I’ll be 40 in 4 days…
And what I hear from so many women, both older + younger, is that they want to feel like they’re living their own lives.
And that too often we wake up one day, or look in the mirror, and say:
what am I doing? Is THIS what I want?
I felt that way when I realized I couldn’t trust my marriage and asked for a divorce.
I felt that way when my body was breaking down, and I knew I needed to eat meat again.
And that feeling shows up in daily choices around how I spend my time, how I run my business, and what I do with my energy.
Our deep fears keep us from sharing our quirks, truths, and following our cravings. Cravings for experiences, creation, well-being, and adventure.
Fears of being publicly shamed, Fears of being selfish, being too much, being too loud, Just being ourselves. And then made wrong for our truth.
“What you say no to is as important as what you say yes to.”
I’ve gotten pretty clear about what I want, and sometimes that requires getting clear on what I DON’T want.
In positive psychology there are studies showing big birthdays (anything with a 0 at the end of it…30, 40, 50, you get it) instigate big changes, big goals, and an awareness of time passing.
What I WON’T do…AKA My To-Don’t List:
eat foods that drain my energy, and put me in a food coma
spend more than 30 minutes on social media a day
let my phone distract me from my family get lost in gossip magazines + reality TV (AKA the “comparison trap”)
let fear get in the way of sharing my ideas with the world
waste energy judging other women
read my book reviews online
apologize for taking time + resources for my self care
apologize for taking up space
spend time on projects that don’t serve me, my readers and listeners
get lost in negative mind chatter that my body and life aren’t good enough
respond to negative online attacks – haters gonna hate, and I don’t need to throw them any more fuel
Joanne: I will no longer undervalue what I do for a living (graphic designer) or accept less than I deserve…
Allison: 1) apologize for needing a lazy day, AKA staying in bed and watching TV till 2pm while snuggling with my cat 2 ) feel guilty for satisfying a food craving 3) work for corporate America
Jan: stop using the word “just”…just a 5K., as in “just” walking rather than running
Carolyn: my story that there is not enough love in the world, my story that things have to be hard, my squicky relationship with money
What I WILL do…(AKA big motivating desires, or things I want to fill my life up with)
Move + stretch my body daily in ways that feel good, grounding + strengthening
Ask myself how I want to feel when I choose my meals
Take random, surprise days off with my son + go make memories together
Write as if my soul will wilt if I don’t express it, because it does
Cook + eat foods that boost my energy (recipes)
Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night
Meet up with at least 2 friends a week Read a new book for fun every month
Get the tattoo I’ve been dreaming of, now
My To Don’t List
Take a trapeze class Roller skating birthday party (done!)
Frequently initiate juicy dates with my man
Read and play daily with my son
Take time for myself to read, walk, be in nature
Ask for time off, time away, time alone, and not feel guilty for it
Take my bike for a tune up so I can ride the first nice day of spring
Call my Dad, brother, and Grandma regularly
Write thank you letters to all the people who helped me spread the word about Women, Food, And Desire
Take hot baths and read inspiring books
Tell everyone I love them any time I feel like it
Draw, paint, color, and play my ukulele – and share them all with people
Give away $100 as a family every month to awesome charities…
Live as if 40 were my LAST birthday, because really, who knows?
This could be it. This could be my last year – or I could have 40 more years, as glorious as the first batch. What will I do with this time? How do I want to feel? What do I want to remember on my death bed? How much love can I share?
I want to hear from you: What will you NOT do anymore? What’s NOT serving you? And what DO YOU WANT?
Make a list. Declare it. Do it. xo, AJ