The Joy in Turning 29…

I finally have had some time to think, to process, and to make some more decisions about how I am moving forward. More posts about moving forward will come later I am sure.

But, for now, I wanted to share what turning 29 was like.

I love birthdays. I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, so much so that I actually get disappointed and upset when I can’t.. I spend a lot of times thinking up doable, fun, memorable, and cherished things that I can do for people. So, when it is time for my birthday, I usually have high expectations… Not from other people to do things for me, but just from the day in general.

This year was a special birthday. I was turning 29 on the 29th, so it was my “golden birthday”. And, as silly as it sounds, I have been praying for this birthday for years…. As in lots of years.

For years I have prayed for God to do something really cool to celebrate this birthday.
I’ve prayed things like being able to spend it with someone special.. or have it commemorated by a special event…
However, much more recently, I have prayed to have a job by my birthday, or to know where I am moving, or even better to already have moved by my birthday.
I have prayed for miracles big and small for this day.
I have pretty much prayed a whole slew of things for this particular birthday over the years.

None of the specific things I prayed for happened. However, He did answer my prayer for a great birthday.

What is interesting to me is that, despite all my prayers for years, and the well-known fact that:

1. I. Hate. Winter.
and,
2. Snow/winter has ruined literally two dozen or so of my birthdays (even when I moved SOUTH!)

Winter and snow still snuck in and ruined plans again this year.

I had planned to go snowboarding for the first time on my birthday, despite hating the cold, I decided it would be a great fun new thing to try with my family…. Due to serious negative temperatures, the place closed down due to the dangerous temperatures.

Then, the weekend after my birthday I planned a party (I know, planning your own party can seem odd, but I did it anyway!). I had planned a themed game night, with people bringing money in the form of 29 that we would all put into a jar, and then vote on the charities that should receive the money. I was so excited.

And then, we got the 400,000 blasted snow storm of the winter.

I had to take some time and really just process and pray through all of this because to be totally honest, it just felt rude. Like yet another winter personally attacking my attempt at fun and joy in a season I despise… Especially this season, and this time in my life.

One night I was laying in bed pretending I was going to fall asleep, and I started walking myself through what DID happen throughout the week celebration of my golden birthday.

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I had my hair done in brown and purple.

I got to hang out with a friend from DC for an evening.

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I spent my birthday with my brother and sister-in-law, they made breakfast, then we went ice skating, and to get my free Starbucks coffee (thank you), to the mall to get free lipstick and mascara from Makeup Forever (thank you), and then just toodled around and had fun laughing at all sorts of things.

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My sister-in-law and I started seeing Daryl (from The Walking Dead) items everywhere, so we took lots of pictures of us with “him” and posted

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it on Instagram. Norman Reedus favorited it in less than 30 seconds. haha!

 

I went to my parent’s place and had my favorite dinner and a homemade orange chocolate cake from my other sister-in-law and mom. And, let me tell you, it was amazing!!

I had lunch with my mom a couple of days later.

I received flowers, a chocolate and wine gift basket, chocolate covered strawberries, cards, texts, phone calls, voicemail, e-mails, Facebook posts, twitter mentions,  gift cards, etc.. etc… And just an absolutely absurd and overwhelming amount of sweet, thoughtful, and touching words of love and encouragement from SO many people. IMG_1759

Just, So. Much. Birthday. Love. 

And, although the game night had to be canceled, we were still able to play games with some family who braved the weather and came to hang out anyway.

So, while things definitely did not happen the way I had planned, and a vast majority of the things I had prayed for did not happen… Despite those things, God gave me a great birthday. It had some disappointments due to the weather just adding to my hatred of it… But, the reality is, my friends and family are amazing, and they are some of the most loving people I could ever imagine having around.

As I sit and ponder it all, I am thankful. So incredibly thankful and amazed at the sheer level of love and care I was shown by friends and family both near and far.

And, despite everything going on in my life, and the general feeling of frustration I have, I find myself thankful for so many things as well. I feel so very blessed to have the friends and family I do that care about my situation and my heart, and I love that they want to celebrate my last year in my 20’s with me!

Getting Started…

I created a list of 29 things I wanted to do this year because I turn 29 in a couple of weeks, and I figured it gave me something to do and work towards that is not just the typical “new years resolutions”.

Check out my 29 Things While Being 29 post.

So, getting started in 2014:

5. I have started saving a few dollars every week, despite my unemployed status.

11. I am currently looking at things I want to add to my Life Goals bucket list.

13. I am reading through my first book Victory of Eagles (and I’m already halfway through it), only have 11 more to go!

19. My first section of scripture I’m memorizing is Titus 3:4-8a.

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29. I have created a jar for daily notes of good things I am thankful for. Although, it is actually too small for a year’s worth of notes, but it works even still.

 

What are you doing to get into accomplishing your goals for this year?

 

Revised Bucket List…

When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to be the type of old person who had so many ridiculous and crazy stories of things I have done, places I have been, and people I have met that the only question that would make sense is: “How did you have time to do everything?” When I settled on that as a huge goal in life, I began crafting a bucket list of sorts… Only, it is more of my “life” goals, but the meaning is essentially the same I suppose.

So, regularly I revise my bucket list because I think it should be ever-growing and molding; plus, I must replace the items I have accomplished with new ones!

A couple of years ago, I re-organized my list and created categories which has made it easier to manage, follow, update and honestly just be really excited about. So…

It is time to update my Life Goals list again!

