As my birthday approaches, I am excited to say that I will be 35. I am happy to admit it and am looking forward to celebrating it. I know that birthdays for a lot of people can be scary. Not everyone likes to admit it’s their birthday, they hate admitting how old they are, they don’t want to celebrate, and it’s all because, for whatever reason, birthdays have a tendency to make us feel bad about ourselves. I think most people feel that they aren’t in the place they thought they’d be at their age which is why, as we turn another year older, we start to feel down. It seems to some, that time continues to pass, but they’re standing still. Common things I’ve found that people are often unhappy about are: how their body looks, their weight, their job, their relationship, or the fact that they aren’t in one, they haven’t started a family, etc… So birthdays tend to be a reminder of all the things we don’t like about ourselves or what we don’t have in our lives, so I’d like to change that.
I am here to tell you that there is no rule out there that says that you are supposed to be at a certain weight, have a certain job, be married, own a home, have 4 kids, etc… by a certain age/time. It doesn’t exist. We create these ideas in our minds and set expectations for ourselves that are sometimes so unrealistic. Yet, when we don’t do it, we are faced with feelings of grief or disappointment. We need to stop putting so much pressure on ourselves to be and do what we think we need to be/do and start loving our life for what it is and loving ourselves for who we are. It’s time to start celebrating ourselves, our incredible life, and our birthday. Birthdays are an opportunity to remind ourselves of all the good we have. A time to celebrate life and enjoy all the people around us. They aren’t a time for guilt or disappointment. Making lists of what you want and setting goals for yourself is great and important, but that’s for a different day. On your birthday, take a few moments to reflect on your life and begin to celebrate it and for being uniquely you!!
For this week’s blog, as a way for me to honor my 35 years on this earth, I’d like to share 35 of my favorite accomplishments. Maybe this will inspire you to create your own list, reflect on your own accomplishments and feel proud of yourself. Let’s all start focusing on our successes and not on the things we have yet to do. Those things will come!
Here are some of mine- starting from a few when I was a kid to present day
- As a kid, I was a great softball player. I played catcher & outfield. I even played on a traveling team. My mom coached me and never missed a game. Thanks mom 😉
- I loved horseback riding. I took lessons on Sundays and loved every minute of it. My favorite vacation was at a dude ranch.
- I was an awesome roller skater. I went roller skating every
Saturday. I would wear my cousin’s old dance costumes and pretend I was a pro skater.
- In elementary school, I learned how to play the clarinet & sang in the choir.
- In middle school, I was great at dying my hair multiple colors and my friends hair lol.
- In high school, I volunteered at soup kitchens.
- In high school, I was the President of the drama club. From a young age, I always liked having an audience!
- I became an aunt at age 20 when CJ came into the world. Then our family quickly grew. Now, I have 3 incredible nephews and 1 wonderful niece from my side of my family.
- In college, I volunteered for therapeutic horseback riding.
- I went to Providence College and graduated with a degree in Elementary/Special Education.
- I received a Master’s in Special Education from Wheelock College.
- I received my Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in School Administration form Emmanuel College.
- Became certified in Wilson Reading Systems and started working with students with Dyslexia.
- Helped hundreds of children learn to read.
- I developed my own Life Skills Program and implemented it with the help of an incredible assistant teacher, wonderful friend, and now incredible nurse, Helen.
- Bought my own home at 24 years old in Brookline, MA. Met my best friend and future husband playing co-ed softball when I was 25. My friend and coworker, Cat introduced us. Thanks Cat!
- At 26, I got engaged.
- From 26 -27, I joined weight watchers and a gym and lost over 35 pounds- going from a size 12 to a size 6.
- On July 24, 2009, I got married on the beach in Long Branch, NJ- barefoot in the sand, it was perfect and our dog Sebastian was the ring bearer.
- My family continued to grow- in laws, new sister and brother in laws, nieces, nephews- combining families was great. Just more people for you to love and have love you back!!
- At 29, I became an inclusion specialist, worked as a supervisor, and was in charge of staff development and running monthly staff trainings.
- Volunteered and organized several fundraising events for Operation Smile.
- Moved to NJ and became a learning consultant. Met incredible friends and colleagues.
- At age 31, I received my yoga teacher certification.
- At age 31, my husband and I bought our first home together.
- In January 2012, I started “really” running and joined a running group- Run Around Princeton (RAP). I love all my RAP peeps, especially my running Wife- Anne. Her and I have done some crazy things together!!
- In November of 2013, I ran my first marathon-The Philadelphia Marathon (where we met Kanye West!)
- At 32, I received my CrossFit coaching certification and began working at CrossFit Nassau- after having completed a 6 monthinternship under the incredible supervision of Justin D. CrossFit also introduced me to two of my bestest friends and swole sisters for life- Beth and Kristen.
- In April 2015, I became an ambassadorfor lululemon. My lulu family is the best and I am so grateful to have them all in my life. I appreciate their support and always believing in me, even when I didn’t always believe in myself.
- At age 33, I quit my job to pursue a career in fitness and began working on my dream of opening a yoga studio.
- In January 2016, while waiting to locate a space for my yoga studio, I started my own Education Consulting company and began working at The College of NJ. I also started this blog!!
- I have raised several thousand dollars for the Special Olympics
and Autism Speaks – two charities near and dear to my heart.
- From 2013-2016, I had the privilege of traveling to severalcountries, ran 9marathons in total (5 of the 6 world major marathons), 2 ultramarathons (50K), countless half marathons, 4 triathlons, became a fleet leader for the group- We Finish Together, and finally secured a location for my yoga studio.
- Now as I turn 35, I could not feel more grateful and blessed. I am so appreciative of my wonderful husband,my family, my friends, and my 3 dogs, and am so looking forward to what the following year brings. I am super excited to finally be opening Empower Yoga!!
Thank you all for taking the time to read this. I appreciate everyone who has helped me, believed in me, and supported me along the way. I am who I am because of who you all are and I am so grateful!! Thanks! Happy Birthday to Me!!