Wow! I have passed the half-way mark on my Journey to 40! I can’t believe it’s almost here! I guess it’s obvious that I did not post for Week 4! So much going on that I did not get a chance to do so. But I’m back and getting excited about what I’ve done and what’s to come. I am definitely not one of those people sitting around and fretting about turning 40. It has actually sparked a fire in me and gotten me excited about what my future will bring!!!
But I know that I must work for it. Nothing will just fall into my lap.
Here’s what’s I’ve been doing!
Fitness Goal: I tell you when it rains, it pours. In my last post I told you about my back pains which caused me to pump the brakes on working out. Well, it turns out that I hurt myself pretty bad (don’t know how), and my doctor ordered me to get some rest, not do any heavy lifting, and gave me so medicine to help ease the pain. Anybody who really knows me knows that I hate to take medicine especially anything that makes me feel weird, but I was in so much pain that I had to take it. One week later I tried to wean myself off of the medicine only to take it again for one more day. I HATE the way this medicine makes me feel. I’m an on the go type of person; I have so much that I want to accomplish that I didn’t have time for the way this medicine was making me feel: groggy, confused, and tired. Needless to say, I have stopped taking it again and hope that I can just take some extra strength Tylenol if I need something and that I will eventually heal like my doctor believes I will. However, I have managed to drop a couple of pounds by changing some of my eating habits so SCORE for me!
New Adventures: I’m so excited to say that I have booked a trip for my 40th!!!! I stopped thinking of all of the reasons that I couldn’t do it and just did it (with a little cash from Hubby)! I signed up to attend a Sanctuary Girl retreat that just happened to fall on my birthday weekend (Check out the website.There are also fabulous shirts and accessories!) I previously attended a retreat hosted by my beautiful friend, Sabrina Hayes, before she officially launched Sanctuary Girl (a ministry that she now runs), and I absolutely LOVED it! Last time the retreat was closer to home (only a 3 hour drive); this time I am taking a plane across the country to a place I’ve never been before: Los Angeles!!!! I cannot wait! (I’ve also blogged about the Sanctuary Girl Faith Planner which has helped me to keep my life super organized while focusing on my relationship with Jesus). Of course, I will be blogging all about my retreat experience as well!
Business Moves: As if I didn’t already have enough on my plate, I am officially a Thirty-One Gifts consultant again! After two years of being a consultant, I called it quits back in October because I was frustrated with the lack of support and was too busy with a new job and other goals that I was pursuing. But after much consideration, I have decided to try it again. I love, love, love, the products as well as the sisterhood that comes with being a consultant. Did I mention that I LOVE the products. Never heard of Thirty-One? You can check out our products here. I love the ability to personalize our products as well as being able to fashionably organize my life! I also met up with my accountability group, Sisters with a Purpose. If you don’t have an accountability group (or at least a partner), you should jump on this. Knowing you have to give an account of what you’re doing to reach your goals keeps you focused. No one wants to be the one to show up at a meeting saying that she hasn’t being doing anything. We will check in and motivate each other through text messages and calls throughout the month, but then we will have an “official” meeting to regroup, celebrate, and plan for the next month. Plus there’s a ton of laughter that happens at these meetings.
Random Acts of Kindness: If you’ve been following along, I one of my plans for my journey to 40 is make sure I am doing more for others. This is just one more thing that I am going to do. These cards and notebooks (along with some cute pens) are going out to some beautiful ladies this week. A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook that the first five people to respond to my post would be getting a special something from me. I know I’m a little late, but I want to stand by my word. I hope they enjoy these, and I hope it brightens their day! I know I LOVE receiving unexpected gifts. How about you?
Five weeks down; four more to go! I’m getting antsy and excited as I get closer. I have more fun things planned over the next few weeks! What do you plan to do or what have you done to celebrate a milestone birthday? I’m looking to be inspired by some of your ideas!
Time is flying. I feel like I just wrote the first post in this series explaining what I would be doing on My Journey to 40 by documenting my progress week by week, and here I am now at the end of Week 3. Is everything going exactly according to plan? Of course not. But that’s life! Nothing ever goes as planned, but, sometimes, things can turn out better than ever imagined. Here’s how things went down.
Fitness Goals: Unfortunately this week was not a good one for me. Last week after Hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, I decided to do some deep cleaning around the house because there was dust everywhere after Hubby installed a doggy door in our wall (see pic below). My lower back had been giving me some problems here and there already, but I had been trying to ignore it and just exercise through it. Well, with all of the moving of furniture, sweeping, and mopping, I guess I just made it worse ,so much so that I have to schedule an appointment with my doctor. I think I have a pinched nerve, and I have to give the exercising a break. I’m still trying to get my steps in, but it’s been hard. On the upside, I did well with meal planning for my lunch for last week. At least I felt good about this.
