Happy Thanksgiving, friends! A bit early this year but nonetheless, the big day of feast and family and friends is officially here! Turkeys are being prepped, side dishes are being started, the house is beginning to be filled with the smells and the sounds of one of my most favorite holidays. Homes across the United States are soon to be bursting as we break bread, toast our gratitude and one another and fill our bellies and our hearts with the flavors and the savors of the holiday. And I love everything about that!
And, lucky for me, today is special for another reason. Today, November 22, 2018 is my birthday. The big 4-7! And for those of you that know me, you know that my birthday is something that I cherish. I’m not a gift girl, they make me uncomfortable. I am not a fan of surprises and don’t like being the center of attention. I think birthdays are special because we strive to live our lives being in service to others, putting others first, doing for one another. And your birthday, well that’s a day where it is OKAY to have it be all about you. Where people take time out of their day to say something nice, wish you well, give you a few moments of their time. And those words, those momentary seconds of someone else’s day, the texts, the social media shout outs, the cards, the phone calls - it makes me feel very special. That I have this plethora of people that took time out of their life to say, “hey - happy birthday!”
I thought for awhile about what to write for this post. Knowing it was coming and that most people would be on social media, I have a chance to be impactful. And that’s like happening upon a treasure chest of gold doubloons. What can I leave you with that when you X out of my post, what can I convey that will stick with you throughout this day of feast? Of family and friendship? Big order to fill but the answer…it’s easy.
It came to me in a country song actually. On a day date with my Rob. It was a Fri-YAY back in October, he had a day off. We cleaned up, jumped in the truck, turned on some country tunes and as we are leaving Dunks (pumpkin donuts on Friday), Clare Dunn’s song “More” came on the radio. And as I sat and just listened to the lyrics, munching my donut, holding Rob’s hand across the middle console - it struck me that that is EXACTLY what I want out of the next year of my life. More.
So in honor of my 47th year, I give you 47 things I want MORE of…
I want more
I am finding the older that I get the more productive I am in the mornings. Not only that but I also find that getting up early, taking the quiet time with my coffee and to come into my day not in a rush - it sets the tone for the rest of my day.
They say it’s the best medicine and I couldn’t agree more. Life is hard enough and laughter is the cheapest and the quickest remedy to turning that frown upside down.
Singing along to the radio
When the kids were little and we would be in the car for significant amounts of time (with kids thats like five minutes), I would play “Sweet Caroline”. Rule was I would keep driving around until I heard everyone singing. Friends, family - I don’t care. If I didn’t hear “so good so good” coming from the backseat, I’d happily go around the block again and hit repeat. Because the kids are older now and too cool to sing and our tastes in music are waaaaaay different - we don’t do much singing. And I want more.
Lots and lots of puppies. I want them coming out of every room in the house and blowing me away with puppy kisses and puppy breath. Please and thank you.
The simplicity of holding someone’s hand is so often overlooked. That personal connection, that touch - it is a game changer. I hold Rob’s hand as much as I can and often my children will reach over and grab my hand in the car. And that reach - means more than they will ever realize. I hope it never stops.
We really haven’t done many road trips. Driving to hockey rinks and football games does NOT constitute a road trip. I am talking about spontaneous, let’s hop in the car and go. Dogs, schedules, work, etc. has a tendency to throw a wrench into the spontaneity of road trips but with a little forethought, maybe a road trip or two will be on the horizon.
Hahahahahaha - right? Who doesn’t? I’m all about being impactful but also about being real. Show me the money!
When the kids were growing up we used to sit at the table every night and have dinner together. With everyone in different directions and Rob and I being pseudo empty-nesters, those family dinners are few and far between. The kitchen table needs to be used more as a place to dine and less as a laundry folder.
Basketball games in the driveway
We used to all the time and I don’t think we did once this past summer. And we can’t let life and schedules get in the way of life. Besides - who doesn’t like to see a little one on one between Rob and man child 1 or 2? Comedy for dayz!
It has been fun to reconnect this fall. To just go and be Rob’s wife. Go have fun and not be worried about kids and sitters and blah blah blah. And we need to continue down that path of growing ‘us’ now that the kids are grown.
