How Do I Make 37 Better?

I just turned 37 this past weekend.

Honestly, I think I never thought about my life past kids. I had a plan to go through school, get married, get a graduate degree, and have kids. Now that I’ve accomplished all of that, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.

I want to make 37 good. I lived 36 in this weird state of not sure where I was. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. I was set in my priorities for everyone else around me.

I don’t want 37 to be like that. I want it to be filled with things that I can make memories out of. I want to feel like I accomplished something big. I know it seems like a weird thing to want considering in the past year, I’ve been raising 2 kids, managing their schedules, managing a household, and starting a new business.

Part of what I’m feeling is that a lot of that isn’t for me personally. I want to feel good about myself which I definitely have not been lately. I need to do something for me.

So I’ve decided to start a “bucket list”. The next step is trying to figure out what I really want. My feelings have been so jumbled up that I have to wade through all of those feelings to really understand what will make me happy. I also want to be able to commit to something. I usually push back if the thing I want to do takes up too much time or energy. I give up and walk away. I don’t know if that shows lack of interest or lack of follow-through.

I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a routine where I have a hard time finding what makes me happy. I want to be proactive and really jump in and take the chances I need to be taking.

If you have any bucket list suggestions, I would love to hear them. I’ve been having a hard time figuring this out and the only way I know to expand my thoughts is to hear what others are thinking.

The Guilt Factor – Off of the Beaten Path

Does this life sound familiar to anyone else? We go to school, graduate with our bachelor’s, work, go get our master’s degree, work, get married somewhere between the bachelor’s and the master’s, work, have kids right after our second graduation, work, and work until this repeats with our children.

Wait, what happens when you don’t follow this formula? Probably guilt. I feel guilty that I’m not doing what I was programmed to do. This is the correct formula to make everyone proud and to be able to show your face in society, right?

Well, crap. I didn’t follow the formula and now I feel like I’ve let everyone down. I feel the guilt. In all fairness, the guilt tends to follow you every time you do something that isn’t allegedly morally correct, not just when you step off of the beaten path. I don’t know if this is oldest child syndrome or not but I’m willing to bet it’s not just me who feels guilty every time I do something that I know might not be the best choice. I feel guilty even putting myself first before my family.

It’s unrealistic to feel this guilt. When you do something for you, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, it shouldn’t be a bad thing. Taking time off to take care of yourself is a good thing. Finding out what makes you happy and working towards that is a good thing.

Happiness. It’s a fairly unknown concept in our culture. So much of our society is based on duty and responsibility. We forget that life is so fleeting that you might as well enjoy it while you’re here. It’s a concept that is slowly start to emerge as the new generation grows up and realizes that they don’t want to live the same formula anymore. It’s interesting to watch people chase their dreams and follow their hearts.

The guilt needs to go. It’s taken me a while to learn how to dump the guilt. I still feel it since it is programmed in me but give me an hour or so and I’ll get over it. I’ll know that if I trust myself and know that I’m doing the right thing, then I have nothing to feel guilty about. Hell, even if it’s not necessarily the ideal thing to do, at least I made my own choice and will live with that decision.

How else are you supposed to live your life to the fullest?