New Adventures: My adventure this week related directly to my business moves. Thanks to my artist friend,Constance Ivana, I completely stepped out of my comfort zone this past weekend. My friend offered me space to display my photography at the Mass District Art Walk. It’s a monthly event where people get to come in and see the artists in the space where they work, talk to them, ask questions, make connections, and purchase artwork. Being the introvert that I am, this was completely out of my comfort zone. However, I will admit that I had a blast! I got to talk to other people in the community who are doing great things, got to give out a few business cards, and even got to take a trolley over to another art walk and see a professional photo shoot in person. Imagine if I had allowed fear to keep me at home. I would have missed out on a great experience. And my boys joined me and had a blast as well!
Business Moves: I also did a favor for my friend who just started her t-shirt line. We did an impromptu photo shoot with some of our students and a few of her shirts. The results were phenomenal and I really enjoyed the creative process. I wish I could show you the results, but since we don’t have permission from their parents to post here, I can’t… yet.If that changes in the near future, I will definitely show them off! I’m looking forward to doing more things like this in the near future. I had so many ideas for what we could do, and I am sure as my friend produces more we will do more photo shoots. I’m so excited about this!
Random Acts of Kindness: Unfortunately, I didn’t work hard on my Random Acts of Kindness this week. Not that I was intentionally mean to anyone, but I didn’t put forth extra effort to make sure that I could make someone else’s day. I will be better with this next week. I have to be INTENTIONAL about this and not let other things distract me.
Cheers to another great week!!!! Feeling extremely optimistic and grateful for all that this big 4-0 is going to bring to me! Are you preparing to celebrate a birthday soon? What are you doing to get ready for your celebration?
What a busy week it has been! If you’re an educator in a public school in Florida, you know what the time after Christmas Break is all about: testing! We’ve officially entered into what is referred to as Crunch Time or what I refer to as the Most Stressful Time of the Year, the time that we put all of our energy into prepping our students for state testing (more about my feelings on this in a future post). This week was filled with practice testing every morning for our students which of course threw off the rest of each day. Needless to say, this week was an interestingone.
However, I was still able to work on some of my goals in week 2 of My Journey to 40. (To read about Week One click here.) Here’s how this week went.
Fitness Goal – Although I didn’t meal prep for lunch this week, I believe I did a good job with eating. However, I’m still struggling with the water intake. As a teacher, it’s hard for me to drink so much water during the day since I don’t have the freedom to just run to the bathroom like I need to do. However, I did hit my step goal (10,000) EVERY DAY this week! Whoop whoop! Yay for me! I even went walking and did some strength training. I’m bringing sexy back!!!!!!
New Adventure: This week Hubby and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. One of my ideas for having an adventure or new experience was for us to try a new restaurant (you know, break away from the routine), but since I wasn’t allowed to help with planning anything for our anniversary, I wasn’t sure if this goal would be met. Hubby had done the planning, and he just told me that we needed to be where we were going by 7:30 that Friday night. Well, my goal was met! We went to a new restaurant (new for us) and had a great time. Hubby had gotten a recommendation from a friend about where to take me. I was happily surprised by the food, ambiance, and location. I even tried oysters and clams for the first time. Hubby always eats them so I decided to try for the first time. Was I impressed? Not really, but at least I can say that I tried them (shrugs). The next morning Hubby arranged for us to have our first ever couple’s massage. I enjoyed every minute of it and left feeling like I was floating! We followed our massages by eating breakfast at a new restaurant as well. Weren’t we the adventurous pair? This was a great anniversary, and I look forward to celebrating many more with this crazy, yet loving, man of mine.
Week one of My Journey to 40 has certainly been a special one for me. It was my first week back in the classroom after our two week Christmas Break. It was not a good week. It was extremely busy and frustrating with many ups and downs, and it almost seemed as if it would overshadow my week 1 goals, but nope, nope, nope. I wouldn’t let any of it get in my way. (See my post about that here.) Here’s a recap of what I managed to accomplish this week.
Fitness Goal – I increased my water intake (although I didn’t reach my goal every day). Next week I will work on meeting that goal each day. Although it might not seem like much to others, I am aiming for the recommended 8 glasses of water a day (64 ounces). Once I hit that goal consistently, I will increase my goal. I also exercised 3 days this week and joined a FitBit challenge with some friends. I’m determined to increase my steps (daily goal of 10,000) so I can move up a few spots in the challenge. On top of all of that, I’m proud of myself for prepping my lunch for the week which I had gotten pretty lazy about doing.
