Wednesday, December 09, 2009

35 :: {My Year of Relief and Happiness}

{click on images to see the oh so delicious details}

I've decided to dub this year 35th year of my life as "My Year of Relief and Happiness." And I have a feeling that there is going to be some wonderful change ahead.

I didn't start out feeling this way about turning 35. To be honest, I haven't felt much of anything about it. It's been just another blurry thought on this freight train called my life. I've been thinking about what I want this year to be about for a few days now. I started making a tradition out of this a couple years ago and didn't see any reason to stop now. However, this year, my thoughts on the topic did not start out with much optimism. I've been exhausted and should have known better than to try and define my coming year in such a state of disrepair. The only words I seemed to come up with were things like "burden" or "responsibility" or "getting by." Good god, can you say depressing?! Eeeerch! The brakes needed to be put on those thoughts. Pronto!

I firmly believe in the power of our thoughts and I am simply NOT ok with the idea of attracting a burdensome year. I'm much too good at attracting things to play around with a dangerous word like "burden." And so I did the smart thing and asked myself: What is the opposite word of burden? What came to mind was "Relief." Oh, now I like that word. I like that word a lot. It feels good. I can sink my teeth into that one. It feels like something I can believe in. It feels realistic, possible. I can wrap my head around it. For such a simple little word, it also feels immensely powerful.

My life is fully ready for a little bit of relief. But wait a minute. Relief all by itself sort of sits with a flat feeling in my mouth and limbs. I don't need all the hoopla that I was seeking at 33 and 34, but I would like to include some sunshine, sparkles and a smile that radiates from the inside out. Relief is good, but I think I'd like to top it off with a nice sized dose of happiness when all is said and done.

When I told my husband, Vinny, about this, he was a little worried that I might be asking for too much. He also believes in the power of our thoughts, but usually leaves the magic-making up to me. He also tends to be a bit conservative when it comes to reaching for the stars. Adding happiness onto a request for relief--is this asking for too much? I don't think so. After all, why limit ourselves? We are, after all, our own biggest limiting factor. I've decided to add a little bit of whipped cream to my coffee. Goodness on top of good. Why not?

Relief means quite a few things to me. It means getting my shiite in order. It means finally finishing the unpacking from our move this summer. It means having time to be human. It means limiting my workload to a manageable amount. It is relief from the endless pressure of work and bills and the toxic combination they can sometimes create. I love the work I do, inside and out, but these 12-18 hour days just can't go on forever. Period. Relief looks like a big fat fellowship and a backup plan to live sanely, whether I get the fellowship or not. Relief will include facing my fears head on. Heck, even joyously. It means breaking a few self-destructive patterns. It also means finding out what, exactly, those patterns are. I'm hereby mining them out of the naivety of my subconscious and exposing them to the light of day. It means taking a deep breath and then embarking on the necessary steps to reach my goals. One thing at a time. One action at a time. One day at a time. One thought at a time. It will be made up of knowing when to say yes--and also when to say no. It will be made up of knowing when to push--and also knowing when to relax.

Last year my words of the year were "Wild Bloom." They were inspired by a photo and a story that my coach and dear friend Jamie Ridler shared with me during a coaching session. Holy taledo, and did my year ever go WILD with BLOOM!!! Things bloomed so fast and feriously that it's a miracle I didn't spontaneously burst into flame! Of course, life never looks like we expect it to. Nope. And sometimes not even at all. Anyway, despite difficulties, 34 was a good year of blooming all to pieces. But, I'll admit: I'm exhausted. And I am really, really, really ready for some relief, topped off with just the right amount of happiness.

Today I celebrated my birthday by taking the entire day off. I can't even tell you how good it felt. To be honest, this is the best day that I've had in a really long time. I took a couple naps, read, snacked on delicious food, played in the snow and generally relaxed to the nth degree. Did I mention that we were snowed in? I also created a vision board to help guide me confidently into this 35th year. And, by gosh, I really love the way it looks.

I get the feeling that this is going to be an especially good year. In big ways--but in nice, quiet sort of ways. I can already feel my heart nestle in a little bit more comfortably in my chest and the tension in my shoulders drop down a notch. This year I have a different kind of faith. It's called: faith in myself. I also have faith in the kindness of the Universe. I have faith in love, authentic work, and gentleness. I have faith in passion--and this year I'm not afraid to adjust the flame as needed.

Today I woke up in a snow cave. After a big snow-storm, our world has turned into a surreal landscape of drifting white. It felt like someone hit the "shift" button and I'm grateful because I needed to get snowed in. I needed to relax. I needed to spend some time with my dreams and the hush quiet of this newly white blanketed world.

And so here's to Relief and Happiness. It all its strange forms--both expected and unexpected.
Here's to wishing with our whole spirit.

Hello 35.



Jamie Ridler said...

Happy Birthday, beautiful you in all your radiant wild blooms. May your year be full of ease, prosperity and joy. May it be all you dream of and more.

As Jessie wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

love and hugs,

Sulwyn said...

Happy Birthday! It sounds like you have a wonderful dream for the coming year.

As Jessie wishes for herself, so I wish for her also.

Sharon said...

Oh my goodness! I am 67, and you sound far wiser than I have ever felt in my life! Bless your heart!

And a very Happy Birthday to you!!!

Love the pictures so much, you have talent upon talent, girl!

kazari said...

This is so beautiful. Happy Birthday, Sweet Thirty Five!

I love your theme for this year.

Suzie Ridler said...

Happy Belated birthday again to you Jessie! Well you have wild weather there, you're not snowed in are you? Perhaps Nature is telling you stay home, relax, take care of yourself. No, you can't keep working like that, nobody can! You don't want to end up depleted and unable to create. Good for you for taking time on on your birthday and hopefully more this holiday season.

Karen D said...

Happy Birthday! What a beautiful post and vision board. May all your wishes and dreams come true. I was pointed to Christine Kane and her word for a year by a fellow blogger and the first word that popped into my head in about 1second flat was " RELEASE" and like your husband that word seemed scary to me, I don;t want to let go of things but... then I thought there are some old patterns and coping issues I would like to release to make room for new healthier options. I wrote it as my blog for wishcasting.

Rowena said...

Happy birthday and welcome to the slope side of thirty. I just turned 39, which is such a weird year, imo. I feel like it should be 40.

Anyway, I need to think about my new focuse for this year. This last one has been crazy, but there is definitely a clearing in which to create something new.

Sharon said...

Happy 35th Birthday, Jessie! Sorry it's late, but I just now read your post. I wish nothing but the best for you. You are an inspiration to me. :)

megg said...

Happy Birthday you -

I wish you a year full of happiness and relief - a year full of big wide smiles and relaxed shoulders and mugs of coffee with loved ones (wouldn't it be great if one of them was ME!?) and just plain old happiness! I love you girl.

(I am SO inspired by your year of relief - honestly, that alone would feel like BLISS to me... I may join you on that journey - everything else feels too big! Hmmmm....)

bella said...

I loved reading this, so much. I hope that this year and every year brings you everything you wish for. xo

Jacqui Lofthouse said...

Jessie, Thanks for this wonderful post and for your incredible inspiration and honesty. I haven't been blogging for some time and only just found your comment on my 'Be Brave' post and was so touched that you commented. Your birthday sounds wonderful and your board is sumptuous! I've also had the hardest working of months and now at last a little space is emerging again; thanks once again for your wisdom and for sharing.