Tuesday, October 03, 2006

happy birthday ...

Tomorrow is my birthday. Two years ago I made a pledge to do something new and daring each month. Call it mid-life crisis, call it I needed to “find myself” the bottom line was that I felt I had created a life which was too planned, too cautious, and lacking in those memorable experiences which make life – life.

Looking back on year one is like looking back on ones adolescence. I took many risks (some smart, some not so smart), I tried on different personas, I seriously pursued moving to another country, I lost 20+ lbs, I went on exotic vacations, I never said “I wish I had ...” I did. For me it was like the storybook year in college where you abandon the dreams of your parents for your own dreams and create your own reality in the process.

Halfway through my “live each day as if it’s your last” experiment I fell in love. One morning you wake up and get on a plane to seek a new adventure. The next morning you wake up and realize you’ve found something better than a new adventure, you’ve found a part of your life.

This past year I’ve learned that life can be its own adventure. In the midst of buying our first house, planning our wedding, and expanding our family (with a wonderful puppy) I’ve discovered that it is not the type of risks I take but the way I approach each day that determines if I am “living.”

So, as a gift to myself today and a reminder for myself in the days to come, here is a list of the life lessons these past two years have provide to me.

1) The people in my life are gifts. Treat them with respect, love and above all kindness.
2) Falling in-love happens everyday not just once. Take time to fall in-love over and over again.
3) There is nothing that has to get done that is more important than acting on points #1 and #2.
4) The outdoors is a wonderful place.
5) Dreams and expectations are different things. Dreams can be achieved – expectations rarely are.
6) Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you – he just might be your husband someday.
7) Feeling lonely has nothing to do with the number of people around you. And, while we are at it, neither does being alone.
8) What you fear is worse than reality.
9) It’s ok to admit and even celebrate fault.
10) Life is unexpected so don’t even try to predict the road it will take. Travel each day with an eye to learning something new and never forget to thank those around you for sharing in the experience.

I am a very lucky person. I have wonderful friends and family. I have an amazing partner whose love I am humbled by and through which I have received more joy and happiness in my life than I knew possible. And, I am blessed to have had an opportunity to learn to appreciate life.

In this new year, I will continue my life experiment. With any luck I will continue to learn to appreciate each moment.