Forty Eve…

Last year my birthday had me turning 39…

I spent the day with my husband and youngest daughter, but I honestly do not recall what we did. I do remember my husband did one of his characteristically thoughtful little surprises. Those are the things I love to remember the most. It’s bittersweet…

The one thing I did FOR myself, on my birthday, was taking a time out to work on a list of forty things I wanted to do before my fortieth birthday.

Here is the list now…

  • My first 5K
  • get a job.
  • take classes or a course to make #2 easier.
  • go on a real vacation with my family.
  • get my passport.
  • get my concealed weapons license.
  • finish my memoir
  • Learn how to do four new things.
  • make a new friend.
  • get into essential oils.
  • have dinner with, and spend time with William. (My high school BFF)
  • see my son.
  • make it as natural as breathing to bless someone else’s day, anonymously, every day.
  • to go on a long weekend with my husband.
  • take up yoga regularly.
  • Go to Idaho to see friends.
  • See a new-to-me broadway show.
  • confront my fear and hold a snake.
  • Put my toes in the ocean.
  • Live intentionally, Savoring even the unsavory in some way.
  • write more letters and notes than emails and texts.
  • realize what is really important, and focus on those things/people.
  • Skydive
  • take Gen (my youngest) to the DIA.
  • Do something memorable and special, with my family, every month.
  • have a girlfriend getaway.
  • pick up my camera and become friends with it again.
  • get new wedding rings.
  • Ride horses again, it had been ages.
  • go up north in the fall.
  • create something beautiful.
  • Speak in a public speaking engagement.
  • dance with and date my husband intentionally.
  • make REAL plans with Kozzette, for Sundance.
  • be an intentional gift giver to those I love the most.
  • get a basket for my bike, to carry picnics and flowers in, all summer.
  • more non-tv nights than those with the tv on.
  • catalogue the things that make me laugh, for when I can’t.
  • Be a better version of who I was at 38.
  • plan an amazing celebration, for my next decade, with the people I love the most there.

When I pulled this gem of a list out, some 65 days before my birthday, I went through various stages of shock… Bold would be the things I actually have done/continue to do. I admit that I was a little devastated to read through these items.  It was like having to face a bullet-list reality of your very personal failures.

If I were to make a list of things I wanted to bucketlist for my fortieth year, it would be eerily similar. I guess that proves that I did NOT become a better version of me. In fact, when I look at the severe depression I plummeted into about a week or two after I wrote this list, and how much darker and scarier it got, well… I’d say it’s fair to say I became someone much worse. The things my depression put my family through are things I may take a very long time to forgive myself for… I italicized Idaho because moving here, at the end of my marriage was not what I’d had in mind.

In a raw and very real way I figured I’d make a list of the forty things, both good and bad, that I did do from 39-40…

  • Saw a few concerts I’d wanted to see for a long, long time.
  • helped my husband remodel the kitchen. Before my eyes it transformed into something more beautiful than I’d ever imagined. It will always be my favorite room ever.
  • I got drunk. twice.
  • I worked really hard, with Gen, to give my husband a beautiful Father’s Day. He really deserved it and it was so fun to have a conspirator.
  • I played a fair amount of table tennis.
  • I rode a roller coaster. Still get migraines from them and they aren’t my favorite, like they used to be, but I still did it.
  • I saw a fortune-teller, at an amusement park.
  • I began (And quit… twice) an Esthetics program.
  • I moved away from my husband and daughter, to a million miles and hours away.
  • I made an a few friends, one of whom is amazing and I adore and miss her!
  • I finally came to terms with the fact that my mother is not capable of loving anyone, even her only child.
  • I took part in breaking my daughter’s heart and forever altering her life.
  • I was introduced to the beauty that is Korean television, by two friends of mine. I shared this with Gen and I miss us in this way, very much.
  • I had a car accident.
  • I plummeted into a deep, terrifying depression and had no idea for most of it.
  • I took Gen to get her nose pierced. (I got the part of my ear I can never remember, pierced.)
  • I got an ironic tattoo, while severely depressed, as a milestone tattoo. SMH
  • I saw a lot of movies. Of course.
  • I fell in love with Korean Food, Korean music and the loveliness that is Korean culture.
  • My Kate Spade collection grew.
  • I made a lot of stupid, unclear decisions while I was depressed. (If you ever find yourself in that position- just don’t…)
  • I spent a ton of time obsessing over M & S’s Wilder Mind album.
  • I finally dove into a vinyl collection. The start of one anyway…
  • I realized I love a good cover song…
  • Bowled a few times. It’s my absolute favorite thing and I got to bowl about 5 times, which is really amazing.
  • I skipped Thanksgiving, and probably will make that same decision from now on.
  • I had the worst Christmas I’ve had since childhood.
  • I had an even worse New Years, but that’s a holiday we can’t ignore.
  • I learned I will do almost anything alone, without fear or complaint, but there is a small list of things that it’s just not in my capacity to manage.
  • I bought Broadway tickets, but didn’t get to use them. That had NEVER happened.
  • I changed every single ounce of my life. I went from being a wife and mother every day to being a pen pal.
  • I did a mom swap for several months and it was the one thing, during my 8 months of depression that I really loved. It kept me going and motivated me not to lose myself in it.
  • I tried Couch to 5K, and quit. I decided running, though my husband loved it, was not for me.
  • I got my first apartment based just on my credit.
  • I then lived off of credit cards after I worked incredibly damn hard to build my credit, because my money was all gone on things like moving, apartment deposit, helping a friend, etc… Thus ruining my hard-earned credit. Definite negative.
  • I realized I worked really hard to build a life that I’ll never get to live again, and that life had been my world.
  • Didn’t see my son, but there were still beautiful developments and I’ll hopefully see him soon.
  • I did learn how to give an AWESOME facial. And how to wax…
  • Totally lost sight of myself and then life changed so quickly, in that. I have no idea how to be, who to be, or how to fix things.
  • I got to spend a lot of time with my daughters, prior to Thanksgiving… I’m reminded constantly that it will never be the same. I’m living with that.

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