Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Woman in Her Thirties Turns Forty

Well, I think it’s safe to say that my mojo for this blog began its slow death around my 38th birthday. I guess that is to be expected- ten years is a long time to keep a blog going. When I look back on my first posts, back when I was still unpacking wedding gifts in Palo Alto and still adjusting to the culture shock of moving back to the US from China, I hardly recognize that youngster. Much has happened, as it always does.

Isn’t it wonderful?

I had it in my mind that the last six months would be a strong finish. Weekly updates, witticisms, etc. But the truth is that I’m tired, you’re tired, and blogs are becoming a thing of the past. More than that, my kids are getting older. I’m getting very protective of their privacy and mine. I’ve lost that blogging-loving feeling.

In May I turn 40. Will I start a Woman in Her Forties blog? Nah. I hope that’s cool.

I thought about making a list as my closing blog- 30 things a woman in her thirties knows or does or says. On sleepless nights I’ve begun this list, and it always winds up long and pedantic and overly focused on comfortable shoes. The truth is that as far as this blog goes, and this format goes, and this way of communicating goes, I’ve said what I felt was logical and needed to be said. I have been as authentic as I’ve known how to be, and if there’s one thing a woman in her thirties knows it’s that authenticity is the key to all sorts of happiness.

I’m proud of what I’ve written, even the parts that aren’t perfect. And the letters to my kids. I’m so flippin’ glad I did that for them. Anna, Aaron, someday when you read those letters know that I meant each and every word of them and always will, no matter what the next (hopefully many) decades bring.

I’m a woman in my thirties for only a few more weeks, and I can say truthfully that when it comes to the next decade, bring it. There are more stories to tell and much more life to live, and I plan to do just that, just not here.

So stay tuned, all ye women in your whatevers. You are beautiful, life is beautiful, and every day is a gift, so quit it with your wishing and hoping and start doing. I believe in you. Thank you for believing in me, all these wonderful years!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Woman in her Thirties Resolves, 2018

It's halfway through January, but I'm already hard at work on my 2018 resolutions. I always find it interesting how many people hate-- I mean HATE-- New Year's Resolutions (or maybe they are just being melodramatic on Facebook...). Either way, I love making resolutions and I love keeping them and a woman in her thirties does what she loves.

Know what else I love? BEING WARM. January in Minnesota... you kill me. Literally.

After a fairly craptastic December, work-wise, I did a lot of reflecting about my job and how I do it. I won't bore you with the details, but here's the conclusion I came to: as a contracted, self-employed woman at a woman-run start up doing a job no one else in the company does, I have a lot of power when it comes to how I do my job. That is a gift (and also a pressure) of epic proportions. So my first resolution is to work smarter, not harder. I have my entire work-year mapped out, complete with days completely blocked off for me to work on some 'big picture' things that always seem to fall off the radar when you're bogged down in day-to-day stuff. I also have an assistant (yeah!) who is super into doing some stuff that I'm not good at, aka technology.

So I'm feeling pretty excited about this year, work-wise.

Remember how my word of the year last year was 'No'? Well, this year my word is LESS. What do I mean by less? Here's what I mean:

  • Less stuff. Time to do some serious purging, donating, and re-organizing. Nothing is coming in without something going out this year. Less food, less toys, less silly excess. Less, less, STUFF. 
  • Less multi-tasking. You know how, as women, we balance 1000 things at the same time? I am a master at that. I could teach doctorate-level courses on the art of doing 1000 things at the same time. But it really sucks, and it keeps my stress levels in the red zone. So I'm going to be reeeeeally intentional about not multi-tasking. (This is going to be very difficult for me. I know.)
  • Less outrage. You know how we live in some pretty tumultuous times? I've been reflecting on that A LOT lately, with the help of some really enlightening books and several billion Facebook posts from my community at large. I am an empath, I feel things very deeply, and when things are, well, as they are, it greatly disturbs me. It's a hard balance because I want to be informed, but I don't want to be informed by people who are not informed. Does that make sense? So this year, when things happen (as they've happened all damn year) I'm going to channel my inner Atticus and calmly focus on what I can do make the world a little tiny bit better. 
And hey, some big stuff is happening this year. I'm turning 40- YEAH! And L and I are celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary in September. I used to fantasize about what my life would look like at this age, what my kids would look like, what my career would look like, what my marriage would look like, but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would look this awesome. 

So, 2018 is a year of serious celebration. I think what I've discovered this decade is that celebrations look very different for different people, and I want MY celebrations to be deliberate, intimate, and far-reaching. I couldn't want for more. So my final resolution is to celebrate all I've worked hard for and been blessed with and PAY THAT SH$T FORWARD.