The Thing About Birthdays…

Amandas 2nd BirthdayThe thing is for my birthday and Brody’s birthday (his is September 1st) I get really reflective. I think about where I am and where I want to be. I think this annoys Adam sometimes but I am not a party hat wearing, binge drinker on my birthday – I am usually pretty calm and I spend a good time alone and/or thinking about the state of me. I was surprised to see two men I respect professionally seem to take a similar birthday approach – CC Chapman and Chris Brogan.

Last year was the first year that I can remember that I had a hard time setting my goals. I have found and married an wonderful man who loves me very much and makes me very happy, we have a great little house of our own, we have two of the most fun dogs on Earth, I have a great family who love and support me, I have a good job that is near my home and I was feeling like I was really finding my way.

So my goal last year was more a basic idea – BETTER. I just wanted all the things I already had but I wanted to make them better. I wanted to spend more quality time with my husband, my family and my dogs. I wanted to eat better, become a better runner, take care of some things to make our house better, be a better friend, do my job better and all in all just be a better person.

I think I did a pretty good job with that. We really have had a great year. We have gotten to do some amazing things. I have spent some really great time with my family and I do feel better.

So what about this year?

Today I turn 32 **gulp** . Everything is about the same, generally speaking, as last year with some recent road blocks. My dog, who is just the love of my life is sick, my work is morphing and we are still working on getting Adam into school. Not a whole lot I can do about some of those, which is hard for me because I am ‘a fixer’.

So this year I am going to not go for specific goals but a general goal like last year. This year I want to become stronger. I have some big decisions to make, we have some changes to get ready for and I will feel more equipped to handle these things if I am stronger.

  • Stronger physically – Becoming stronger physically will help me achieve a few goals I have for running. I am not talking about entering any weight lifting competitions or anything but a little more muscle in this body wouldn’t hurt.
  • Stronger mentally – I am a constant learner. I read a lot, I write a lot, I go to a lot of conferences and webinars and I try to soak up a lot of information. I have been pretty busy lately and feel like this learning has slipped a little so I want to try to bulk up my brain a bit more this year too.
  • Stronger for Brody – As you probably know Brody has bone cancer and we recently amputated one of his hind legs. This has been beyond hard for me. I know that we are in our final chapters here but I want to be stronger for him so I can continue to make the right decisions for him and make sure our last stretch is a kick ass one. I want to make sure he is happy, knows he is loved and is well taken care of.
  • Stronger for my husband – How awesome is my husband? Pretty awesome. Our biggest ‘problem’ is that we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like (we work opposite schedules). He has a big year coming up and I want to be better about being there for him when he needs it.
  • Stronger for my family – My family is fantastic. We are unlike any other family I have seen before and I wouldn’t change that for the world. This past year I was lucky enough to get to spend more time with them. I don’t think I spent this much time with family since I was a little kid. It has been awesome. I want to keep that up and be able to help them if they ever need anything.
  • Make my company stronger – My work is in an interesting place. We are growing, moving and in the starting gates to take everything to another level. In the position I have, I am partially responsible for how that growth happens and making sure we execute it well. I want to make sure I do the best job I can growing our company for all the people that work there.
  • Be a stronger writer – One of my heroes, my grandmother, wanted to be a writer. Times were obviously different then but I can only hope she can see all of the work I do. I think she would be very proud. Writing here has been a tremendous help in finding my ‘voice’ and for sorting out some problems and sharing things that I think are important. I have a few projects I want to complete that will involve me taking writing more seriously so I want to become a stronger writer and be more confident in my own writing.

Oh, oh AND I want to make a fish tank out of a television. That is a goal for this year too 🙂 I have the television console… just need to figure out the fish tank part. I am serious.

So I guess those are my birthday goals this year – to just be all around stronger. I am excited to have a fun day with the people who love me and I hope you have a great day too! Thank you so much to those of you who take the time to read this, comment on this and support me in this weird little blogging project.

19 Replies to “The Thing About Birthdays…”

  1. I love this! I think we should all stop & smell the roses each year & too too many of us don’t do that! I for one need to start reflecting back & “check in” every once in a while to make sure it’s all still OK!
    As for the fish tank… Nate worked in a pet store at 14 years old and his nickname was “Fishman” for years [hehe, you can giggle!], so I KNOW he’s going to think this is the coolest idea! 🙂
    They always say “age is just a number.” & that’s true, that’s all it ever will be 🙂

  2. Whatever you do….Do NOT use the glass from the TV. The stuff they cover the glass with will kill your fish! 😉

    Happy Birthday Amanda. Enjoy your day of reflection and goal setting.

  3. Amanda – your blog is amazing – thank you so much for sharing your heart in such a beautiful way….you have reached so many goals at such a young age….be proud and enjoy the ride as you stretch for more! Love you.

  4. Happy Birthday Amanda!
    I’m a birthday-reflector too…so I admire your goal oriented mindset. I’m so sorry to hear all of the tribulations you’ve been experiencing with Brody as of late. Loving a dog is a special relationship…but slowly losing one is devastating. But, as for your goal of being a stronger person, I think you’ll find this experience to yield a tremendous amount of inner strength, that will hopefully permeate all other facets of your life. Hard times, as much as they beat us down, really do teach and refine us for future challenges. Hang in there. Lots of love to you!
    Jenny

  5. Manders, you are already one of the strongest women I know. Happy birthday, gorgeous! And hugs to Brody. Really love reading your blog, and you definitely have captured *your* voice here, which is a difficult thing to do as a writer. Rock on. In other news, I’ve wanted to make a TV fish tank since our UNH days, so maybe I can help out with a DIY warrior weekend when we head to Portland this summer. xo Meliss

  6. I am very much an introspective reflector but not so good at settling concrete goals and or sticking to them! I so admire the way you are able to identify what you want and go after it – you are amazing! I’m so grateful to have you in my life after so many years to make me laugh, give me perspective, make me think and help me relax and enjoy life. You make a difference for many people everyday! I love you!

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