Add Another Candle

I am now 27-years-old. Another candle is being added to my cake and I could not be happier. So many people dread the aging process and are “forever 29,” but I relish what each new year brings to my life. Every year I am taking another step in the direction God is leading me to go.

It has become a tradition with my blog to post on my birthday about my life and what has changed over the course of one year. I began this tradition in 2014 when I turned 23 in “The Life of a Twenty-Something” and talked about myself growing up. Then in 2015 I discussed finding my faith again in “The Year I Grew Up” and how life had changed so drastically in one year. Then in 2016 I wrote letters to my younger selves giving advice on how I would do things differently. This year, however, I want to focus on my future…

As a 26-year-old, life was rapid. On my birthday last year I was newly engaged, already stressing about wedding preparation, and focusing on bettering myself to become a good wife. Since last October, I have not only gotten married to my best friend, but also completely switched career paths from the active event industry to the routine and stable nonprofit world. And if those two transitions weren’t big enough, G and I also bought our first house. So, yeah, this past year has consisted of a lot of up-current swimming.

It is no longer a surprise when transitions occur. Life changes, and I am quickly adaptable. However, with another year drawing me closer to the big 3-0, I want to set some goals for myself to continue striving forward. Sooner or later my life is going to be consumed with motherhood (God willing) and my goals are going to take the back seat. Before life becomes even more hectic, there are a few things I would like to achieve though:

Begin my own business
This is something I have been wanting to do for awhile now. I won’t go into details – yet – but I would like to open and run my own creative business in the near future. Not only for an additional income, which is always welcomed, but also to give me a goal-oriented hobby that comes with accountability. I have my base-work figured out, so we will see how things unfold over the coming months.

Strengthen my physical self
Working out and weight lifting have been a part of my life for several years, but the habits fell to the wayside over the past year. The lack of activity is becoming more and more clear as I suffer body aches and lowered self esteem nowadays. It is my goal to begin incorporating yoga, weight lifting, and HIIT back into my life on a regular weekly basis. With life finally slowing down now that we are moved into the new house and my daily schedule is becoming more routine, there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Go minimalist
I have been slowly edging towards a minimal closet since my Spring 2018 cleaning spree. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of clothing I either have seldom worn or are no longer in-line with my styling. I would like to slim my closet down to 50 pieces only. That means only 50 articles of clothing including shirts, pants, layers, and dresses. I continue to get rid of specific items as I peruse through my closet, but with only 50 items to choose from in the future I imagine life will become that much easier because the greatest amount of my time each morning is spent trying on different outfits just to choose the same ones I wear every week.

Explore two new places
G and I have plans to explore the Northeast Coast for our 1-year anniversary, but I would also like to schedule a mini-vacation to one additional location sometime within the next year. Perhaps Brown County or Wisconsin Dells. Somewhere not requiring more than a weekend, but also somewhere I have never been before.

Nourish my mind
I once would have labeled myself as a bookworm, but it has been some time since I’ve actively read book after book for the simple pleasure of doing so. I recently began a book club with some girlfriends which has encouraged me to read at least one book a month, but I would like to push myself harder. My SMART goal for nourishing my mind is to focus on reading 20 pages every day. Be that 10 pages in the morning and 10 at night, or 20 altogether, twenty is not a huge number and should have me flipping through covers like a pro in no time.

Life is hectic, and it seems to be gathering steam as each day passes. So I am setting these five goals for my future with the hopes to achieve at least one before next October 13th. When I look back over my 26th year, I am aware of how quickly things can change. I learn this more and more each year. And I know one year is a short amount of time to cross each of these goals off my list. As I transition into being 27 I know I might not accomplish all these goals over the course of the next year, but I do want to at least begin taking the steps forward in setting the foundations for each goal.

Now I need to get ready for a fun and entertaining day with my husband to celebrate me. I have never been one to make a big deal about my birthday, but I am thankful to have a man who treasures me enough to cause a fuss over the ordeal. Not only are we traveling to my favorite restaurant this evening (sushi, get in my tummy…), but we are also spending some quality time doing “Autumn activities” like visiting a cider mill, picking some apples, and getting spooked at a haunted house. He definitely knows the way to my heart!

Thank you to all my friends and family members who have wished me a HBD so far, and to everyone who will throughout the day. It is a wonderful thing to be loved.

To another year, friends,

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9 thoughts on “Add Another Candle

  1. Happy Birthday Kid!!! I think we are at that point where we stop talking about how old we are lol. I hope you have a great day, looking forward to hanging out tomorrow.

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  2. Happy birthday!!! Have a wonderful day!!!! You are amazing inside and out and I am thankful for you!!! Hopefully we can find a time soon to hand out and drink a little wine!

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  3. Happy Birthday, Ashley! Have you ever been to Nashville, IN in Brown County? It’s a really cute little touristy town there and is absolutely beautiful this time of year.

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    1. Thank you, Michele! I have not been to Nashville, IN, but that is somewhere we are considering visiting soon. My husband is originally from Southern Indiana, so he knows that area well. Perhaps next color season we will get to visit! Thank you for the recommendation!

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