Banishing TO DO, Choosing TO BE: A List of 34 Things in my 34th Year {Happy Birthday to Me!}

Originally published Monday, 02 June 2014.

Happy Birthday to ME!!

Yo. It's my birthday. Woot. Woot.

And my 34th year looks pretty freakin' amazing. For a number of reasons. 

First of all, can I tell you how much I love my tiny humans? 

Crazy Toddler is becoming a Fabulous Preschooler. That kid makes my day. All of the days. I love his quirks and idiosyncrasies. The way he talks and sings and laughs so loud so much. The stuff he's interested in and the stuff that takes some convincing. I love how much he loves to snuggle and read and be around "his people." You guys. He's just the best.

(This is how he winks. I die.)

And the twins are in the red hot center of maximum cuteness zone. No crawling or walking to add to the chaos yet. Just cuddling and eating and sleeping a lot which allows me time and energy to dwell on their cuteness and love them when they are awake. 

Killing me with cuteness. And tiny twin finger nails.

Also, my husband. Oh yeah! There he is! Now that the twins are 7 months old and we have emerged from the keep-your-head-down-and-just-keep-wiping-butts-and-cleaning-spit-up-and-ignore-the-complete-and-utter-lack-of-sleep-and-personal-hygiene portion of newborn parenthood, my husband is back. We are back. 

We have gone on dates, people. Dates! Plural! Guess what? He is funny! Like literally laugh out loud funny, not just type LOL funny. And handsome and interesting and a crazy good dad, which, by the way, is knock-my-socks-off attractive. You know what else is knock-my-socks-off attractive? They way he has kindly, lovingly, patiently taken care of me since all this twin pregnancy/birth/newborn business punched me in the face. The dude is killing it.

(Best dad ever.  Swoon.)

Then there are my friends, family, and church who have kept me completely blanketed in prayer, love, support, and encouraging texts for the last year.

With all of these people in my life, I'm pretty excited about year 34.

But as I have been known to do, by anyone that knows me, I have been reflecting on the last 34 years and what I want out of the next one. So I came up with a list.

This isn't your typical lose weight/exercise/give up chocolate/take up yoga kind of "New Year's Resolution" sort of list. This list is more about shaping who I am rather than getting in shape. I didn't want another list of things to do, though I love me a "To Do" list. I wanted to make a to be list, with each item selected based on who it makes me, how it renews and transforms me. I wanted a list that would add adjectives to my description. Marie is a listener, a reader. Obedient, helpful, tenacious, persistent, etc.

Who do I want to be?

What would be on your list? What adjective would you choose? What habits or activities would you add or remove to be that person? To be different? Or perhaps to be more like you used to be? It's an interesting concept.

So here are 34 things to be for my 34th year. Who do I want to be (not just DO) this year? Here's a glimpse...

(more posts on each item coming soon!)

  1. Read more
  2. Fart around on the internet/Social Media/Netflix/Hulu less
  3. (Actively) Listen more
  4. Think about myself less (not less of myself) and hold my thoughts captive
  5. (Actively) Think about others more cultivating empathy and compassion in my thoughts, then words, then actions
  6. Embrace a Biblical redefinition of beauty
  7. Eat food that fuels my body
  8. Eat food that fuels my relationships
  9. Eat food that fuels my heart & soul
  10. Feed others
  11. Obey (God) Right Away
  12. (Really) Be a "Big Helper"
  13. Do Hard Things 
  14. Try, Try Again
  15. Treat my words (spoken, typed, or texted) like weapons and water
  16. Be a "Gentle" Mom/Wife/Daughter/Sister/Friend
  17. Share generously
  18. Encourage lavishly
  19. Laugh raucously
  20. Pray fervently
  21. Strengthen my body
  22. Strengthen my relationships
  23. Strengthen my heart & soul
  24. Sing more
  25. Dance more
  26. Listen to more music
  27. Experience more art & culture
  28. Clock some serious time with Jesus
  29. Stubbornly, passionately, tangibly love my husband
  30. Stubbornly, passionately, tangibly love my kids
  31. Build my Tribe of Sister-Friends 
  32. Learn something new and (even if ever-so-slightly) dangerous
  33. Re-learn something old and long-forgotten
  34. Don't get too attached to any of the above

Well, that's who I wanna be. For now.

What do you think of my list? This concept in general? Do any of these stick out to you? What would you put on your list? I'd love your input!