When we are mindful, we are focused and aware of the present moment. Lord - do y’all have any idea how much time I spend NOT being present? Worried or thinking about what’s next, down the road, around the bend? I want and need more mindfulness in my life, more being present and aware of this moment, right here and right now.
One on one time with my kids
I crave alone time with my children. Not a lot. But more than what I have. Not necessarily doing - we could be walking the dogs around the block. Doesn’t matter. But I want more of those times. To talk. To listen. To just be.
Gains in the gym
I had to switch up my game plan in the gym and started a powerlifting program. I am hopeful to see more gains. Not looking to be Mrs. Arnold or anything but would like to see some increase in some of my numbers.
I think I’ve only had sushi once in the past year. Maybe twice. And I love it. Trust me - protein shakes are fine but they are NOT sushi.
Not every day. But every Friday. Because it’s Friday. And that’s donut day.
Phone calls home
I talk to my mom every morning at 6:30 am pretty much on the dot. I need to make more phone calls to my dad. My nephews and my niece. To my mother-in-law. To the people that matter in my life. Texting is fine but it doesn’t substitute for hearing that voice on the other end of the line. Speaking of mother-in-law…
Lunch dates with my MIL
Our relationship hasn’t been an easy one. But that’s the thing about relationships. They take work and they take growing on both sides. And I am so grateful that we came out the other side with a friendship that is solid. I love her and need to make more time for lunch dates with her.
And puppies. More shoes and puppies.
Days at the beach
I didn’t go to the beach a single time this year. Or maybe I did. Once. But I don’t think I did. Regardless, I need more days at the beach this next year. Toes in the water, hiney in the sand.
I need to listen more. A lot more. Talk less.
I like control. I don’t like surprises. But there is so much to be said for surprises. I need more surprises in my life this year…THE GOOD KIND.
Sunrises and sunsets
Yes, I know they happen every day. But how often do you take the time to stop and notice them? I don’t. And I need to. I want to. I need more.
We have six. That’s it. I’ve got all kinds of short glasses, coffee mugs, wine glasses, etc. that never get touched. But only six tall glasses that we use every day. And they aren’t like super expensive glasses from like William Sonoma - I got them at Walmart, peepers.
Crummy sheets are just that - crummy. And 75% of my sheets are crummy and smell like a musty closet. I need more nice sheets because it makes all the difference when you crawl into bed and you love the sheets.
I go to bed early. Like by 9 I have the head bob and weave. I need some later nights in my life. Like at least 9:30 every now and again. Which leads me to my next more…
Yaaasssss! A 20 minute cat nap, under the covers, puppy snuggles, close your eyes and revive.
Wine on the front stoop
I need more evenings on the front steps with a glass in my hand, a doggie at my feet and someone I love next to me.
Walks around the block
Because the hounds love it and I love it. And I need to do it more.
I waste all kinds of time. And with a little bit of forethought, a little bit of staying on task - I could make more time in my days. And time - it’s one of those things you don’t get back.
I would have more money if I saved more money. (insert eye roll)
Defined as silly or mischievous behavior. Whereas oldest male troll would tell you I definitely do NOT need more of that in my life, oh my God I so do! And I have a couple of go-to girls I can rope in to said shenanigans. More, more, more, more, more!
I am a yes girl. I need more no’s.
Not the gift kind but the here and now kind. I want more of being present in my life. Being fully aware of my life. Not just being a passenger but doing more of driving the bus and being present in each moment. Give me some more and then some more.
I need to be a little more hands off. I have come a long way in my opinion but still have a ways to go. When you are a fixer and I think every mom is, you want to jump right in and solve the problem and especially want to do it YOUR way.
Can you ever have enough joy in your life? I don’t know - I don’t think so. And we overlook so many moments, inconsequential happenings in the day that could and should fill us with joy. And I want more of that for sure.
For someone that is so secure in herself, I am very insecure in myself. Secure in my abilities, secure in my knowledge, secure in the process. But what I see on the exterior does not necessarily reflect what I see on the inside. A lot of times, I am faking it til I make it. I need to be secure in what my Rob sees, that the beauty of the exterior is a reflection of the beauty on the interior. Work in progress.
There are never enough hangers in my house. EVER.
Decorating at the holidays
I didn’t realize how much I let that go but I have. And the kids miss it. I need more decorating and visually recognizing the holidays. It matters and it does make a difference.
