This morning, I woke up with the realization that I am officially closer to 40 than I am to 30. After making this realization, I burst in to tears and ate an entire chocolate cake.
For the record, I’m just joking about the tears and the cake thing. Honestly, getting older has never really bothered me other than the general acknowledgement that everything is harder than it used to be from getting out of bed to getting over drinking a bottle of wine–the things that used to be nothing more than a second thought have become a reminder that the ol’ body isn’t as wirey as it used to be.
Back to the point, as I was laying there thinking about getting older, I started thinking about planning. With things getting harder to do, what can I do to make them easier and to live a happier, healthier, saner lifestyle. If you read this blog, or know me in person, you know I’m notorious for making plans to do something within the next year. This time, however, I’m thinking bigger. I’m thinking longer. I’m thinking of a 5 year plan.
Kidding! We all know I’m too pretty for jail. And by pretty I mean “Soft, lazy, and scared of the dark” for jail. Here’s some things I’d like to accomplish in the next five years:
- Finish my Master’s. This is the big one and actually isn’t going to be the easiest to do in just five years. I start back to school in January and I’ll be taking one Master’s class per semester. If I take summer classes, it’s going to take me approximately 100 years to complete the degree. Or 5. Math’s never been my strong suit. When I’m 40, I want to be able to say “Whew, that’s done” and be able to reflect back on how it’s improved my career.
- Find a healthy lifestyle that I can stick with forever. Okay, maybe this is the big one. I’ve said this a million times, but I really do want to get and stay healthy. I am tired of the yo-yoing back and forth but I’m not getting better at dropping that game. I’ve started really thinking about what I want to do, the kind of life I want to live, and how I can handle situations that lead to negative choices without making the negative choices. Good news: I’ve come up with a plan. Bad news: I’m going to have to live in a cave and stop all communication with the outside world. This may impact #1.
Honestly, it’s a lot of thinking without a lot of action. I feel like I’m on to something, though, because I normally dive in to things without a plan, especially when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. That works well for maybe two weeks, but it isn’t a sustainable plan. With taking the time to plan and really think about things, I’m hoping that when I’m 40 I’ll be a little less achy and a little more likely to fit in to my skinny jeans without throwing out a hip.
- Get my finances straight. I take it all back. This is definitely the big one. Finances cause me more stress and sleepless nights than either of the other two before. Really, #1 and #2 could probably be listed as “wants” whereas this one is a “need.” Nothing would make me happier then if I could be out of debt by the time I’m 40. This isn’t a realistic goal, though, and I know it. For one, I own a house. Yes, I have renters but that debt isn’t going away until I’m almost 60 and this isn’t a 21 year life plan. However, I can get my rotating debt under control. Knock a chunk out of the student loans, especially since I don’t qualify for any more to cover my Master’s degree.Pay off my car and credit cards. Buy a second home somewhere that it isn’t cold and be a lady of luxury. The last part might not be a smart part of the plan, but you’ve got to have a little bit of a dream, right?
- Keep on being happy. For the past two years, I’ve been living a happy life. I’d like to keep doing that for the rest of my life. Yes, there are ups and downs, but the average of times swing towards happiness. I want to keep that trend going. Life is too short to be unhappy and miserable.
Believe it or not, that’s it. This plan obviously needs fleshed out more but it’s where I’m starting. Welcome, everyone, to my 35th year of life (plus one day). It’s time to slay.