Reflections at 36

It’s not my birthday until Saturday, but I wanted to write a birthday reflection post today as I’ll be taking off the rest of the week from the blog to celebrate Thanksgiving and birthdays and spend time with my family.

This year I’ll be 36. And like most years around my birthday I find myself reflecting on the last year and taking stock of myself and my life and any wisdom gained or lessons learned. And the most growing and learning I’ve done this year have honestly been in the last month or two. What have I learned? How to take care of myself and what I need to do to be happy. This is going to be a huge part of my word of the year and goal for 2018, but there’ll be more to come on that later.

I had been feeling so stressed and drained and stretched in every which direction for a time this year. After talking with both my mom and Nate I realized I needed to take a Marie Kondo approach to my activities – if it isn’t bringing me joy, it has to go. So, I let go of two obligations in the last month and let me tell you, the weight lifted has been huge. It was like this elephant was sitting on my chest and it’s gone now.

I also realized, I can’t make everyone happy. I’m not ice cream. I need to make my immediate family happy and I need to make myself happy. At the end of the day, they’re the people who matter most. And it’s ok to focus on me. I worry so much about taking care of everyone else that I neglect to take care of myself. I’m finally doing that.

I’ve also truly accepted my body, flaws and all. I’m not a size 6 anymore. I’m a size 10 and I’m average and that’s ok. I love all 140 pounds of myself. My cystic acne will never truly go away, but that’s what makeup is for and my scars make me unique. I’m figuring out how to work with my hair as it grows out. And you know what? I feel pretty. I’m a freaking Unicorn, darn it!

So. That’s where I am. I have found my happiness in loving myself and taking care of myself and being gentle with myself. It’s ok to put myself first. It’s not selfish. We all only get one life. And I’m going to live mine my way.

To all my US friends, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving! Be safe and have fun. I am thankful for all of you. I’ll be back on Monday to kick off the holiday season! 

12 thoughts on “Reflections at 36

  1. Oh, I just love you so much and this post <3 wishing you all the best for your birthday and so glad that you are learning to say no to some things in life to focus on your own needs. I’m a firm believer that once you practice self-care, and weed out the nonsense, your on the way to happiness.

    All the best for your birthday, for Thanksgiving, and for a weekend to unwind and take care of yourself. Xoxo

  2. Oh man, I could learn a thing or two from you… I am still struggling with the revelation that I can’t make everyone happy (but I will do my damnest to try *eyeroll*). You’re so right: if it isn’t bringing you joy, it has to go. It’s such a healthy approach and I have to try this more often.

    Seems like you’re figuring things out in your 36 year 😉 I am so glad to have met you, Beth. You’re a lovely person. Have a wonderful birthday and Thanksgiving weekend!

  3. Wonderful post! I love that you’re focusing more on yourself and your family, and just remember – not even ICE CREAM is loved by everyone. That’s okay! I’m definitely learning these things as I get older. I let other people get to me too often, but I’m working on it. And you’re definitely a unicorn (that unicorn kit I had on my blog yesterday was added because of you; I thought you’d like it lol).

    Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Birthday!


  4. So many truths here, friend! I still can’t accept the idea that I won’t make everyone happy. I always try and it always bothers me when I don’t. These are, indeed, the lessons we have to learn as we get older. Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!

  5. I love this post SO much.
    Letting go of what doesn’t make you happy is huge.
    Accepting that you cannot make everyone happy is such a good way to let go of stress. I sometimes need reminding from time to time but I’m going to remind myself in future that I’m not ice-cream.
    Wishing you a birthday as amazing as you are on Saturday.

  6. Happy birthday and happy Thanksgiving Beth! I couldn’t agree with your reflections more. We only get one life and being gentle with yourself while you live it is so important. Life is hard but it can be happy too. Happy 36!

  7. So happy that getting rid of some obligations made such a difference! And a good sign they were the right ones to go? You called them obligations. 36 will be a good year for you. You’ve been working really hard at making sure you’re comfortable as you and now you get to enjoy that!

  8. Happy belated birthday! I hope it was wonderful 🙂 I love this, because I can totally relate. I think I need to Marie Kondo my activities too–I can sometimes trick myself into thinking that I have to do everything! What a great feeling to just say no to the things that aren’t bringing you joy. (I guess within reason… I wish I could say no to cleaning my house, ha!)

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