I love music. And I don’t play it as often as I could or probably that I should. There is a lot to be said for silence but there also is a lot to be said for the sound of music in the background.
Recipes in my repertoire
I have a tendency to make the same thing, day in and day out. Because it’s easy and Rob doesn’t care. And it’s boring. I need more recipes that I love that I will cook. Expand my horizons a little.
Life is so serious. Who doesn’t need more silly?
I am not everyone’s cup of tea. No matter how good my intentions are some times those intentions are not good enough. I need more indifference.
Worry free days
I am a fretter. A worrier. I want more worry free days. And that is so within my control. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by worrying and without question, many of the things we worry and stress about don’t come to fruition. More worry free days is on my radar.
I am a big one for throwing down the gauntlet…and then not following through. I’ll feel bad, mean, guilty, etc. That needs to stop. I need more follow through - if I say it, I mean it and I’ll do it. Probs won’t make me Mother of the Year…but I was out of the running for that many moons ago.
Nights with the girls
Friends and, in particular, girlfriends are important. And if you’ve got good ones then you know what I mean. I need more nights with the girls. Good for them and good for me.
I love you's
I say it often. Can always say it more.
This is the most important one to me. There is no substitute in life for family. Chores, to-do lists, workouts, training - I make time for all of that and family memories…takes a back seat. Not this year. The house may be a little more chaotic, there may not be that level of order but I am all in to making more family memories this year.
Happy birthday to me
My list - it’s pretty simple. And by taking the time to write it down, by being brave enough to share it with all of you I have given it life. Purpose.
This has been a year of tremendous growth for me. I have had struggles, heartache, failures. I have lost, given up, turned the other cheek, been let down, let others down. I have raged and threatened and been to the brink and looked over the edge, wondering how I got here. And how I was going to find my way back.
And I have had major success. Days where I lived life with arms wide open, loved with my whole heart. Celebrated milestones. I have learned. I have given and received and yes, I’ve even been surprised.
My good moments have far and away outnumbered my not so good. And my not so good, I have taken away from them that was necessary for me to get to my next chapter.
I mentioned I’m not a gift person per se. But I do have a few things I’d like for my birthday from those closest to me.
From my children, I ask for patience. So many things in my life I am figuring out just like you are and although you would think that it’s an easy process at 47, believe me when I tell you that it’s not. I ask for some time. Time for you and I together every now and again and time that you give to the family. Because some day you will look back and that time is all you will have to remember me by. And I ask you to be kind. There are times where although it’s not meant, the things that are said and the way in which they are spoken - it stings. I love doing for you - love and appreciate that it is one of the few ways in which I get to show you my love and appreciation for the paths you are individually taking with your own lives.
From my Rob, I ask for understanding. I am figuring it out, this journey called life. And the way that you and I approach certain aspects of that journey are light years apart. And as much as you want to save me from myself at times, understand that you cannot. I ask for guidance as I will need your cool head to see me through those times when I can’t get past my emotions. And a puppy. I’d really like a puppy.
From my friends, ahhh my friends... I ask you from you to keep being you. Keep me accountable, keep me laughing and keep me grounded. Don’t let me lose myself in this year ahead.
So as you sit around the table today, as you hold hands in your circle of thanks, say grace for all of your blessings, raise your glass and toast the good fortune of having those in your life that you cherish, take a moment and pause. Be truly thankful for this life, unbelievably grateful for that hand tucked in yours, the eyes meeting yours when you clink your glasses together. Let this time together today be MORE than it ever has been.
Be delighted by the oooh’s and ahh’s as the meal is placed before family and friends. Find joy in the laughter of your children and laugh with them, taking a moment to just be silly. Tell stories and remember when’s and say a silent prayer for those in your life that can’t be with you. Make MORE memories today than in holidays past.
Thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your day, your morning, your holiday and letting me be a part of your day. Whether you read a sentence or you read this through 100x, it means something to me. And I hope you took something away, something that gave you reason to stop and pause. If I impacted just one person today, just one - well, that’s about the very best birthday gift I could ever ask for…
From my family to all of yours, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with great food, a cold drink in your hand and the love and laughter of those you cherish most. May it be MORE than you ever hoped for!