Did I finish my 30 Before 30 List?
In a word, no.
Before you are incredibly unimpressed, because *I* thought I would be if I didn’t finish, I feel fine about it.
By the grace of God, I accomplished some pretty heavy stuff on this list.
I was diagnosed with stage 1 melanoma in July, had it successfully removed and am going in for my first 3-month check next week. Being diagnosed with cancer: a) wears you out b) makes you tougher c) makes you appreciate this gift called life like you didn’t know you could d) is a game-changer. I am thankful to be cancer-free and am praying to stay that way. My diagnosis did not happen in vain, I know many of you have gone in for your long-overdue or even first skin-check because of my story. Thanks for listening to my journey.
Another biggie: reading the Bible cover to cover. I realize there are lots of people out there that will stop reading this or skip over the Bible-stuff I mention here. But I pray they don’t. I really don’t have words eloquent enough to explain how actually DIGGING in and reading all 66 books of the Bible changed me. I grew up in a Christian home, read bits & pieces of the Bible over the last 30 years – but shame on ME, I never made time to read it cover to cover. What did I learn? Well, God is bigger than I expected/knew. He never changes, but that understanding now is amplified for me. I learned that it truly is BEST to read the WHOLE story with an open mind & heart and not take little clips of the Bible out of context. This is how people get confused about what God’s truth is (or isn’t). Reading the whole Bible was like finally seeing an entire movie I’ve only seen previews for. Loved the previews, but it wasn’t a cohesive story until all 66 segments would digested together & in order. I feel bad that I was a Christian for SO long before I read the entire Bible… because now I see that I was telling people (back to my movie analogy) “that’s my FAVORITE movie” but never seeing it. Well I’ve “seen it” now & I will continue to re-read it again & again.
I am looking forward to doing a couple of items on my list in the next month or two – like jogging a 5k (for the first time in a long-time) and going to Weekend to Remember with my husband. Since I signed up for these things before my birthday, I am counting these items as “accomplished.”
As I think back to when I wrote my list, I was pretty focused on reclaiming my body (after 40 weeks of pregnancy and 18 months of nursing). Who wouldn’t be? But over the last 6 months, I have learned that my body is not mine. First of all, it belongs to the Lord and second of all, because I’m married, Chris & I belong to each other. Feeling valued by my muscle tone or ability to run without stopping is silly. There’s nothing of eternal value there.
While I blame hypothyroidism, an inordinate amount of stress with having skin cancer and various personal-life happenings, for still have “baby weight” to lose, I am really starting to understand that I need to do things to honor the Lord and not glorify myself/my body. I think being in shape and looking good should be a reflection of what’s going on in the inside. The inside got a HUGE face-lift this year – so now I’m hoping it starts to show more on the outside.
I’m so thankful I made a 30 Before 30 List and am already thinking about a 35 before 35 List… :)
THE list (copied from my original post):
1. Make photos albums for OUR family pictures. Shame on me (the professional photographer) for not doing this for the past 10 years! (working on organizing pictures)
Finish nursing our son. I’m a HUGE breastfeeding advocate - but as of today (March 12th) he’s almost 18 months old & it’s time!! (DONE! 3/23/12)
3. Lose the rest of the baby weight. (I hope this gets easier once we are done nursing). (ongoing, but doing P90X to reach my goal)
4. Lose a little extra weight, with the goal in mind of getting more lean muscle, so I can play & keep up with Little Dude! (see #3)
Whiten my teeth. It’s been over 27 months since I’ve used a whitening toothpaste (avoided chemicals while pregnant & nursing)… yep, I notice a difference. (using Whitening Mouthwash… this stuff BURNS! Not going to do it much longer 4/1/12)
Do a body cleanse. (in progress: 4/11/12)
7. do a 5k & jog the whole way (this will take extensive cross-training between water aerobics, pilates/yoga, elliptical, biking & yes, jogging). Once upon a time, a 5k was easy for me. (going to start running again now that I’m stronger from doing P90X) Signed up for the Eerie Erie 5k, which is in October.
