my birthday gift to myself

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” -Gandhi
I'm 27 years old today. T-W-E-N-T-Y-S-E-V-E-N. The age my dad was, I recently discovered, when we moved to Hilo so he could begin his career. I was 4. He's now 50. HOLY COW. Never has it been more clear to me that we are all walking different versions of the same path. One day I'll be where my parents are now. Again, HOLY COW.
I don't say this to be depressing, but rather, to marvel at the life cycle and how our age and experience changes us. For example, birthdays used to be all about parties and gifts and now they're more about reflecting (celebrating yes, but there's definitely a lot of reflecting going on too). What things went right? What do I want to change? What have I accomplished? Where do I want to go from here? Last years' birthday goals were superfluous and stupid. I shouldn't have set them because my heart wasn't really in them. Really, I was just searching for some blogging material and projects that would keep me busy. Not having your heart in a project is the perfect way to derail it before it even starts.
No. This year I won't be tackling any of those "busy" type goals. This year I plan to focus on 2 things:
Let me preface Thing #1 by saying that I'm a bonafide people-pleaser. I often put my own needs and wants on the side for others, and while that's not a bad thing, it is when deep down I know it's not the right thing for me. I simply have a tendency to think my needs aren't as important as the needs of others.
That being said, the first thing I really want is to better understand and honor myself. This isn't about vanity or selfishness. This is about recognizing myself as valuable, indispensable, and worth something. This is about caring for myself inside and out so I feel good about myself and have enough in the tank to care for others. This is about finding and listening to my inner voice, adopting the things that work for me and letting go of the things that don't. It's about letting go of the past, it's about learning to communicate my needs with others, and letting other people help me.
The second thing that I really feel passionate about incorporating into my life right now, issimplicity. Just saying the word in my head makes me feel more calm and centered. Simplicity bleeds into every aspect of life - simple food, simple finances, simple record keeping, simple healthcare, simple cleaning, simple organizing, simple time management, simple parenting, simple furnishings, simple fitness. Ironically, that sounds like a really daunting list and lots and lots of busy-ness. It will require me to look at every aspect of life separately and really edit things down to the essentials and come up with a routine that works. Once that work is done, I feel like I'll have more room to breathe, and more time to give to my family. I'm unbelievably giddy about it.
I'm not really sure how I'll accomplish these things, or if I'll ever be able to say they're "accomplished," but I'm going to go against the control-freak within and just do what feels right, when it feels right. So this year, I'm giving myself the gift of me, complete with permission to define who I am, protect myself against interests or ideas that don't jive with my deepest beliefs, say no (and YES!) and be completely unapologetic about it all.
Happy Birthday to ME :)