This past Tuesday was my birthday. Last year on my birthday, I created a list of “Birthday Resolutions” & “Things to do before turning 40”. I was inspired to make these lists by the movie “The bucket list” and Gretchen Rubin’s “The Happiness Project”. Birthday resolutions were like New Year’s resolutions and included things that I wanted to start focusing on relatively quickly, such as getting back in exercise routine, while the other list included more long-term plan such as writing a book or all the places I want to visit. The bucket list from the movie is a list of things to do before one dies. While anyone can die at any point for any reason, people generally don’t think about it on daily basis. I wanted to give the items I put on my bucket list some sense of urgency, so I modified into a list of “Things to do before 40”. A year later, some of the things from both lists have come true, including having my own business through which I can be in service to others and be inspired at the same time. Since I still work full-time, and have two young children, my time is relatively limited, but when I get to work on it, those activities – whether it’s writing a blog post, coaching someone, building relationships on social media, or thinking about all kinds of services I could offer, I lose track of time.
On this year’s birthday, my parents and brother in Japan sent me messages, and I received over 40 messages on Facebook & Twitter from friends all over the world. My kids sang for me as we blew out the candles on my birthday cake. I took half day off from work over a 2 days and spent that time pampering myself (hair salon + massage), reading a book, going to a pilates class, and having lunch and catching up with a good friend. I also spent some time working on my business which included a strategy meeting. Even complete strangers from another table sang the “happy birthday” song for me at a French restaurant when my husband and I were having dinner on my birthday. The strangers turned out to be San Diego opera singers. It was so beautiful and made the occasion more joyous and memorable. There was something special about this year’s birthday, and I thought about why that was. For one, it had all the elements that constitute my happiness. But there is more.
My friend Henry recently tweeted this quote; “There are two great moments in a person’s life. The first is when you are born. The second is when you discover why you were born”. When I reflected back upon what has happened this past 12 months, I feel like I experienced the “Second great moment” in his quote, when I have finally found what I am supposed to be doing. I had to admit that after I had turned 30, birthday became a day to realize that one year has passed without making much progress in the area of finding my purpose. Yes, it was nice that people tell me “happy birthday” but it also meant that I have less time, when I still hadn’t found what it was that I could contribute uniquely to the world. There has always been a feeling of “time is running out” and it made me feel impatient and frustrated. But it was different this year. I have found what I’d love to do for the rest of my life. Also, because I had set some specific goals a year before, I was able to look at how far I have come, and celebrate those accomplishments. It’d like I now have a total acceptance on where I am in my life. That realization must have been what made it so special. When my husband was jokingly telling my kids “your mommy is old!”, I could just laugh at it and say “Yes, I am!”, sincerely and happily. I felt like, “wait and see what I can accomplish in another 12 months!”.
So, here is the list for my new birthday resolutions;
1. Fully graduate from my current day job
2. Complete Evolution Series Instructor Training
3. Live my ideal day at least 3 days a week
4. Meet with Chris Guillebeau in person
5. Create more music, including learning to play guitar
6. Learn to cook better & more often
7. Learn to meditate
I decided to put this list up here so you can hold me accountable, help me along the way where you can, and celebrate with me if/when I have achieved them. Please share your thoughts, comments and your own resolutions and/or what’s on your bucket list!