something you’re incredibly proud of accomplishing and something you’re incredibly excited about accomplishing in the coming years.
3. A bank account that’s just in your name that you manage and care for and add to and spend from without input from anyone else.
4. Something expensive that you don’t need but you really want that makes you feel special every time you look at it.
5. An appreciation for how to live alone, even if you don’t like to/have to/want to.
6. “A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age… and a memory that makes you cringe….because those memories were lessons that brought you to here.” These ideas came straight from Redmond’s article. I wanted them on my list, too.
7. A child or mentee who trusts you & who you get the pleasure of watching grow.
8. A journal/album/sketchbook/whatever form works for you full of your deepest thoughts and favorite memories, both big & small.
9. Knowledge of how your body wants to move and a dedication to giving your body what it needs to keep you going as you get older.
10. An understanding of what looks good on you & what makes your body feel good.
11. A person you can call when you’re anxious, when you’re stressed, & when you’re proud and want to brag.
12. Role models– be they women or men, admirable for their personal lives or their professional lives (or their ability to balance the two).
13. Tricks to make un-fun (yet necessary) activities more tolerable- or maybe even joyful!
14. A recipe that you love to feed to people and a deep knowledge of what you love that nourishes you.
15. A list of songs that you can get absolutely lost in– mind, soul, & body.
16. A to-do list that never gets completely checked off, & to-read and to-watch lists long enough to guarantee that you’ll ALWAYS have something to look forward to.
17. “A passport… Up to date and ready to be stamped for the next adventure.”
Please, please, please comment & let me know what you think! This is by far the biggest blog project I've attempted & I'd love it to become something that works for you, too. I'd love to hear what works/doesn't work for you, & thanks in advance!
I'm so grateful to have you here with me. I LOVE being a mom, but I'm trying to still be "me" while being a mom, & this blog has been a tool for me to figure that out. Hopefully it's that for you, as well. I look forward to hearing from you so that I can make this blog meaningful for you. Thanks for being here!