Stacy's Birthday | May 2017

You know what's nice about 53? This no-make up face that is evidence of many years of smiling! 

You know what's nice about 53? This no-make up face that is evidence of many years of smiling! 

It's my BIRTHDAY!!! I'm actually writing this post 10 days after my birthday, but I started it on time and since it's still my birthday month, and since I have a few things to say (and commit to) as I head into my 53rd year of life, I'm going to finish this post. I'm now well past the half-century mark and I am first off, extremely grateful to be alive. I have experienced an increasing sense of gratitude for life's most basic experiences, like waking up with energy and a sense of well-being. In fact, with the exception of a couple of nagging frustrations, I am unbelievably content and very blessed. I give 100% credit for this happy condition to my Heavenly Father and to my fabulous parents. For as long as I can remember, I have been taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and I have tried diligently to learn about and follow Jesus' example. I strive to keep God's commandments—the big ones and the little ones. This effort has been so worth it. It has blessed my marriage and my parenting and my children. Life is often frustratingly difficult, but it is much easier when we do the things we ought to do. Good values make good people. I can say this without hesitation. I am in no position to judge anyone else or anyone else's choices or journey, but I'm eternally grateful for the guidance of Christian principles and values in my own life. 

I've learned in the last fifty years that I have a tendency to be dissatisfied. On paper, I'm super good and content and all is well, but in the daily execution of daily things I am constantly evaluating, analyzing and making adjustments in an effort to improve: myself, my marriage, my eating habits, home decor, my laundry processing process, the organization in my silverware drawer, you name it, I am continually wondering if it's good enough or if there isn't something I could do to tweak it for the better. This can be exhausting and I'm certain aggravating—especially where my assessing bumps into someone else (i.e., husband and kids). In the midst of this endless evaluation sits this odd tendency to procrastinate little and big tasks. Case in point: The dresser in my bedroom is (right now) strewn with stuff that I collected on our spring break trip to New York City. I've looked at and walked by that pile/mess for over a month now, but I don't clean it up. Weird. It will take me ten minutes (tops) when I decide to do it, but most days I see it as I'm headed out of my bedroom and I have other things I want to do. I think to myself, "I should stop and pick that up and dust real quick" but I don't. I know this is an energy draining habit. Here's another one. I purchased and framed a print for my "best books" corner in our living room. I was super excited to get this print framed and now it's been sitting on the floor for over two weeks. Hello? Hang it up already! So weird. I guess I'm just a strange mix of efficiency mixed with unusual amounts of unfinished work and random piles. This bothers me. I'm often paralyzed by it and I'm actually analyzing it as I write and hoping that by the time I'm 53 I will have it figured out. 

Buy birthday flowers and meeting this really sweet lady from Germany. I was so tickled that my hubby took a picture!

Buy birthday flowers and meeting this really sweet lady from Germany. I was so tickled that my hubby took a picture!

Next, I've been thinking for a while about the amazing opportunities I've had in the scrapbooking industry. I have been so lucky and I've worked hard. I have so many happy, happy memories of editorial meetings, events, travel and online classrooms. I *think* I'm NOT done contributing yet, but I'm not sure what is next. I've thought a great deal about my future in the past year, and very recently some possibilities seem to be taking shape. I'm 98% SUPER EXCITED, but I'm also feeling careful about my time and energy and I'm anxious to clarify (for myself) what I want to do and what I don't want to do. I also question whether I have what it takes to support and promote new ideas, ie. social media, etc.. 

And finally, I have been wanting (for months) to find a new approach to exercise. It's funny. I'll decide I'm going down to the Cross Fit gym first thing Monday morning to sign up, and then not go. I'll start and stop yoga, which I've done twice since the beginning of the year. One of my resolutions was to simply do 45 minutes a day on my elliptical machine, until I could find something else better, but then I stood in the grocery store line and read that at my age I should really be lifting weights and that was the end of that. I do walk often, with and without girlfriends, and I enjoy that. I will also jog some and even build up distance for a few days, but then I go on a trip and end up quitting OR I do well until it rains for 4 days straight and then I never start again. I can't imagine that this frustration is super unique for a woman my age, but it is nonetheless aggravating and energy-sucking and discouraging. You know? But ... I did just read about a new book. Actually, I saw it on someone's Instagram story. I immediately looked it up on Amazon—visited the website and read all about it. I decided to give it to myself for my birthday and as of right now, my body is very HAPPY with it, but I'm not going to reveal what it is until I've finished the initial learning phase of 3 weeks. What I'm doing is very different than anything I've done in the past and I have a feeling if I can stick with it for the first month, I will stick with it for the rest of my life. It's that good! 

And, on that lovely cliff-hanger, I'll wrap this up.
As a recap, my specific #GOALS for the next year of my life are ...

1. Stop procrastinating stupid little jobs that become energy-sucking evidence of my lack of follow through. 

2. Stage a smart, intentional re-entry into the scrapbook industry, so that I can do more of what I love and share it. 

3. Give my new approach to exercise a one-month and then a one-year test and measure the results. Focus on whole-body changes that will strengthen me and help me age gracefully!

Happy Birthday to ME