Purge clothes that don’t fit right… not talking size here, I’m talking they made the shirt too short, or it’s cut weird, etc. That means I have to make time to try everything on after the baby weight is gone… (DONE 6/27/12 – going to sell them at our garage sale, then donate the rest)
hire someone to paint our master bedroom & bathroom – it is SO sad to me that we have white walls in there. Sad. (doing a color consult tomorrow! 9/9/12)
revamp my personal blog (DONE! 4/13/12) Check it out!
11. allow myself 1-2 girls-nights-out a month (HAD 1 NIGHT OUT IN MARCH, the summer is a blur, but I had one night out in September… planning to get better about this!)
donate shoes that don’t fit post-pregnancy (had garage sale & got rid of them there)
13. get a punching bag for the basement (I guess this was just an “angry” phase, because I am pretty indifferent about having one now. Right now I’m focusing on that 5k!
learn how to crochet a hat (done! August)
finish the blanket I’m crocheting & give it to the recipients (done! & even made a little bonus baby blanket! thanks to my mom for helping when she went on a road trip! 6/15/12)
16. complete the outline for my book project (working on it)
allow myself to take a nap when our son naps at least once a month (TOOK A NAP IN MARCH, APRIL, MAY, JUNE, definitely took a few in July having melanoma, August & September were catch-up months)
18. take 24 hours away for myself: just me & my camera. - Well, I am a little sad about not completing this one but I have no regrets NOT doing it. With my husband’s work schedule, it just wasn’t possible. I will do this sometime before I turn 40.
get at least 3 massages (GOT A MASSAGE IN MARCH, APRIL & JUNE!)
have a “fancy” dinner with hubby on our 8th wedding anniversary 6/26/12 DONE! We went to the Melting Pot
have a family picnic (had one with Little Dude in our family room on my birthday for lunch: blanket, picnic basket, food & even a citronella candle; I would have preferred to have one with the 3 of us, but I made the best out of my circumstances)
have our family portraits taken at least twice (Little Dude is growing like crazy!) (HAD FAMILY PORTRAITS IN MARCH, SEPTEMBER)
23. have some friends over for tea & snacks at least twice (note to self: I’m not good at inviting friends over for myself… we have had playdates but no mom-dates)
24. write my own personal mission statement (not business related, just for myself) (STILL WORKING ON THIS… IT’S A VERY COMPLEX THING TO WRAP MY MIND AROUND)
Go to the dermatologist & get the full-skin-check again (it’s been a few years). 6/26/12 DONE! *melanoma removal July 17th, 2012* Praise Jesus, they removed all the cancer… my 3-month checkup is next week!
Try a bunch of different egg preparations & decide what my favorite is. Like Julia Roberts on Runaway Bride. This was really fun to do. I tried: hard boiled, soft-boiled, poached, deviled, scrambled, eggs Benedict, casserole, quiche, omelette, fried, sunny side up – as many as I could think of. I was pleasantly surprised & really enjoyed expanding my culinary horizons. I don’t have a “favorite” – it really depends on my mood.
make at least one non-photographer new friend who lives nearby (DONE! August 2012)
28. paint some wall art for our dining room. I have the inspiration. I have the tools. I just need to work up the courage to do it! (and make time) (I did not do this yet – partially because what I want to do will cost some money we spent some money on painting actual walls in the house… so this one will need to wait. Probably until the spring since it will be messy and I’d rather be able to open the windows to paint)
attend A Weekend to Remember with my husband & leave Little Dude in the care of my mom or sister (or both) (BOOKED for this winter on 4/14/12)
read the entire Bible, cover to cover (finished the Old Testament 6/7/12, COMPLETE! 6/29/12… and I can’t wait to read it again! Why didn’t I do this sooner?! I have such a thirst for going back and re-reading and digging deeper into His word now. Best decision ever!)