Today is my 31st birthday.
For months, I have been thinking about what I would want to say to myself on this day. More so than January 1st, my birthday seems to mark a fresh start for me. It gives me a chance to look back at where I've been and to dream about where I am going.
At first, I thought I might write myself a letter much like I do for my daughters each year. But, then I thought about it and realized that all the things I say to them are the exact same things I would say to myself.
Fight for what you want.
Know you're worth it.
Show your love to those who love you back. And even to those who don't.
Be the best you EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
Then, I stumbled upon this post at Banana Buzzbomb - A reverse bucket list. Rather than obsess over the things you want, this list takes stock in what you already have. It's something that I think I forget about too often, as I continuously strive to be a better me (or at least not lose ground to my current self).
So, today on my 31st birthday (and hopefully a lot more often than that), I am celebrating how far I've come, instead of worrying about how far I have to go. Here's my reverse bucket list:
1. I always made academics important, even if I didn't think attending school was. I absorbed as much as I could and held myself to a high standard. Ultimately, it paid off. I went to an Ivy League university.
2. I graduated from that Ivy League university in three years. Just because I could.
3. I've always been athletic. I played travel soccer from the time I was 10. I made the varsity soccer, basketball and track teams as a freshman. In college, I was on a Division I Track and Field team.
4. I broke my pelvis and dislocated my hip when I was 12. The doctors told me that I probably wouldn't play sports again. I was back on the soccer field six months later.
5. I overcame my hate of running and have run six marathons. Two in the same week.
6. I (mostly) overcame my fear of my bike after crashing it and destroying my shoulder. Now I am going to race a 140.6.
7. I married my first serious boyfriend. I knew he was the one for me immediately and I would have married him just as quickly if I wasn't deathly afraid of what my mother would have done. We waited two years and have now been married for almost nine.
8. I gave birth to three beautiful daughter who are truly my everything.
9. I ran eight miles two days before my third daughter was born. Nothing else has ever made me feel so bada**.
10. I changed my life and lost 70 pounds. I've kept the vast majority (aside from pregnancies) off for nine years.
11. I'm still friends with my childhood best friend. We've known each other for 28 years.
12. I never left the country before I was 20. Since then, I have been to England, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas and Bermuda.
13. I am a two-time NJ state champion in the shot put. I still have the discus records at both my middle school and my high school.
14. I used to take karate. I've broken a board with my hand, my foot and my head.
15. I have been featured in Runner's World (August 2011). I was mentioned as a Twitter account to follow in the December 2012 issue, as well.
16. I was personally asked by Ethan Zohn (of Survivor fame) to run for his NYC Marathon team.
17. I was selected by Nuun to represent them at the Hood to Coast Relay. Twice.
18. I shaved my head. Kind of a ballsy thing for a girl to do.
19. J and I have purchased three houses in our nine years of marriage. Our current one is finally starting to feel like home, but I'm not entirely convinced.
20. I have no credit card debt.
21. I've never put my Ivy League degree to good use and the older I get the more OK I am with it. Staying at home with my girls has been one of the best decisions I ever made. Maybe one day I'll have a job with an income that can support us, but this thankless, wage-less job of shaping these children is the best one I will ever have.
22. I've gotten three tattoos. And I don't regret any of them.
23. I have been honored with the opportunity to be a member of Team Rev3 Tri. And let me just add that sponsorship doesn't suck.
24. I survived the death of a parent.
25. I went from being unable to lift my arm (at all) to finishing my first 70.3 in exactly 11 months.