Today I’m 36. Happy birthday to me!
I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while. Not the getting older part, of course, but the actual day.
A few weeks ago, I decided to clear my calendar of appointments so I could spend the day alone in DC while Levi was in preschool and Asa was with his babysitter. I’d finally visit the Wonder exhibit at the Renwick Gallery, maybe grab lunch with a friend, and wander around the city sans a stroller for the first time since we moved here.
Then my husband surprised me by taking the day off from work so he could join me!
Birthdays, historically, are difficult for me. For better or worse, I use them as markers to determine how far I am toward reaching my goals, and, inevitably, I always come up short. Perhaps that’s because my personal goals aren’t SMART. They’re usually vague resolutions like be more successful and be a better person.
I thought about sharing some of my birthday wishes in this post, but when I started brainstorming, they all sounded kind of depressing. Make more money! Eat less sugar! Start exercising regularly! Like I’m not doing well enough already.
Also, not SMART.
Instead, I’m taking a different approach this year: gratitude. I’ve been meaning to start a gratitude list because practicing gratitude is proven to increase happiness. A milestone like a birthday seems like a great time to put a new habit into practice, right? Maybe even better than New Years.
So here are a few random things that I’m feeling grateful for on my birthday:
Having Jordan’s support as I (continue to) attempt to pursue work that fulfills me.
When Levi laughs and Asa says “mommy!”
Playing Mahjongg (sometimes at Wendy’s!) after a stressful day of parenting.
Making new friends at different playgroups and classes.
Cherry blossom trees.
Finding Tim Tams and other yummy cookies in Target’s Easter department.
Our family’s annual Hilton Head vacation in May.
Wearing pretty spring dresses now.
Outfit details: Madewell dress, Sven clogs, Vintage Coach purse (similar here and here), Robyn Rhodes necklace c/o Rocksbox (use code PJFEINSTEINXOXO for 1 month free), Nakamol bracelet c/o Rocksbox (similar here), Ray-Ban sunglasses, Jawbone activity tracker, Indigo Frock nail polish
Shop 20 More Pretty Spring Dresses
(Photography by Laura Metzler for A Girl Named PJ)