I am 36 today. At least it’s 40… not yet!

Even with all the beautiful photos we put up Facebook or our blog, it’s easy to think that someone’s life is perfect or charmed.  I’m surrounded by so many blessings daily, and my gratitude is abundant, but  I’ve had my fair share of stress, challenges and failures in my 36 years of life. I am not alone in this, as I listen and watch as family, friends and neighbors struggle with their challenges in life. Isn’t this the stuff of life? The comfort of the mundane can drive us to insanity. The joys of life can be overshadowed by feelings of failure or the beauty of a new day is clouded by a long to-do list.

Lately I’ve been more prone to fatigue, and often discouraged more than usual. One day I think I’m doing just fine, being productive and full of energy, when suddenly I feel sad, angry or resentful.

The last few years I have found myself  “surviving”. Checking it off a list, scheduling and completing, jumping from one thing to the other etc. Things are getting accomplished but the end result is ehh….who cares.

In the sea of self help books, experts, counselors, know it alls and follow me I have the secret sauce.  The secret sauce lies in us. It’s unlocking who we are. It doesn’t matter how many blogs or self help book you read, you have to take action. It’s our ability to give ourselves credit for our short comings, power to work through our fears and truly believe in our ideas, thoughts and love. It’s trusting we are enough and loving ourselves. (Regardless of how many “followers or friends” we have on Facebook, in this society of he who has the most followers wins, and we are more disconnected then ever before.)

As I blow out the candles this year, here are the things that I am trying to add to my secret sauce. {No, there aren’t 36 items for my age because I just writing and this is what ya get!)

1. Gratitude puts everything perspective.  It makes the frustrating day not as bad because my know blessing are abundant!

2. You can be anything, but you must give yourself permission first. I was better at this in my early 20’s. Somewhere I shut myself down. Working on this.

3. Life and identity crisises are on-going.  I think this is the great lie we tell ourselves. Fix what is broken, make more money, achieve a goal, change your hair style and ta da.. all better. No problems. Nope!

4. Have faith, jump, and the net will appear. I have lived my life like this. I’ve been criticized for this approach. I’ll be honest, the net has launched me on the ground and I’ve fallen flat on my face more than once. Still trying to jump!

5. Life unfolds in unexpected ways.

6. Working from home isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes discipline, the ability to talk to yourself and willpower not to eat every 30 minutes or do laundry.

7. I have made the decision to start refusing work “because I need the money.” Needing the money is a ME problem. I don’t want to do it. I deserve to do work that thrills me (clients deserve to have their work done by someone who is thrilled to be doing it). There is a difference between creating work that is rewarding and doing something to get paid. I want to do work that I enjoy doing. If I am doing good work, then  #4 the net will appear aka money will come when it needs to.

8. The reason I get up…….: I get up every morning because I am the mother to 2 wonderful girls, the wife to a supportive and loving husband, to do work I LOVE and to inflict self pain by training for my 2013 goal of completing an half Ironman, to be a friend, a sister and because LIFE IS SHOULD BE LIVED TO IT’s FULLEST! Always a reason to get up in the morning.

9. Tired of plaguing myself with can’t. Things are  hard – they always will be. But lately I’ve missed out on certain things because I thought, “I can’t…”  Now that’s just dumb Meg.

10. You have to be 100% responsible for your life. Nobody is going to do it for you.

11. Money doesn’t buy you happiness. Stuff breaks, money doesn’t last and the almighty dollar doesn’t replace 30 minutes of laughing with your family.

12. There’s never a perfect time to start. This is hard for my clients and hard for me. There’s a reason Nike says “Just Do it.” Gotta START somewhere.

13. I feel much better when I exercise. As much as exercise is a love hate relationship. I feel better when I do it. It clears my head, makes me feel better and is making me look better. BAM!

14. Holy crap, I am doing an 70.3 Ironman in May

15. I am the mother to teenagers.  It’s rewarding, challenging, wonderful, stressful, scary and I hope to make it through the next 10 years without going completely grey or requiring a straight jacket! :) Only because I love my kids so much. Watching them find themselves is hard when all you want them to do is wrap them in bubble wrap and give them the perfect life.

16. You can’t please everyone. Even when you try. They are never happy. Do your best. Move on, don’t take it personally. If you gave it your all and they are still complaining, it’s their problem, not yours.

17. Sometimes you need reassurance, and nice things said to you when you are down. I have found when I am down, all it takes is love, kind words, & support.

18. It’s TIME I do something bold, daring and SUPER FUN! I am launching  a new business venture called womenraces.com 

This year, when I blow out those candles and make my wish. I won’t be wishing. I’ll be fueling the spark that is within me.

Random extra thought:

Self help books can be helpful. Which by the way, I am loving the book. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown