Happy Birthday to Me: My Goals for a Year of Doing

Birthday Candle

I recently had a birthday and pledged to myself that 28 would be my year of doing.  Each year on my birthday I think long and hard about what I want to achieve over the next 365 days.  My goal this year is to fill my house with love.  To me, this means many things.  It means growing and strengthening my relationships with my husband, my friends, and my family.

Filling my house with love from afar means making the time for long distance phone calls to my sister, FaceTime chats with my Mom, Google Hangouts with my east coast friends, and late night gossip sessions with my BFF.  It means snapping and sharing even more pictures.  It means group texts.  It means sending real mail.  I may be far away from those I love in distance, but never in spirit.  So I’m making it a goal of mine this year to fight the “out of sight, out of mind” idiom and to not only maintain, but strengthen my long-distance friendships.

Filling my house with love also means focusing on the person I share that house with and the relationship we have.  I’ve been with my husband Justin almost nine years now, but much of that time has been spent apart.  Career goals, life, and adventures had us living on opposite sides of the world more often than not, but before we got married last year we promised to make it a priority to stick together from now on.  Which, thanks to him, is why I am now living in this lovely place filled with sun and sand.

We came out here for Justin’s job (and I was all too happy to oblige), but long hours at work and even longer nights and weekends of bringing that work home have made our time together somewhat scarce.  Instead of complaining about it though, I’m making it a goal of mine to make the most of the time we have together.  To talk, to laugh, to relax, and to enjoy this amazing place and each other while we can.  To be a better friend, a better partner, a better wife.  I want to work on my patience, my ability to empathize, and my communication (and perhaps a few crafty creations to show my husband I care).

And if I’m going to fill this house with love, then I need to focus on the other person who lives here too.  Me.  This year, I’m making it a goal of mine to enjoy all the time I have to myself.  More time means more doing.  And doing is the whole point.  In my past life, I always wished for more time.  I always thought, If I had more time I would [frame that picture, learn how to quilt, paint that table, finish that project, etc. etc. etc.].   Now I have the time, and I don’t intend to waste it.  Instead, I intend to spend that time with myself: learning, exploring, trying, creating, and generally pursuing what I’m passionate about.

Which leads me to the really important part (for this blog anyway).

Filling my house with love has a literal meaning too: filling my house with the things that I love.  I want my home to be a sanctuary.  A place you can walk into and immediately feel at home, whether you live here or not.  I want my husband to feel at home after a long day at work.  I want to feel at home after a long day of work.  I want our house to be a gathering place for the new friends we are quickly making out here and for the old friends I’m sure will come visit soon (at least once I post a picture of those ocean views).  I have so many projects I want to make, so many ideas I want to explore, and so many things I want to DO, DO, DO.

I hope you’ll continue to check in on me throughout the year as I craft bits of love to send to my friends near and far, to surprise my husband with, to push myself to try new things, and to decorate this lovely place I now call home.

-Shayna {August 2013}

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