I turned forty today.
That felt funny to write and then read, so let’s try it again:
I turned forty today.
I’m not sure what I expected of myself when I was forty, but I know I am not living it right now.
My business is not successful. It’s a struggle right now. Our personal debt is growing as a result.
I am married with two kids, which is about right, and I own my own house, but it’s definitely more cluttered than I ever envisioned.
I am overweight. In fact, I think I weigh the most I ever have, except for when I was pregnant. A few years ago, I could not have imagined being this big again, and yet here I am.
In my mind, I imagine that this is the turning point for the story’s heroine, but life is not a story. In a story, this is where I have an aha moment, where I make the time for daily exercise, where I spent a few minutes each day tidying the house, where I become a marketing genius and grow my business, where I shut down my emotional eating habit and lose sixty pounds, where I inspire everyone around me to be better as a result of my life shift. In other words, I become perfectly and effortlessly disciplined. Er, perfection is not possible, so I need to take a step back here.
How do you live the life you want?
I think it starts with a clear vision of what it is exactly that you want to live.
I don’t think I have a super-clear vision right now. I used to think that I did, but I’m not so sure anymore.
So, for the sake of clarity, let’s take a stab at getting that vision out and on “paper.” In my mind, I envision:
- a husband I love and spend time with on a regular basis (I’m actually not far off here)
- two happy, healthy kids (again, not too far off, but I definitely don’t have the parenting skills to be the parent I want to be, which would involve less yelling, less swearing, more talking things through, more listening (by me and them), more fun, more discipline (not punishment), and healthier family habits)
- a neat, warm, comfortable, beautiful home with artwork and pictures that have meaning for me
- a business that allows me the flexibility to pay off all of my personal and business debt while making a good income that allows me to save for retirement, travel extensively with my family, and pay for my kids to go to university
- a life of physical fitness, where I am practicing yoga, lifting weights, and running races, all with enjoyment, and mixing in cross-training that I have fun doing, while involving my family so that we’re all healthy
- a whole lot of veggies, lean meats, more vegetarian meals, simple meals; fruits, nuts, yogurt, hummus as snacks; green smoothies on the regular; fewer processed grains and more whole grains; homemade desserts regularly; portion control; feeling emotions rather than emotional eating; food journaling daily; using my slow cooker; loving less sugar; drinking a lot of water and being happy to do so
- making more friends who are part of my tribe; they are smart, entrepreneurs or managers, practice yoga, are on a path of self-exploration, practice gratitude, like to eat but also stay fit, understand that family comes first but make the time to gather on a regular (if not frequent) basis; they love science, reading, TWD, and Star Wars
- reading novels regularly, taking time to write a novel a little bit at a time, spending time outside enjoying nature
- creating a beautiful yard that I love to be in with family and friends
- staying on the path of personal growth through daily meditation, daily yoga, morning pages, reading “self-help” books, and personal development courses
Hey, I’m not saying that this is total clarity, but it is clearer.
I can start right now, tonight, by taking the time to meditate, practice some yoga, tuck my daughter in, write in my gratitude journal, and have a cup of herbal tea. It doesn’t get me debt-free and fit in a day, but small steps are better than no steps.
I am not aiming for perfection; I am aiming for life.