Thursday, February 23, 2006

Year 32

My 31st year has been quite busy, erratic, and stressful (what with going back to work, dealing with a daycare, my son’s seemingly constant illnesses, and other, more personal struggles with myself and my loved ones). Now, I have my own health issues to deal with as I step into my 32nd year, and let’s just say, we’re not getting off to the brightest start.

When my mom turned 32, she decided to change her life. In her 32nd year, she went from being a teacher to being a small business owner. That move was the best move she could have possibly made for herself and for her family. Over the years (24 of them, as a matter of fact), she has enjoyed more success than she (or any of us, for that matter) could have possibly imagined.

So I’m sitting here, less than a week away from birthday number 32, and I’m taking inventory. What have I done with my life so far? I have three main categories that I want to reflect upon: Personal, Family, and Career.

If I just look back at the things I’ve done by myself and for myself, I don’t think I’ve done that badly. I traveled, I graduated from college, I did all the stuff I’m supposed to do. Perhaps I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have or maybe I didn’t fully take advantage of the opportunities given to me, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with that aspect. Where I’ve totally and utterly failed myself is with my overall health and well-being. I don’t take good enough care of myself. I have heart-attack levels of cholesterol in my system (partly due to genetics, partly due to the fact that I don’t eat right nor do I exercise regularly, plus I do other things that are bad for my health). And now I have this lovely out-patient procedure scheduled to remove precancerous cells from my body. Boy, that makes a girl think. I’m starting to get on track with my diet and exercise, having begun a regimen that includes working out regularly and not eating as many donuts and McDonald’s double-cheeseburgers. I still need to quit my main bad habit. I am finally committed to that, though, after many years of talking about it and much guilt because I am consciously destroying my body. So, Dr. Pop, if you are reading this, I am going to quit. Once and for all.

I think this category is a tie with the above one as far as importance to me, if it doesn’t rate higher. Maybe they belong together, I don’t know. I’m truly happy with the fact that I am a wife and mother. I couldn’t imagine my life without either my husband or my son and, quite frankly, don’t even want to! I admit that there are ways in which I am found lacking as both a Mrs. and a Mommy, though. I pray to God every night before I go to bed for guidance in becoming better at this. Love is not quite enough to sustain some relationships, and while I love the two men in my life dearly and with all my heart, I probably don’t do enough for either of them to show it (mainly my husband).

My relationships with the rest of my family are on pretty solid ground. I have the usual mother/daughter spats and boundary issues with my own parents and brother, but knowing that they do and say everything out of love (even if it is highly inappropriate and intrusive) makes it easier to take. At least for me. And I think that I have a strong and positive relationship with my in-laws as well. That is a rarity from what I’ve heard, so I’m very happy with that.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’ve tried on several professions (some more than once!) now. I’ve been a school teacher, sold computers, and sold houses (and I’ve been sometimes successful and sometimes a dismal failure at all three). I’m doing okay at my present position. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything life-changing or spectacular, but I earn a decent living, enjoy some wins, and best of all get to be around other adult human beings every day. Going back to work was something that I struggled mightily with, though. I had been a realtor for about a year and a half and just starting to really rock and roll with it when I gave birth. Afterwards, I half-heartedly went back to it. I sold some houses and made a little money, but mostly, I wasted my time. Most of the work I did was with foreclosures, so I was going into empty houses, completing a market analysis, and posting the listing in the MLS… Nothing too social or taxing. I went back into the corporate world on my son’s 19-month birthday. It was quite an adjustment to just get up and put on makeup and dress up each morning! I’ve been back for almost a year and I’m very happy with my decision. Now it’s time to find that "thing" that I really, truly want to do, then muster up the guts to go and get it!

So that’s it, I guess. Well, not really, but it’s a decent summary. We all have things we’d like to improve upon, I suppose. My goal for "year 32" is to do the best I can and continue to move forward. I want to grow each day and make sure that each day is lived to its maximum potential. That's going to be my wish when I blow out the candles next week.

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