Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Part 2: 40 Things to do Before I'm 40

As promised, here is Part 2:  40 Things to do Before I'm 40.  They are in no particular order.

  1. Finally get my house organized and decorated.  With real furniture!  And pictures!
  2. Take singing lessons.  My inner diva is in there, just waiting to come out!
  3. Take dancing lessons- ballet preferably, but I'm up for other stuff too.
  4. Actually make a scrapbook with all those mementos I have piled in a damn box.
  5. Do a ton of research and make a large donation to a very deserving organization.  I figure I paid a ton of money for school so I should at least use my skills, right?  My goal is to donate around $2000-$3000.
  6. See the Northern Lights.  I have been to Alaska, but went in the summer when the sun never goes completely away.  Although, I can mark off "See the Midnight Sun!"
  7. Visit Australia- my sweetie has been to Australia FOUR TIMES.  I gotta catch up.
  8. Get my organizing groove back.  I used to be such a neat freak, and I'd really like to get ahold of that again.
  9. See a return on the life lessons I'm trying to instill in my son.  An act of kindness, a moment where he's totally accepting of someone who is very different than him in beliefs, where he stands up for someone, or sees the world beyond his front door would all work just fine.
  10. Go fishing all night with my husband.  Or at least until 2 AM.  Let's be realistic, that's probably the latest I'll make it. 
  11. Become comfortable with my religious/spiritual beliefs, or lack thereof. 
  12. Learn some computer programming.
  13. Go to New York City- for someone so completely enchanted, I've never been!
  14. Get in decent shape.  I may not run 3-4 miles a day like I used to but at least some!
  15. Get a fish pedicure.  It so gross, yet seems so satisfying.  Someone will have to hold my hand because I will probably shriek.
  16. Go on a cruise- cold weather preferred. 
  17. Visit Scandinavia- Norway's fjords are the preference, although I wouldn't mind visiting Sweden or Finland.
  18. Go camping in the desert.
  19. See Mount Rushmore.
  20. Have a koi pond in my backyard.
  21. Brush up on my French and become fluent.
  22. Learn some Krav Maga, so I can be that unexpected badass.
  23. Visit all 50 states.  I've got 27 down already.
  24. Learn to accept things and find strength in acceptance.  I'm always fighting, fighting, fighting, and I'd like to learn how to find the strength in accepting things and going with them.
  25. Eat healthier on a regular basis.  I am a vegetarian, so I'm halfway there, I think.
  26. Find a really enjoyable volunteer position.  It's been a minute since I volunteered, and I would like to find time to do so again.
  27. Take Microsoft Office/ computer training courses so I can be on top of it.
  28. Be more self-confident, and get to know myself better.
  29. Manage my money better- used to have spreadsheets and bill schedules.  Now I pay bills late, if I even open my damn mail.
  30. Spend a crazy expensive but fabulous week at the spa.
  31. Have a Girls' Weekend Away somewhere relaxing.
  32. Make some physical improvements- a little cosmetic surgery, light.
  33. Donate blood- just once.  Y'all know that I hate hate hate getting my blood drawn.  But I think it's important to donate blood.  Ok, how about I at least TRY it.  Last time I was anemic.
  34. Visit my family and friends more often.
  35. Pay off my student loans.
  36. Make a difference for animals.  My furbabies made me a mommy, but I don't know if I'll get to adopt another :( Still, would like to sponsor a shelter pet, or something of that sort.
  37. Write a short story/ novella, and possibly have it published.
  38. Write an academic/professional article and have it published.
  39. Learn to let go of things/people that aren't good for me.
  40. Celebrate my 40th birthday with everyone (pets included!) that I love.
Some things that are noticeably absent from this list:  jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, anything involving getting on a motorcycle, or anything that involves public speaking!

What are some of the things you want to do before you're next big milestone birthday?  Post in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

40 Things to Do Before 40- Reflections on 20s (Part 1)

So as you may know, I just recently had a birthday, on August 24.  I turned the big 3-0.  I know some of you are thinking "That's not old, you just don't know yet!" while others are probably thinking "If I was turning 30, I'd feel old too!"  A matter of perspective I suppose.

I did a lot of reflecting about my birthday, and getting older, and life in general.  Y'all know me, I get philosophical, especially at night when I'm putting Isaac down for the evening.  But that's a whole other blog post.  At any rate, I was thinking about some of the more fun stuff that I did in my 20's that I enjoyed/can't believe I did/ would never do again!  This post will also help you learn a little more about me if you are just joining me on my blog.  Here are a few highlights:


  • Travels:  Drove across the country...twice.  Once from Georgia to California, and then back from California to Georgia.  Took a different route each time.  Highlights of these trips include:  literally being packed in the car, staying in a hotel room where the door didn't close all the way or lock, beautiful scenery, and making countless memories with one of my besties!  Other travels:  I have been to 26 states.  Road trips to see friends, my honey bear, and family.  And some crazy flights.
  • Lived in 5 states:  Thanks to the military, I've hung my hat in Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and California, and last but not least, Virginia. 
  • Got married:  To my high school sweetheart, the only man I've ever loved, and my best friend.  We eloped, 'cause we ain't got time for all that.  Flew to California on a Friday, got married on Saturday, flew back on Sunday, and was in class Monday morning.  Honeymooned 5 months later in Vegas and the Grand Canyon.  
  • Lived a crazy military life:  After spending the first year of my twenties in the Air Force, I married my Marine.  My husband left for the Middle East 6 months after we were married.  I learned to be on my own, to always listen for the phone no matter how dead of a sleep I'm in, and that strength comes from within.
  • Been in 3 weddings:  Lucky that I have friends who consider me that close!
  • Adopted 2 cats:  Freckles Sapphira in February 2007, and Stella Jade in July 2007.  My girls are the light of my life!  
  • Finished college:  It took me a minute, on account of all the moving around, but I did it!  Undergrad in 2008 and grad school in 2011.  Quite proud.
  • Bought a house:  2 actually!  Love my new home.
  • Started my career:  Got my dream job at a nonprofit.
  • Had a baby:  We welcomed Isaac James William Miller on September 22, 2011.  Rough times but I love that little bear.  Becoming a mother is unlike anything else.
  • Said goodbye to people I loved:  My cousin Jason, my uncle Felton, my aunt Sue, and my cousin Wesley.  Life is fragile and absurd.  You never know what could happen.
  • Learned a lot about life, love, and happiness.  Still working on it, but learned to count my blessings, be open-minded, that there is strength in acceptance, and to let things and sometimes people go. Learned a lot about myself too.  I'm a fighter but that's been forged by fire.  I've learned to know myself, what I believe in and what I stand for. I also know that there is so much that I don't know.
  • Overall, your experiences and the things you've had to go through build your character.  Although I used to sometimes get down about taking so long to finish school and get my life started, the things I've gotten to do and the places I've gotten to go have made me into who I am.
 
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