Forty by FORTY Bucket List

“Every man dies- Not every man really lives”

William Ross

Not too long ago, I watched an Instagram user share 40 facts about herself, for the 40 days leading up to her 40th birthday. I thought it was such a neat idea, but I wanted to do a bit more. Instead of coming up with 40 facts about myself, I decided to create a bucket list. There are so many things, big and small, that I want to do and experience in this life that I figured I better write them down. Some items have already been completed and some I need to dedicate a lot more of myself in order to see them come to pass.  Here’s my list; I’ll begin with the ones I’ve already completed.

BUCKET LIST

1. Own ‘Chucks’

 Bucket list own Chucks

my brother-in-law and his wife knew about this one and bought a pair as my Christmas (2014) gift!

2. Visit New England

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My husband and I visited Chatem, MA for our 10th anniversary in June.

3. Own a Michael Korrs Purse

(see above picture, I’m carrying my new bag!)

4. Get a Tattoo

Tattoo semicolon

July 2, 2015 I walked into the tattoo parlor and got a semicolon tattoo on my left wrist. This will serve as a reminder of where I’ve come from and where I never want to go again. You can find out more about the symbolism of a semicolon <HERE>

5. Wear Thigh-Hi Stockings

(While shopping with a girlfriend, I saw a pair on clearance and snatched them up! How feminine and yet sadly, stockings seem to be such a long lost fashion trend.)

bucket list

Now, for the items that have not been completed yet. I’m optimistic about most but must admit, it seems like it would be wiser to change some of these to more obtainable goals. I’m not going to change the list, yet.

6. Visit Italy

7. Meet Josh Groban

8. Meet Shane & Shane

9. See Josh Groban in Concert

10. Play the Lottery

11. Host Thanksgiving at My House

12. Ride Airboard Across Florida Swamp

13. Enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

14. Reach Goal Weight

15. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

16. Watch the Sunrise on the Beach

17. Plant a Tree

18. Get a Make Over (new hair style/color, new outfits, new make up)

19. Tour a Vineyard

20. Take Dance Lessons

21. Swim with Dolphins

22. Fly First Class

23. Shoot a Gun

24. Go to a Drive-In Movie Theater

25. Take a Dance Class with Alex

26. Ride a motorcycle

27. Celebrate New Years Eve in Times Square

28. Name a Star

29. See a Broadway Show

30. Sing Karaoke

31. See horses ‘released’ from Assateague Island

32. Attend the Kentucky Derby

33. Feed a Penguin

34. Shadow a Mortician at a Funeral Home

35. Tour the White House

36. Read Through the Bible

37. Recreate Prom for Alex and Me

38. Gamble in a Casino

39. Take an Art Class

40. Go Parasailing

So, you can see I have my work cut out for me. But I’m on my way having already completed five of my items. My birthday is in January, I’ll be turning 35. Although I have some time, I’m sure it will race by and I’ll be approaching my 40th birthday before I know it!

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Finding the Luxurious Me

Finding the Luxurious Me

Just a few months ago, I was browsing instagram and came across Shannon Ables book, Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life. A modern woman’s guide, this book couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. As I am just getting started with this book, I’m realizing luxury is not defined by society and culture but by oneself. For me, enjoying a facial treatment, a fresh (at home) manicure/pedicure and a favorite chick-flick on a Sunday night is just what I need to feel pampered, refreshed and ready to start the new week. I find a bubble bath while surrounded by candles, soft music and my current book, a full-on pampering session.  It isn’t all name brands and being at the ‘IT’ place on a Friday night to show face but living a life that is most fulfilling for me.

TSLL

At the very beginning of the book, the reader is challenged to define what a luxurious life would look like. Taking a few moments to mentally answer questions like: What Personal Rituals Do You Most Value & Enjoy? (see above) What Are Your Most Valued Relationships? (see previous post) What Types Of Exercise Do You Enjoy? (this will be a future post topic, if not blog series) The list goes on. So, instead of making a mental note of all my answers, I grabbed a journal and began jotting my notes down. I found that if I really gave myself time to think about the answers, I really don’t know how to answer most of them. It has been so long since I’ve invested any amount of time in ‘personal rituals’ that I don’t know what would even be categorized as one.

How do I find my personal rituals? My knee-jerk reaction is that I don’t have time for stuff like that. But, let’s be honest, we all have the time if we want to. If something is important enough to us, we’ll be sure to make the time and secure space in our planners for those most important items. I need to have a change of heart and of mind as I struggle to realize that I CAN and SHOULD take time for myself. One suggestion in the book was weekly coffee with a friend. As a mom, I struggle to see my weekly get-together with a friend as ‘me time’. Together, we have 7 kids and any given week, at least 5 of them are underfoot while we try to talk, connect, encourage each other and share our hearts together. I barely even recognize this time as a personal ritual. Wouldn’t a PERSONAL ritual be something like, instead of doing my own nails, setting aside the time and resources to go to the salon?

I was thinking about some pictures of me; pictures where I felt luxurious and alive. This particular picture, from 2013 was from my cousin’s wedding. He was married at the chapel on the Naval Academy and had a beautiful sunset cruise boat ride and one of the most enjoyable receptions I’ve ever attended.  Between the ceremony and the reception, my husband I and sneaked away to have some fun with the camera. Even two years later, I would love to relive this weekend, living a luxurious life, dressing in lovely clothes and having a wonderful time. So, for now, while I search for my luxurious me, I’ll hold to the knowledge that there is a space inside me that IS luxurious… I just need to find a way to tap back into that part of me and then hold on tight…

luxuriously me

Hello world!

I’ve decided to go on a quest. Well, to be honest, life has decided that for me. Really, it’s not even one quest; it’s several all wrapped up into one: the quest to being the wife God longs for me to be, the mom that I always imagined I would be, the quest to mark off more items than not on my ’40 by 40′ bucket list. Quest after quest but the most important one, the one that drives all the others is the quest to find myself.

Tonight I met with my psychologist. We have had many amazing, enlightening conversations. She really hit the nail on the head when she noted that I really don’t know myself. After a moment of thought, I realized she’s right. I’ve spent so much time fretting about this and that, making sure everyone and everything around me is tended to that I’ve forgotten to tend to myself. My first quest, although overlapping others along the way, will be to dig deep and find myself.

Here’s the thing, I do know some of myself.

I’m a wife, for 10 years. I’m blessed to have found my other, better half. We’ve had our rougher patches but have always worked through them, together, knowing we would be better off for it.

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I’m a mom. God has blessed me with four beautiful children, each uniquely their own person.

kids

I’m a daughter. My Father lives 10 minutes up the road from me and we seldom see each other. My Mother passed away from breast cancer; July 20, 2014

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 mothers day 2014

I’m a friend, a volunteer, a neighbor, dreamer, a planner, organizer and tidy-er. I’m goal driven and prefer a full calendar. I’m tough on the outside and soft on the inside. I hide my emotions as best as I can because anything else seems weak to me. I’m my own worst critic, I always expect more of myself and can’t seem to understand why I always seem to fall short of my ideals.

Only time will tell where this quest will take me. I have some ideas of where I’d like to end up; but I know that where the road leads, I’ll follow and work through the rough times, the difficulties that I’m sure will arise and that in the end, it will all work out for the best.