Forty Already?

The picture is in honor of today being WildCard Weekend in the NFL, and to the fact I spent most of the past two days watching all four games. I can’t say they all turned out the way I’d guessed, or hoped they would, but I don’t have any real emotional investment in any of the playoff teams this year, so that’s not a big deal. The Ravens won, for which I’m glad, but otherwise none of the outcomes were too terrible to accept. I say this knowing that I can’t stand the Seattle Seahawks, but ah well, I can always hope they lose the next one.

It’s largely been a very relaxing weekend, culminating in today, January 6, which happens to be the Christian holiday of Epiphany.  I wont go into the whole explanation of it, but today is also my birthday and I’ve always thought it was interesting to have been born on this day. I suppose 40 is one of those “milestone” type of birthdays and while I’m not feeling any sadness or depression or anything dramatic and clichéd over it, but I am feeling reflective about my life and where I am now that I’ve turned 40.

I remember an art project from back in Middle School, maybe in seventh grade, where we had to imagine ourselves in the future and create a collage of things we thought would represent our lives at age 30. I think I had a man in a suit, maybe a Ferrari, piles of money, etc, lol. I guess I had big goals for myself. I can’t say I could’ve predicted I’d be where I am today, ten years beyond that, at the age of 40, but I CAN say I’m pretty damn happy about where my life has taken me. Sure, the trip has been bumpy, but it’s currently pretty wonderful.

Like my life, I think this blog has seen some low moments and has gone around interesting twists and turns, but as it turns out I’m quite happy with what it’s grown to be. A year ago I was using it to try and keep a food journal, which was mostly just berating myself for my poor dietary choices. There were moments of self-therapy and of course self-doubt. I bemoaned the fact there likely weren’t any readers and how I was bitching about my life to myself, which is kind of disturbing, although I know I’m not alone doing it. These days I’m writing more, I’m writing short stories, I’m involved in writing communities (thank you Studio30 Plus!) and I’ve made a ton of great writer and blogger friends online.

My girlfriend said she was proud of the progress I’ve made and you know what? I’m proud of myself too. I’m not really going to do a “look back on 2012,” post, but I will say I plan to do new things with my blog and my life this year, and I’m excited about where the next stage of my journey will take me.

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Three words for 2013

Inspired by Mel at According to Mags… , here are three words that embody my goals for the New Year:

WRITE!

This one covers a lot of ground. I plan to be more creative this year, better organized, and more committed to doing what I love to do. It will require changes to my routine, prioritizing, and a continually positive attitude, but I am eager to do what it takes to stay true to my goals.

BELIEVE!

Dove-tailing in with the first one, this word means I’m going to believe that I can do whatever it is I set out to do this year. Some of my goals are personal but many of them involve my family and I plan to work together with them and my friends to make things happen. This also encompasses my religious faith in which I plan to become stronger and grow with.

LIVE!

I say almost every year that I am going to finally quit procrastinating so often and while the sentiment is no different in 2013 I feel better prepared, more suited to actually living up to this goal. I’m not going to wait around to do things. I’m going to be more pro-active with my life and see if I can help those around me do the same along the way.

What three words would you use to describe your new beginning this year?

Returning to form…

I’m finally getting back into the swing of things after a week of vacation and some changes to my day-to-day life- very good ones, though with every kind of change we must make adjustments. Fellow St. Louisian David Craig blogged this morning about Change and I felt like putting down some thoughts of my own. Thanks, David, for inspiring me today, I needed a kickstart to get back in my groove.

Earlier this month I took a week off and flew on a plane, something I hadn’t done in maybe 10 years. I drove across (half) the country with my girlfriend and her dog. I invited her into my home which is now our home. Over the next six months or so we’ll be moving and melding our families even further. To say there are changes going on in my life would be somewhat an understatement, but they’re changes I wanted and changes that are improving my life.

I am still strongly feeling the desire to write and the enjoyment of blogging. I’ve had a lot of other things going on over the last couple weeks so I’ve not made time for posting or even much reading, but I will. I’m planning to give NaNoWriMo a serious go- it starts in 3 days- and continuing to share things here, participate in prompts, be a part of the online writing communities I’m involved with, and stay connected with all of my friends via the various social media outlets.

Change doesn’t ever have to mean giving up what you love if you’re open to it, flexible enough to work the changes into your life, and happy with the outcome. Sometimes we don’t get to say when and where changes occur, but I’ve been lucky enough to make these changes of my own accord. I have no plans to eliminate anything that I don’t want to leave behind. I have new people and responsibilities in my life I will embrace and champion. Hopefully the positive feelings and results I’m already experiencing will be reflected here.

 

What am I Afraid Of?

Hmm, interesting that I was just last week talking about this with my good friend from the office. A friend had passed away suddenly, far too young, and it gave me a bit of a jolt. I’m afraid of dying.

Part of me, the rational, scientific part, thinks it’s foolish to worry about it or be afraid of it, because ultimately what scares me about death is the “oh my god, what will it be like, what will I be doing, how will I deal with it?” part. I try and look at it from the standpoint that the answer to all those questions is, “Nothing, I’ll be dead.” Simple. I’ll have ended, I guess.

The other part of me, let’s call it my spiritual side, is terrified at the obvious (to me) change death will have wrought on my life. That barely makes sense, even to me, but bear with me. My spiritual side believes there will be something after Death. Something or somewhere or some state that my soul or conciousness, or my “being” goes on into. I’m not 100% sure what I think that will be like, but I know (how could I know?!) it wont be what my Life is like- seeing, breathing, driving, talking, listening, etc.

This is not a crippling fear for me. I think about it from time to time, and it’s certainly prompted when I lose someone from my life, or even read about or hear about other people losing friends, or relatives, or even when I hear about the deaths of total strangers on the news. I think about how fleeting life can be in some cases. I think about how truly fragile it can be. But then some random period of time passes and I’m of thinking and worrying about matters that I encounter every day.

I think not unrelated to this fear of Death is the fear of losing my daughter. While I would hate to even consider what it would be like for her to lose her father, I cannot even begin to fathom what many people have already gone through, the loss of a child. Honestly, I’m surprised I could even type that out because as I’m writing this I’m getting a bit emotional. I’m not going to think about it.

This was a rather unexpected post for me today, but I love the writing prompts over at Studio30 Plus. I am also, if I’m honest with myself, irrationally afraid of spiders. Spiders I don’t mind talking about, even though it creeps me out a little. I actually think they’re fascinating, but only OUTSIDE. If spiders are INSIDE, in my home for example, then the chance they might end up ON my person is exponentially higher, and that is simply unacceptable.