On March 5th, I turned 43. It was not a psychological blow (that was 36).
I find birthdays to be a good time to check in with myself and do an inventory of my goals. I spent the day at home, watching movies, drinking a bottle of wine, napping, and cuddling with my pups.
It certainly was not my most exciting birthday, but I feel restored and ready to take on the day. I do miss my friends, and I regret not being with them to celebrate.
At 43, I know that there is a good likelihood that I will live at least another 40 years - another whole lifetime of what I have just lived. Longevity tends to run in my family, and there is no reason I should not live well into my 80s or 90s. With that said, I have been thinking about just what these years will look like for me. Thankfully, my children are largely on their own, so no more raising kids for me. Perhaps, one day, my children will make me a grandmother, but neither seem to be in a hurry (a fact for which I am grateful). Blessedly, I am still pretty healthy, and find my chosen career to be lucrative. I would love to be able to do massage therapy for many years, but we'll have to see.
I am using this time as an opportunity to gather my resources and actually focus on my financial house. I have some obligations to deal with (student loan debt that will never go away!), but I am trying to steer my life into one that requires minimal monthly obligations. Our government being what it is, I have no expectation of a monthly pension, so I need to make sure that I can care for myself. I keep thinking I should buy a small plot of land, but trying to figure out just where I want to live out my golden years is a difficult decision. I want a place that I can have sunshine, land that is good for gardening, taxes that are reasonable, and where I can live essentially off-grid. I want a place that I have space to myself, but is not so remote that I do not have a city within a 15-20 min drive. I want community without intrusiveness. Lastly, I want people that I can connect with. As a liberal who has lived in mostly red states, I have no problem getting along, but I don't want to fear for my safety.
I also want to travel. Sadly, with the churning and roiling waters of today's political climate, international travel is probably out for a bit. That's ok, though, because there is still so much of the US that I want to see.
I read something the other day about Warren Buffett, a man for whom I have great admiration. The article said that he makes a list of 25 things that he cares about, and then crosses everything off past the top 5. Those top 5 are the things you care most passionately about, and the rest are distractions. I need to get busy on this list. I think the clarity will do me good.
Til next time!