New Adventure or Trying Something New – While this may not be an exciting adventure to some, this was important for me because it is something that I have been meaning to do for quite some time, and it proved to be quite fruitful. I am a graduate of the awesome, phenomenal, one and only, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the best HBCU around (I may be a little bias). For the longest, I have been meaning to go to our local chapter meeting for our FAMU Alumni Association. I finally said enough is enough; it was time for me to support my alma mater, not just brag about it. I’m so glad that I did. When you ask for opportunities to get more involved, God will certainly answer. At the meeting, one committee was looking for someone who could take pictures for their annual calendar fundraiser (hey, that’s me), and they needed someone to help with editing the profiles of people featured in the calendar (hey, that’s me again). So I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up. I even made sure to speak to the woman in charge of the committee and give her my name and number (something that is out of character for me to do). The other great thing that came from attending this meeting flows into #3 on this list: my Random Act of Kindness.
RAK – I’ve been looking for more ways to serve the community. I’ve also been looking for ways to serve with my children, to teach them about selflessly serving others, giving back to their community, giving without expecting to receive. At the meeting, there was a guest speaker from a local organization, and why was she attending the meeting? Not only was she a FAMU alumni, she was there representing the organization that was looking for more volunteers to help in their shelter. Our chapter gives regularly to the organization, but the organization also really needed people to come in and volunteer as well. And yes, children are welcomed. With Dr. Martin Luther King Day in just a couple of days, the organization was having a special day of service on Monday, the FAMU Alumni Association was looking for more people to volunteer to help, so I signed my boys and me up to volunteer. We’ll be there bright and early Monday morning ready to serve. (Next week’s post will give details about how this went). 4. Last but not least, I finally settled on a preliminary draft of my logo for my photography business, Natural Soul Photography. The best part of it is the fact that it was drawn by my 14-year-old son! What do you think? I can’t wait to get it on products (business cards, shirts, hats) and move forward with increasing my business. This has been a long journey with getting my business off the ground, but I see a promising future.
Stick around! The next eight weeks will bring bigger and better things! I’m making great plans for some fun adventures, random acts of kindness, and business moves!
In 60 days, I will be turning the big 4-0. It’s hard for me to believe, but at the same time I am excited. I’m not sure if excited is even a strong enough word. You could not have told my 20 year old self that turning 40 would be a source of excitement. Back then, 40 just seemed, what’s the word…OLD. No one could have convinced me that I would feel young, energetic, be taking on brand new endeavors, and looking forward to creating brand new experiences and going on new adventures. But here I am, about to turn 40 and feeling blessed and expectant. Here are a few reasons why.
I’m still alive!!! If you’re my age or older, I know you completely relate to this. By this time in life, you have become more than aware of your own mortality. You’ve seen friends and loved ones pass away suddenly or tragically or you’ve heard numerous stories of regret form older folks, and you begin to realize just how fragile life is and just how important each new day is. God still has me here for a purpose, and I want to fulfill it. No time to waste!
I’ve accomplished quite a few things that I set out to do or pictured for my life. I have a college degree, I’m happily married with some pretty awesome kids, own a very nice, well-decorated home (thanks to hubby), I’ve almost finished paying off my car (just 6 months to go), I teach children every day and feel like I am doing a pretty good job with not only teaching but also inspiring, I’ve started my own photography business, and now I have my blog (I’ve always dreamed of being a writer). I’ve gotten closer to Christ over this past year which has completely changed the direction of my life, and I have a host of family and friends that I can spend quality time with or lean on in times of trouble. These accomplishments and so many others make me proud of the woman I have become and all that I’ve gotten done all before the age of 40.
Last, but not least, I have big dreams for my future, and some of them have only come to be because of the wisdom that I’ve acquired over the past 40 years. Twenty years ago… ten years ago…okay, five years ago, I would not have been able to envision the plans that I now have for my life. I was in a different place with different concerns. Just five years ago I was a divorced, single mom who had just started dating my current husband, I was renting a house with my brother and his family, and struggling to make ends meet. But look at my life now. It has been nothing but the grace of God and the wisdom and experience that come with age that have gotten me to this place and has me inspired to do even more. Also, much of what held me back was fear, but not any more. I’m kicking fear to the side and working hard to uncover the woman I have yet to become!