Yesterday was my birthday. It wasn’t a day much out of the ordinary – I ran in the morning, went grocery shopping, did some laundry, worked on some projects. Nothing crazy. But I ran precisely 4.1 miles to celebrate finishing my 41st year. I squeezed in a pedicure before I went to the grocery store. I went to lunch with my husband (showing off my toes by wearing flip flops… yes, in January). I enjoyed my favorite birthday dinner with my entire family at the dinner table. I didn’t need crazy. I had family, friends and plenty of activity. That’s the recipe for a good day around here.
I ran in Chicago in races and just for fun. I hiked/ran Dunes trails for the first time. I held my newborn nephew. I took my kids to the Deep South. I went underground in enormous caves and climbed out on the ledge at Willis Tower. I cooked lots of good food. I survived the adventure that was driving through a multi-state power/gas outage. I did lots of new things, read plenty of books and got in some great beach time.
It really was a fantastic year. This is the part of the birthday interview where I ask my kids to tell me their favorite things. As an adult, my favorite things don’t really change from year to year. So I’ll skip right to the Q&A portion:
What did you request for your birthday dinner?
I didn’t have to request anything. My daughter & mother volunteered to make ravioli soup and tonight I get to go out to dinner with my husband. That’s like a bonus birthday dinner.
What is something that can always make you smile?
Watching my kids do something new. The look in their eyes as we explored, hiked and learned this summer might just have been better than the amazing views. I’ll never get tired of taking my kids places.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’ll shift this to what do I want from my work life these days: balance.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
Oh there are so many, many choices. The list of places I want to take my children includes Disney World, New York City, another wandering road trip that goes through Philadelphia, Boston and Maine. I’d love to spend time hiking in the Smoky Mountains and walk the streets of Washington D.C. I’ve got more ideas in mind – but that’s a good list for now.
What do you love about each person in our family?
I love watching my children grow up. It’s bittersweet you know, but so cool to watch them figure out who they are and be a part of their journey. I love that my husband knew that giving me a cookbook autographed by Bobby Flay would be an awesome birthday present (it’s nice being married to your best friend)
What were some of your best memories from this past year?
The Great American Road Trip II. There are enough memories from that trip alone to make this a fantastic year. Other favorites? Running through Disney parks (and feeling strong while doing it). A handful of extra special runs with wonderful friends. Finishing our basement and the fun times we’ve already had down there.
What are some of your wishes for this year?
Last year I didn’t set very specific goals but they were very good wishes: To appreciate the people in my life who make it good. To be an active participant in all areas of my life. To challenge myself and to learn new things and to laugh often.
When I can remember to focus on those three things, the results are always good. I’m going to keep those same wishes and add just one more: Find more balance.