My birthday is Sunday. It snuck up on me, which I suppose is what happens when you become an adult and don’t spend the month before either a) begging your mom to let you have a sleepover, or b) planning a theme party in your dorm room. No, this Sunday will be simple: some afternoon beers and brats with friends at the local beer hall.
A few years ago, I might have been completely against celebrating on a Sunday (and not only because Sunday drinking is more prevalent in adults that don’t have the opportunity to binge-drink five days a week like they did in college). Who would want to come out on a Sunday? What if no one did? Must. have. birthday. on a day that will get the most affirmative RSVPs. It’s amazing what a few years and a bit of confidence will do for you. Nowadays, I’m secure enough in my friendships that, should someone not attend, I know it’s nothing personal. I’ll catch up with them over dinner or a drink in a few weeks, it’ll be okay.
That being said, I hope at least one person shows up. If only so that I’m not sitting at a beer hall drinking alone on a Sunday. I don’t want people getting ideas.
Can you believe that isn’t even the point of this post? I just rambled and shared my years-gone-by insecurities with you and that wasn’t even the intention of this post.
Nice segue though, right? Since I don’t anticipate any major changes in my life during my 26th year (except a new apartment, but that’s another post entirely), I decided to dedicate it to living intentionally. When you Google “living intentionally” a lot of religious stuff comes up. That’s not me. Other search results lead to fancy feng shui and expensive consultants that will help you live a fulfilling life. That’s not me either.
So what the heck does it mean for me?
I think I live a pretty fulfilling life as is. I have rich friendships, a wonderful beau, and a close-knit family. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take control of my own happiness and well-being beyond the relationships that I have. And it doesn’t mean that I can’t make an effort to enrich the lives of others around me in whatever way I can.
Whew. So, I spent some time putting together a list of ways I can live more intentionally, both this year and going forward:
- Buying fair-trade coffee and being more conscious of buying in-season fruits and vegetables. Fair-trade coffee is pretty straightforward and it’s widely available (at least in Brooklyn). In-season produce is cheaper, fresher, tastes better, and often consumes less energy from farm-to-store. I don’t drive, I always take public transportation or walk, but this is one way I can further reduce my carbon footprint. Plus, it will give me an excuse to print and frame these beauties in my new kitchen.
- Owning less stuff. When I pack to move, I plan on being ruthless. Clothes I haven’t worn, books I haven’t read (yes, this is serious), half-used hair products that have been sitting in my nightstand for months, gone. I want to donate, I want to trash, I don’t want to unpack anything I don’t plan on using. That’s a waste of time. I’m not quite ready to get rid of everything (I have no need to live out of a suitcase, after all), but I put The Everyday Minimalist in my Google Reader, so that’s something, right?
- Making more of an effort to explore the city. I’ve done walking tours and love picnicking in Prospect Park, sure, but there is so much I haven’t done! I haven’t been to a Broadway play in two years. I still haven’t been to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and it’s approximately ten minutes from my apartment. The beau and I have a list of things we want to do, it’s time to work on checking those things off. Without a camera. For so long I’ve been the person that tries to photo-document everything (and then make scrapbooks out of it), but I want to make this year one where I just experience things without worrying about getting the camera/phone out to take a few pictures. The scrapbooks can be reserved for more momentous things.
Those are three good goals to start, I think. It’s not a “bucket list”, per se, but it will give me something to focus on. Can you think of any glaring omissions? Let me know, I’m open to suggestions!