On Thursday, when I turned 27, H. insisted on putting 27 candles on my birthday cake, even though I told him that in my family, we just scrounge around in the bottom of the kitchen drawers and see what candles we come up with. And sometimes those candles are just random numbers that don’t correlate with the person’s age, or sometimes it’s just one big candle.
But H, apparently, has higher standards. As Chase was trying to light all 27 candles, it started to look like the first one might melt before he lit the last one. And that’s when I realized, holy shit, I’m not 17 anymore. Like, I knew that, because I’m aware of my age, but that’s so many candles!
Not that I’m complaining about my age. Girl, please. I firmly believe that growing old is a privilege, and it is, as an inspirational throw pillow might say, better than the alternative. And you know? Sometimes throw pillow wisdom is true. I mean, if someone spent all that time to cross stitch that message, you know they believe it.
Instead of seeing my birthdays as depressing proof that I’m getting one step closer to death’s door, I like to see them as reminders. Reminders that say, “You’re not getting any younger! Better get some shit done!” And so I always use my birthday as an opportunity to reflect on what I did the past year and, more importantly, make a goal list for the next year.
My 26th year was a pretty great one. Bad things happened, of course, but they were outnumbered by good things. I got a new job! I started getting paid for my freelance work! I got engaged! I got married! I met new friends! I attended a couple of great weddings! And then, of course, there were all the little things that make up a life…the dinners, the concerts, the early-morning walks, the nights spent reading books.
Goal lists don’t make your year great all on their own, but they do focus you. They force you to think about what you really want, and then work towards those things. My goal list includes a lot of things, like:
-Finish the quilt I’ve been working on since 3rd grade. I mean, really Kerry.
-Write a book (but you already knew that). I’ve got a good feeling about this one. I think this is my year.
-Buy a house! H. and I are not actively house-hunting yet, but we’re at the point where buying makes a lot more sense than renting. We plan on staying in Columbus for awhile and we want our own little place!
-Listen better. Everyone has a story and an experience, and a good writer listens and learns from everyone. I have a lot of work to do on this one.
-Make bread. I’ve never done it, and now I have a KitchenAid mixer with a dough hook. No excuses.
-Try Ethiopian food. Okay, so this one will be easier than the others, because Alex is going to come down some night and go with me.
What about you guys? Do you make goal lists on your birthday, or New Year’s, or any other day? And what are YOUR goals? Let me know! I love hearing about stuff like this.
Cover image via flickr.