Twenty-Six and Living Intentionally

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.
Produce poster by Chasing Delicious

Produce poster by Chasing Delicious

  • 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!

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