Yesterday I began my 39th year. And how could I not celebrate the occasion with a few goals. Y’all know I love planning goals for each new year but it’s hard not to think of how I’d like to enter my 40’s. (It feels crazy even typing that. I still feel like I’m in my mid 20’s dating Tyler and starting a business.) But I’m not. I’m ever closer to 40. And thankfully, most of the time, that doesn’t scare me but excites me.
During my 29th year, I sold our first prayer journal, became a mom and moved into a sweet home. Those have defined this past decade so much. It’s hard to not get excited for what God will do in the next 10 years! I have no idea what the Lord has planned for our future but there are some things I’ve been thinking about related to who I’d like to become over my 39th year.
Here goes. On my 40th birthday, I hope to be someone who is:
1. The friend who asks about your walk with God.
This might sound basic but it’s really easy to sit with Christian friends and talk just enough about our faith to feel good about it but not go deeper. I want to check in on my friends more regularly with where they are with the Lord. Not in a bossy older sister way, but in a “iron-sharpens-iron” way. Because truly, I think many of us are missing out on some of God’s greatest blessings for our time on earth when we don’t embrace accountability in friendship.
2. Healthier and energetic.
Between low iron, Hashimoto’s, mold toxicity and a few other minor health issues, my energy is atrocious. Afternoons are rough and I give in to the couch more than most. My sweet nephew Owen, sees my couch and says “Rie! Rie!” I spend a lot of time there. 🙂As I work to address the underlying issues, I’d love to experience more energy in my 40’s.
Free from pressure. I was doing a goal exercise and the word “pressure” came up an embarrassing amount of times. I’m starting to better recognize my stress as it’s happening but I’m ready to really live as free as God has afforded me. I am carrying so many things the Lord is not asking me to carry.
4. Less of a complainer.
This is actually one of my goals for 2023 but I’d love to move into my 40s with more laughter and gratitude and less complaining. Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday taught me so much but I know I can keep going. Truthfully, it’s not just for me. I have seen the impact it can have on my girls and when they complain, I can be such a magnet for it that I feel like I need to escape it to find joy. But they are my kids. 🙃 So instead, I’m praying for the Lord to change my heart first and help me to be a cheerleader with them as they learn gratitude too.
5. Enjoying a hobby.
Why is it so hard to find an actual hobby I enjoy? It’s hard for me to turn my producing/consuming side of my brain off. What about just enjoying something? I’d love an outlet that went beyond book reading. Maybe I’ll get into pickleball? 😜Or something artsy? I will take all the ideas! 👇
6. Intentional with margin.
Right around the time Vivi was 4 months old, I first read Richard Swenson’s book, Margin. It changed my life. The thing is, margin is something we have to continually fight for. And in some ways, we’ve done pretty good (we still do minimal activities after school and nightly commitments) and in other ways I am struggling (like overcommitting my work time or saying yes to too many one off things). I see the stress it adds and would love to experience a more rhythmic flow to life. Not so many jerky starts and stops.
7. Comfortable with aging.
Taking good care of my body is obviously important, but I also want to be comfortable with aging. I feel like I’m already pretty comfortable but I know as my skin starts to change and procedures become more accessible or routine, I’ll need to be ok that my peers look younger than me. That might sound silly to some but I truly want to be content getting older and want to see it as a good thing while valuing my elders more too.
As I was reading Family Revision, I was reminded that culturally, we devalue people as they get older but in other cultures and in past centuries, we had a reverence for our elders and saw their contributions and wisdom with respect. I don’t want to take an American mindset and assume that as I get older, I am less valuable. Sure, I won’t know the popular songs on the radio and may be clueless about what’s stylish, but I hope to be not only comfortable but proud of aging.
8. Slow to speak with my girls.
I don’t want to exasperate my girls. Instead, I want to use words carefully and not throw all 900 at them for something I think needs a teachable moment. I want to listen and hear what they are saying and ask better questions. I want to be observant and prayerful before opening my mouth too much. As they get older, I can see more evidently when I’m wearing on them and truthfully, it’s just not effective. I’d love to have a more gentle and quiet spirit with them.
9. Consuming less.
I consume a lot of information. Through books, text messages, Netflix, news, email, Twitter. It can be a lot. And the scales for what is valuable and not is pretty lopsided. I’d love to consume less media in general and process things a bit more. Processing feels like taking out the trash after you let it pile up in your brain. So often it just piles up taking up all our brain space. I think having our minds crammed with mainly an input of information is part of the reason we feel so crazy and overwhelmed. I know less input would create more peace in my mind and my life.
10. Creating more.
I hope less consumption will lead to more creation. I would LOVE to be writing every single day or creating something more often. As I mentioned above, with too much input and not much processing or output, it’s easy for things to pile up mentally. Creating is a good outlet for output and truthfully, writing days are my favorite. It feels like such a worshipful time and always energizes me. To write every day would be a dream!
So there you have it! Feel free to check in on me throughout my 39th year to see how I’m doing on this! And tell me in the comments your favorite things about being in your 40s! 🎉