I invited 17 guests to my birthday brunch on October 6th, some of them meeting for the first time after hearing about each other for years! As they arrived, all smiles and big hugs, I panicked thinking maybe I invited too many people…there was no way they’d all be seated comfortably, even with a reservation. I wanted the tables and chairs just right so everyone would feel included. I wanted the waitress to hurry back with our waters (where were the ice waters?!?) and I wanted the fellas to be able to see the game playing over head because, crap! I forgot it was football Sunday when I made the reservation. There were 3 kids in the bunch and I wanted them entertained so the adults could have real adult conversations and then there was my amazing boyfriend right in the middle of it all, meeting 12 of those 17 guests for the very first time! Whew!
Everything was perfect and as usual, my incessant worrying proved pointless.
I looked across the table and made eye contact with my godmother, Katie, who smiled and whispered, “Beautiful!” as she made a sweeping gesture of the entire table – my tribe in full force in celebration of me! I get chills thinking about it a week later. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my 33rd year.
After a week of reflecting, I made this list of some key things I’m taking with me in my 33rd year…this list has changed a few times since I wrote it but these are the non-negotiables.
A variety of workouts – One healthy meal won’t transform your body and neither will one style of exercise. I love lifting weights but lately, my body has been craving more dynamic, functional and total-body movements! My current workout routine is actually less “routine” than it’s ever been as I move based on how I feel each day – weight lifting, walking outdoors, online Yoga classes from the YogaGlo app, studio and online barre classes and freestyle stretching at home.
If you’ve never taken a Barre class, it’s very humbling!! I can easily front raise 20lb dumbbells but I can barely hold my arms up for the million reps of micro movements in Barre. I used to poo-poo their version of “leg day” until the instructor called another set of ballerina squats and I ‘bout fell over!
Progress is never linear but adding variety to my workouts has brought out my inner athlete by improving my stamina, reducing my post-workout soreness, maintaining and improving my flexibility and enhancing my body composition.
Do your body a favor and try a new workout style this week!
Maintaining my journal practice – I don’t pressure myself to fill the page or write every day; I go with how I feel and let my stream of consciousness take the lead. I’m proud of myself for writing down the hard stuff, doing frequent self-check ins and allowing myself to feel all the things. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m feeling until I see it on paper. Even when I cringe from looking back at the things I wrote, I remind myself that it is all part of doing the work of self-care – write it down, reflect on it, learn from it and move forward, not from scratch but from experience.
Start with making a list of everything you are grateful for in this moment.
More connections IRL – No amount of texting, phone calls or double-tapping can replace the feeling of sitting down to share a meal and catch up in real life whenever possible. I’m an extrovert so I recharge best around people. A few hours of facetime makes all the difference in my mood and wellbeing – my birthday brunch reminded me of that x10. I am here for all the coffee dates this year and beyond!
Reach out. Set the date!
Values-based spending – Oh, money matters and adulting and blah. This year especially, I am focused on investing in things that align with my values, focusing on big financial wins and not sweating the small stuff like my beloved half-caf coconut soy latte from Peet’s coffee. This is definitely a work in progress (more on this later.)
Money mindset first, budget later?
There is something about 33 that already feels transformative…
What best practices are you taking (or did you take) with you for your next trip around the sun?
Cheers & Happy Blessed Birthday to all my fellow Libras!