So a couple of weeks ago I turned 33 (you can tell how long this has been sitting in my drafts). There wasn’t much fanfare as there was in past years. We celebrated with a small BBQ at my brother’s house, my nieces put on a small and confusing puppet show and we consumed copious amounts of meat.
And there was an ice cream cake that I stuck my niece misery guts’ finger in when her sassy behind tried to poke it, as illustrated in the picture.
It really felt like just another Sunday, which I guess is what happens when you get old, eh?
But as all birthdays do, they make you reflect on the years gone by, what has been accomplished and what is still to come. So here are the things I need to put on my bucket list, I need to switch up and get my butt in gear on:
- Tell it Like it is – Most of the time this isn’t a problem but I’m noticing (ok, my bf has noticed) that I am not as forthcoming as I once was with everything that bugs me. Nothing is allowed to fester anymore.
- Say No – I have a natural inclination to help people but there are times that it comes at a cost of my own work or sanity. I have to prioritize my time and resources and if it means I can’t help someone, I can’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes I do have to come first.
- Take a Break – This really builds off of the previous one. In not saying no to things, I end up working too many hours or taking work home with me and then my work/life balance is all out of whack. Taking an hour for lunch and leaving the building every day is one good thing that I do every day but I need to remember to really use my vacation time and keep better track of lieu time. My mental health is super important.
- Clear out the Clutter – In anticipation of moving I’ve been going through my closets and bookcases and realizing that I keep a lot of junk that I don’t even need. Why I thought I’d need notes from university (10 years ago? Seriously?!), I don’t know! And the amount of extra clothing that I own is OBSCENE. This is habit that I have to work on long-term.
- Define Needs and Wants – Misery Guts gave me a lesson on wants and needs one Christmas I will never forget. But I admit that sometimes the line becomes very blurry for me and then I end up spending money needlessly. I have to keep her little voice in the back of my head when I go shopping (and credit cards out of my wallet) so that I ensure #4 is a success and I save a penny or two.
- Apply Learning – I love reading, attending conferences and learning from those who are leaps and bounds ahead of me in the same field. But what exactly have I done with all of that knowledge? I have lots of ideas stored in my noggin’ but haven’t been able to put anything into practice due to limitations with time or budgets or issues with acceptance from the powers that be. So working on better plans, strategies, calendars and organizing myself to put ideas into practice will not only benefit the organization but myself as I move forward in my career.
- Rely on Others – I’m fiercely independent and I’m about to give up a big piece of my independence by moving, sharing space and living in suburbia where I’ll have to depend on someone else a great deal of the time for… well, a lot of the necessities (although I share the responsibilities and pay my share). Although every fibre of my being wants to do things for myself, it’s ok to have someone else help. It’s ok to have someone do a task or lend a hand or make life a bit easier. It does compromise who I am. If anything, life has gotten even better.
- Save the Tears – I’m a crier. If I’m sad, hurt, angry, happy, WHATEVER, I cry. I need to learn how to save my tears for times when they are really appropriate. I need to find another way to express my feelings or for catharsis. There is a lot of wasted emotion and heartache. Plus, I can end up hurting the people around me when I cry needlessly.
- Smile More – The last six months have been a bit of a roller coaster for me physically and professionally. I’ve had more than my share of meltdowns and I’m sure some of someone else’s as well. Now that part of it is well under control, I need to focus again on all of the positives in my life, making sure to laugh and smile as much as I can.
- Try Harder – at life, at work, at relationships, at everything. Sometimes I feel like I cruise through life and just put in a half-ass effort. I know I can do better in a lot of areas. I know I don’t write the best first draft, or say the right things, or always have the right reactions in situations. I love to learn, but I need to adapt and implement based on what I soak up in life. I don’t have to be perfect, but I have to try to be better.
Not a tall order at all, eh?
What’s on your list?