Experiences:

  1. Watch the sunrise AND sunset from each side of every ocean or sea (a = Sunrise, b = Sunset): 1. Pacific (b), 2. Atlantic, 3. Indian, 4. Arctic, 5. Southern, 6. Mediterranean Sea (a), 7. Caribbean, 8. South China Sea, 9. Bering Sea, 10. Gulf of Mexico (b), 11. Okhotsk Sea, 12. East China Sea, 13. Hudson Bay, 14. Japan Sea, 15. Andaman Sea, 16. North Sea, 17. Red Sea, 18. Baltic Sea
  2. Have a croissant at a French cafe 
  3. Ride a gondola in Venice
  4. Stay in a hostel
  5. Attend Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand
  6. Attend La Tomatina in Spain
  7. Be in Spain for running of the Bulls (but not participate)
  8. Move somewhere new alone
  9. Participate in a giant food fight
  10. Drink whiskey at a pub in Ireland
  11. Ride a helicopter
  12. Ride an elephant
  13. Ride a camel in the desert
  14. Ride through the Panama Canal
  15. Horseback ride through a coffee plantation
  16. Jump off a waterfall
  17. See the Pyramids at sunset
  18. See a glacier in Antarctica
  19. Visit the church made entirely of bones
  20. Visit ancient ruins
  21. Stay in the ice hotel
  22. Stand on the Great Wall of China
  23. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
  24. Stand inside the Taj Mahal
  25. Tube down a river
  26. Learn to roll in a kayak
  27. Learn to snowboard, and ski
  28. Learn to wakeboard and water ski
  29. Drive a sports car over 100mph
  30. Go parasailing
  31. Go paragliding
  32. Go dog sledding
  33. Go on a Safari in Africa 
  34. Go rock climbing
  35. Go to the Kentucky Derby
  36. Go white water rafting
  37. Go Sky diving
  38. Go on a multi-day biking trip
  39. Go on a cruise
  40. Go wine tasting
  41. Wine taste at a vineyard in Italy
  42. Climb a volcano 
  43. Climb a glacier 
  44. Climb a mountain
  45. See and/or climb Mt. Kilomanjaro and Mt. Everest
  46. Hike the Inca Trail 
  47. Watch the sunrise or sunset over the Grand Canyon
  48. Watch the Northern Lights 
  49. See a shooting star 
  50. See Bioluminescent Plankton 
  51. Ring a church bell
  52. Choose fifty favorite places to relax and connect with God
  53. Attend the entire summer Olympics
  54. Zip line through a canopy
  55. Drink lemonade on the front porch swing on warm summer night
  56. Live in a house with a window seat and wrap around porch
  57. Christen a boat
  58. Learn to surf
  59. Learn to paddleboard  
  60. Dive with Manta Rays in Hawaii
  61. Swim in the Dead Sea
  62. Swim with a whale
  63. Snorkel the great barrier reef in Australia
  64. Swim with bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico
  65. Scuba dive 
  66. Tango in a milonga 
  67. Spend a night in a treehouse
  68. Have a big wedding celebration with everyone I love

Travel:

  1. Set foot on all seven continents: AsiaAfricaNorth America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.
  2. Set foot in all fifty states:Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
  3. Cross the Canadian border 
  4. Go to Cuba
  5. Go to Spain
  6. Straddle the equator on two continents
  7. Take a road trip across the U.S.
  8. Have an adventure in Greece
  9. Take a month-long vacation without computers
  10. Live in another country for a year
  11. Go to Fiji
  12. Spend a summer touring Europe
  13. Go to Hawaii
  14. Go to South America with my sister

Personal:

  1. Attend a Ball
  2. Learn Latin dances: Argentine TangoSalsaCumbiaMerengueCha chaBachata, Rumba, Mambo,
  3. Learn to West Coast Swing
  4. Be a published artist
  5. Get art in a gallery
  6. Write a book or novel
  7. Finish and publish “Facts of Life”
  8. Throw a block party
  9. Blog consistently for 10 years
  10. Go a day without speaking
  11. Organize a retreat
  12. Start and run my own business
  13. Get my second degree black belt
  14. Get a tattoo (I have two)
  15. Do two pull ups 
  16. Own a very large dog 
  17. Be conversational in two languages: 1. English 2. Spanish
  18. Learn a least enough in three additional languages to semi-understand
  19. Make my own list of the hundred best things to eat
  20. Plant a tiny orchard
  21. Grow vegetables in my own garden
  22. Go berry picking
  23. Make completely homemade pies 
  24. Make butterscotch from scratch (I have a recipe, now I just need to get all the ingredients and do it!)
  25. Run a 10k
  26. Run a half marathon
  27. Shoot every major gun: PistolShotgunRifle, Muzzleloader, Revolver
  28. Start a fire without a match
  29. Build a house from start to finish
  30. Own a Beach house with friends

Giving:

  1. Help someone get through college
  2. Do something for someone they can never repay
  3. Tithe my whole life
  4. Start a non-profit or help run one
  5. Buy stock on my own
  6. Do one grand loving gesture a year
  7. Be debt free by 35
  8. Use my work to improve lives
  9. Remove money as a concern from my life
  10. Gift 1 million dollars to missions (not tithing)
  11. Help my family become debt free
  12. Give people in ministry free vacations at the beach house

Total, there are 124 things on my bucket list so far, which realistically is more than that due to the sub points. And, since this is an ever evolving Life Goals, things will likely be crossed off and added to this year.

In 2013, I crossed off 12 things from my list!.. In 2014, I aim to cross off more than double that!

I am currently working on a list of 29 things I want to do in 2014 because I am turning 29 on the 29th of January! One of the things I have discovered as I compile this “29 Things” list is, most “30 things to do before you’re 30” lists are lame, and almost all of the “29 things to do when you are 29” lists I have found are stupid. So, I will attempt to create an actual solid list of things to do in a year, and leave out things such as, “Forgive” “Fall in love” or “get married” as key points on my list… My list will be much more active and intentional.

I cannot wait to share my 29 things I want to do in 2014!