Do you make a New Year’s resolution? Seems like the bigger ones are usually about weight, working out, less screen time, or kicking a bad habit. I’m not much of a resolution maker, but there’s something about a new year that feels fresh and blank, and it only seems fitting to make some plans, set goals, and hone the body and mind in a new or altered direction with a new sense of purpose.
And there is something about a new decade which makes that desire even stronger. Especially a decade when I personally am entering a new decade. Yup, in only a couple weeks I will turn (gulp) 40!
When I think back on the dawning of each new decade of my life…well, my adult life…it always coincided with a new year’s resolution or a goal of some sort because my birthday just happens to be in January. In the year 2000 I turned 20 and it was really the first stretching of adulthood. I was in college, working toward a degree and a future career. My young mind still couldn’t grasp the fleeting seconds that would whirlwind me into the next decade, though. Life was an adventure, and I was living it up to the fullest! I had no thoughts or worries about how that decade would wrap up.
In 2010 I turned 30. I had been married for four years, and we had a two-year-old and a newborn. I was a full-time stay-at-home mom with very few moments for just myself. But, this was the year I first felt the heaviness of turning a decade older, and while I didn’t quite yet feel old, I recognized I needed to reflect on the past thirty years and ponder the next. My husband gave me a day to myself to collect my thoughts, journal, and just BE. That opportunity was truly a life-changing point; one I can now say has stirred me in the direction my life has taken since…writing, blogging, and influencing.
So now, here we are in 2020, another decade later in the year I turn 40. I’ve been married to the same awesome guy for nearly 15 years, and we have a 12, 10, and almost 8 year-old. In the past ten years I’ve built a career of writing and freelancing, and I’ve also experienced more change than any other season of life. We’ve changed jobs, remodeled, sold, and bought homes, said goodbye and hello to many old and new friends, started a small family business, raised babies into school-aged kids, battled diseases and injuries, lost loved ones, and so much more! If I didn’t feel my age at 30 or 35, I sure do now! I’ve struggled with losing weight, had my first gray hairs and wrinkles appear, and I’ve shockingly realized the switch in myself as I relate more now to the older generations than the younger. I also feel that mid-life panic of time flying by and the desperate desire to make it slow the hell d o w n! My oldest is looking and acting more and more like a young adult than a child, and each day I mentally count the fleeing time I have left to raise these littles well!
So, as I consider a new year and a new decade not just for the world, but for me, I find myself making resolutions and plans that are not as internal as weight loss, gym time, or personal growth. Rather, I begin to think of the things I want to prioritize before the next decade rushes in faster than I am ready for. I think of the relationships and of my community. I think of my husband, my friends, my kids, and my extended family. What can I do in 2020 and each year following to draw us closer before the time whisps away? I know now from experience that before I know it, it will be 2030 and I’ll be contemplating 50!
This WINTER, I want to play in the snow. I want to take my family ice skating and roller skating. When SPRING rolls around, I want to say we spent time as a family bowling, riding trains together, and growing a garden! In the SUMMER, I hope we take long hikes, walks, and bicycle rides in the fresh air. I want to camp with dear family and friends and feel the sand beneath my toes at the beach. This FALL, I plan to make new friends at our local farmer’s market and support small businesses and farms. I want my kids to walk to the top of Multnomah Falls, and understand the importance of giving back to those less fortunate, not just here locally, but all over the world!
This list may not be something new every week, month, or every season. A lot of these things we actually do a lot. But they MEAN a lot because they are things we truly love. Especially doing them together! So my family bucket list is not just for 2020, but for the next decade. Loving on those who mean the most to me, and those who need it the most. I hope when 2030 rolls around, I can look back on these past ten years, knowing I lived them well, and look forward to the next ten with a plan to do it all over again!