What I Will do This Year

I celebrated my 36th birthday on Saturday. It was lovely. My daughter Hannah painted my portrait. My son Jacob took every chance he could to gleefully say, “Happy birthday, Mama!” I met my new niece, Madeleine. It was a good day.

I think of my birthday as my own personal new year. It’s when my calendar changes from 35 to 36. Last year I marked the occasion by setting some personal intentions. I threw some stuff out to the universe and myself, in an effort to send a message about what I wanted to see in the year ahead. I said that I would write a book proposal, grow watermelons, decide what to do with my wedding dress, stay in a hotel with my husband and no children, drink more tea and attend BlogHer in San Diego, amongst other things. But the most important item on the list was this one:

  • Not beat myself up if I don’t do everything on this list.

Did I do everything on my list? No, I did not. In fact, I only completed seven of the sixteen things I listed. Still, that’s seven things that I hadn’t done as of this time last year, so that’s something. Plus, I also did a whole lot of stuff that isn’t on that list.

In spite of my failing grade, I’m making another list this year. I think the list is more like a list of aspirations or ideas than a to-do list I must complete. It’s about setting a tone, if you will. I think that’s a valuable exercise, no matter what comes of it. So without further ado, here’s my list for this year.

Me, as photographed by a 3-year-old

What I Will do at 36

  • Create a work space that is not shared with my kids’ toys, so that I can go inside it and be in work mode, not mom mode.
  • Visit New York with my husband, and go to BlogHer.
  • Grow quinoa (the seedlings are already coming up!).
  • Learn how to walk in high heels.
  • Source some non-toxic makeup for myself, just in case I want to be fancy and stuff.
  • Sew myself a dress from a vintage pattern.
  • Start a regular meditation practice.
  • Take a pottery class.
  • Spend more time at the playground with my children.
  • Swim in the ocean.
  • Bake cookies.
  • Teach my daughter Hannah to knit.
  • Teach my son Jacob to wipe his own bum (if I succeed at this one, the only bum I wipe will be my own, such liberation!).
  • Ride a roller coaster.
  • Get more sleep – at least seven and a half hours each night.
  • Take a fabulous vacation with my family.
  • Not beat myself up if I don’t do everything on this list.

What do you want to do with your next year on earth? I love it if you’d play along in honour of my birthday!

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  1. Oh Amber, you are so funny! You’ve inspired me to write my own list and I will defintely include the last point as well. Are you going cross them off on here as you complete them?

  2. Great pic & great list! I would love to go to NY and BlogHer-sigh one day 🙂 Good luck with your list and don’t go ‘beating yourself up’- I have a tendency to do that do!

  3. Happy birthday, Amber! (Late, of course. But still heartfelt.)

    Looking forward to meeting you (I hope) at BlogHer. I’m going, but of course it’s easy for me since I live here.
    Rachael’s last post … It’s My Birthday! I’m One Hundred Years Old!My Profile

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  1. […] shoes to wear with the dress. Plus, when I celebrated my birthday in May I declared that this year I would learn to wear heels. The cycle of high heels is starting all over […]

  2. […] past few years, it seems that I celebrated my birthdays by making lists of what I would do at 35, 36, 37 and 38. And then last year I marked the occasion by making a list of what I would not do at 39. […]

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