Yesterday I turned 34. Woo! Because of scheduling with yesterday’s sponsored post, today can be my fake birthday on the blog. It’s not a bad way to roll into the weekend, though. Keep that birthday celebration going as long as possible, that’s what I say!
I 100% ganked this lil birthday interview from my beloved Feisty Harriet. It was kind of a challenge to fill out, but in a good way. I’m an INFJ; overthinking, analyzing, and introspecting are kind of my jam.
How did you spend your birthday?
Ah! Already a question I can’t answer! That is a blog post for another day, but I cannot wait to tell you!
Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
Happier, I think. More stable at least, which counts for something. Definitely fatter but also a little richer (thank you savings plan).
What did you do last year that you’ve never done before?
I visited Washington D.C., which I’ve always wanted to do. I also started writing sponsored posts here on the blog, as you know. That’s been an interesting learning experience.
What was your favorite discovery last year?
AZEIP—Arizona Early Intervention Program—which provides Ryan’s physical therapy. I had no idea there were so many fully funded early intervention programs available! Parents need more education about their resources + assistance options, and pediatricians + other specialists need to be more forthcoming about them. It’s been a game-changer for us; I can only imagine the kind of help other families could be getting if they knew it was available.
If there’s anything non-religious that I get evangelical about, it’s that.
What do you hope to learn this coming year?
To like sweeping + mopping. I’m getting better at a lot of things, but keeping the house clean is not one of them.
What would you like to have this year that you didn’t have last year?
A fully functional master bathroom. We’ve lived in this house for five years. I’d say it’s time to knock that project out.
What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I…don’t really know how to answer that. When I think of “achievements” I draw a complete blank. I haven’t done anything profound or exceptionally noteworthy. However, my marriage is stronger than ever, my children are thriving, we are making progress on our house projects, our finances are in a decent place…
I guess my biggest achievement is slow but steady improvement. I’m living the dream and doing it pretty well at the moment.
What was your biggest failure?
Falling back into bad/lazy habits. It’s a constant battle with entropy.
Where did you travel this year?
Again, D.C. was the big one, but I also went to Utah twice. Honestly I can’t remember if we went anywhere else other than short trips around Arizona. And those have been delightful.
Do you have a destination in mind for next year?
I need to get to a beach soon…ideally somewhere tropical but I’d be more than happy with southern California. David and I have talked about going to New York for our anniversary. However, circumstances have changed since we last discussed it, so we may be pushing that back a while.
What did you get really excited about?
My book ideas, which I’ll be fleshing out more during November for NaNoWriMo, and my “secret project,” which is ongoing. Hopefully I’ll have it ready to launch next spring!
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Engaging with my children one-on-one. Going on dates with David. Reading. Sleeping.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Cycling through social media on my phone.
What was the best book you read?
Can I list a few? The Sun Is Also a Star. Six of Crows. The Anatomy of Peace. One Thousand Gifts. The Buddha In the Attic. It’s always hard to narrow it down, which is why I starting doing What We’re Reading posts.
What did you want and get?
So many new electronics: a laptop, a new phone, an upgraded camera body. There’s something to be said for having good quality tools to do the work you want to do. I was definitely feeling limited by my tools, so it’s been really nice to have better ones.
What did you want and not get?
A million dollars? Maybe next year. A girl can dream, anyway. Also a toddler who can walk. He’s making amazing progress but it’s still hard not to feel discouraged sometimes that he’s not yet standing independently.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More sleep. Everything is better when I’m well rested, and I haven’t been in far too long.
What kept you sane?
Zoloft. A husband who makes me laugh all the time. Blogging. Taking breaks from being a mom to do something creative or fun or social or quiet by myself. Good friends + family who love me for who I am.
What political issue stirred you the most?
I think I’ve been most bothered by two things: a) the lack of integrity of so many government officials, and b) the open racism + misogyny people are showing these days. Those have always been issues, of course, but the current political climate in the US has made it acceptable for too many people to be hateful or dishonest or willfully ignorant. It baffles and infuriates me.
Did you fall in love?
Not exactly, but my love for my husband and children is always evolving. My love for them now feels different from my love for them even just a year ago. I really enjoy the people we are all becoming and the dynamic relationships we have.
Who did you miss?
My siblings. We don’t see each other nearly often enough, and when we do it always feels to busy + rushed.
Did you learn a valuable life lesson this year?
Do the thing. Whether I’ve been thinking about doing something nice for someone, or I get the itch to do something creative, or an opportunity arises to go on an adventure, or I’ve been thinking about trying something new, I need to just do the thing. Whatever it is, I rarely regret doing it.
More specifically, do the right thing. It is not often rewarded. In fact, doing the right thing often brings more challenges. Do it anyway. I’m learning to use my platform + privilege to help others and (hopefully) make the world a better, kinder place. It’s exhausting. There are some awful, awful people who hide behind their power and anonymity to say + do hurtful things. My first instinct is to respond with anger or disdain or hate. That’s counterproductive and, quite frankly, feels gross. Following my conscience and showing radical love for others always feels better.
All in all my 33rd year was pretty good to me. Here’s to an even better 34th!
All photos by Let Me See You Sparkle Photography.