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I quit being grateful on October 26, 2016.

Well not really but that was the date of the last entry in my gratitude journal until this past Tuesday. I also started reading a book, on Tuesday, about living a grateful life. I am enjoying it so far and like the way it changes and challenges my perspective so I’m  trying to be very mindful of this and stay positive through the day. This is not my natural inclination.

Yesterday, by about 8:30 am I was decidedly negative and despite stopping at one point during the day to try and think of 3 more things I’m grateful for in addition to the ones I already noted that morning (my pets for always making me smile (even after cleaning up their shit), my new Under Armour sweat pants which are the softest most comfortable pants in the world, and my husband because after 15 years together we still love each other and most of the time even like each other) – my mood did not improve.

It was then I had to remind myself that being grateful does not mean being unflappable. It doesn’t mean I am happy every day all day. It doesn’t mean I will never be bitchy again or that I won’t scare people with my angry eyes when worked up…

All that being said, I am working on it, and it’s just one of the goals or things I have planned as in my mind, I am officially, undoubtedly, on the Road to 40. (Yes, I realize it’s always been something that was going to happen but now that it’s less than three months and away and this THE year, it seems almost tangible).

I’m turning 40 on March 30th. Can someone please tell me how this happened? Yes I’ve been with my husband for 15 years and this is actually my second marriage…I have a 22 year old (who will be 23 in March), a 20 year old, a 12 year old (who will be 13 in a week!), and a 9 year old. I have worked in some capacity or another as social worker for almost 17 years. The math isn’t working for me though because I honestly don’t feel that different than I did when I was 20 something. I mean a few things are different…I didn’t have chin hair, a head full of white hair, crows feet, or bad knees in my 20s. I could drink without risking life and limb in the form of a hangover. I could go to the bar without being annoyed by the “kids” there. I smoked and ate mostly carbs and could party 2 nights IN A ROW and not take a full week to recover. I worked out and then had a cigarette to reward myself with a job well done. I took a soft ball to the head, and again, had a cigarette, a jello shot, and a shot of tequila as a remedy and poo-pooed all the well meaning adults who suggested I get the giant lump on the side of my forehead examined, ASAP. If I took a ball to the head now?? It would be Advil, a cold cloth, and the couch with some tea. I’d be out of commission for the day – perhaps longer.

So there really isn’t any denying it, I am aging.

Sigh.

I can’t stop it no matter how hard I try and so that means making some changes, reframing some thoughts, and calming the #@$* down about what I can and can’t control. You see, it seems like yesterday in some respects that I had two small children and was in university and gearing up for this great big life ahead of me. Now I have four children, none of whom are technically ‘small’ anymore and I’m smack dab in the middle of this life and every week, every month, every year goes faster. So what? I’m going to blink and be 60? Shit. Probably. That means that I have 20 years to stop dicking around and make the best of this life. No, I realize life doesn’t end at 60 either but it will mark another era – hopefully one of retirement, travel, and grandchildren – but I’m not there yet.

What do I want?

I want to lose 20 lbs. So I decided the best way to motivate myself to do that was to enter into a competition with a younger man….yes you read it right. Men can literally lose weight with a solid fart and one touch of the toes (at the same time if they’re really hard core) – young men don’t even need to touch their toes; they can just think about it. I am competitive and a real dick so what’s got me fired up is proving to myself that I can do this and secondly, bragging rights. God I love to chirp. I’m a goddamned bluebird in the spring when I am winning, have won, am right, or awake, really. It’s one of my finer qualities.

I want to be strong. I am already but I want to continue to build on that. I want to arm wrestle my grandchildren well into my 90s and freak them out with my upper body strength (this literally happened between me and my Grandma – she’s a beast!).

I also want to walk the talk. Find my purpose or a feeling of fulfillment and while some of that must be found internally with acceptance and all that biz, I want to find it professionally too. I am intelligent. I am assertive. I am a natural leader. Cocky much? Yeah. Here’s the thing though, I like, want, and need to feel challenged personally and professionally and the best way to do that is to do something I love, right?

Right. I knew you’d get it.

So I want to write. Not sporadic blog posts when the mood strikes because that’s not how a job or career works. We all have to work at our respective jobs when we don’t feel like it. We have to parent when we don’t feel like it. We have to ‘adult’ when we don’t. feel. like. it. Yet we typically feel better or at least can see the benefit of doing the things we don’t want to do. Exercise and eating well are two pretty decent examples of that.

So my goal is to write 2 blog posts every week; Mondays and Thursdays. There may be bonus posts but I am committing to those 2 every week. I have been told a few times, by friends and family, that I should write a book. That seems a little daunting. I don’t know where to begin and fiction is not where I live. I’m not saying I won’t try though but I just need a game plan…

Basically I feel like I’m running out of time to get what I want  out of life. This is dramatic and of course I know I could quite very possibly live for another 40 or 50 years but I’ve always liked getting things done as quickly as possible so I can relax or enjoy my time and this isn’t any different.

So join me please on this little journey to 40 and then of course beyond. I’ve seen or heard that life begins at 40 and if it does then I want the best start  possible with the nicest ass possible and if it’s not too much to ask, minimal chin hair.

Ready, Set, Go!

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