As I turn 40 soon, I wanted to share 40 things about me, things I have learned, rules I live by or just random things. I mean, you all probably don’t care, but this will be a reminder to me of who I am, what I have learned and where I’m heading. Let the next 40 years begin!!!
*These are in no particular order
1. I loved my 30s. I had a blast. I traveled, became a mom, shed some weight (both literally and figuratively) and lived alone (without a roommate, parents, etc) for the very first time in my life. I did it BIG and loved it!
2. I am a pretty good mom. I know I have a lot to learn and there are areas where I can certainly grow, but I think; for the most part I am doing a good job.
3. I love my job. It’s been a weird transition, but I really feel like I am in a good rhythm now. I enjoy the team of people I work with and I really love the work that I am doing. I feel so good about it.
4. My relationship with God is in a really great place. I love where I am in this love affair with the creator of the universe.
5. I really enjoy “me” time balanced with Team Williams time. I have been doing a good job of making sure that I make time for both.
6. I have a weird obsession with sunrises and sunsets. Not sure why. Maybe it’s a reminder of a new day or the end of the day.
7. I love that K has a weird obsession with my feet. While I am not a fan of my feet, I do take care of them and K has a peculiar obsession with them—and I don’t mind a bit
8. I am so proud of the circle of friends that I have in my life right now. I have chosen wisely and I encourage you to do the same. They come in all shapes and sizes. They are from every race. They are divergent in their religious beliefs. They love people like I do—no matter what. I am so blessed to call them my chosen family.
9. I am so blessed to be able to volunteer some of my time and give back to my community. Whether it’s through youth mentoring or just hanging with my friend Phil at Starbucks once a week, I know that I walk away from these instances the better and more blessed.
10. Over the past several years, I have really been getting involved with children’s church. I love it! I love these kids. They keep me young. They teach me a thing or two or 20!
11. I am blessed with 2 of the best parents ever. We don’t always agree. We don’t always see eye to eye; however, I know that they always love me. Not only that, they LOVE their grandson!
12. K’s birth mom. I have so much love for this woman. Words will never express my love and appreciation for her.
13. I want to travel to Australia and Antarctica. Those are the only 2 continents that I haven’t been to. I will make it there!
14. Being the baby of the family can suck but it also has its benefits.
15. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. It’s always pretty good even when it’s “bad”!
16. If possible, pay off your credit cards every month. No really, if you can, handle that! Don’t carry around that kind of debt.
17. I cry A LOT! It’s ok, let it out. I have quit trying to pretend that I have something in my eye or that there is dust in my eye! No, I’m a crier!
18. I have made peace with my past. No matter who I was, it’s ok because it led me to today. Do I wish that there were a few things I had handled differently, sure. But as far as regrets—not a one.
19. Share don’t compare. When you start comparing your life, your money, your have’s from the have not’s—it could depress you. Love what is happening in your life and in your friend’s lives. Rejoice with them! We are all on a different journey!
20. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. Own it, do it, and live your own truth!
21. No matter what is going on—when it’s “showtime” it’s “showtime”! Show up, show out and handle your business. I had a mentor who shared this with me when I was 23. I was crying in her office about some boy and I was supposed to teach class for her that afternoon. She grabbed my shoulders and said something to the effect of, “No one cares what’s going on in your life. It’s showtime. Shoulders back, wipe your face and get in that classroom. It’s time to be a grown up. You can go home tonight and cry all night long. But for the next 75 minutes, you will show up and show out!” Some of the best advice I have ever gotten!
22. Love. No matter if it’s a pet, a parent, a lover or a friend. Love deeply and with everything you have. It’s worth it every single time.
23. Never stop believing in miracles. They are around us every day, every second. Be on the lookout for them.
24. Laugh. All. The. Time. I laugh at myself, with my kid, with my best friend and with anyone who wants to. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laughter can heal you—just ask me!
25. Frame a “catastrophic” scene in your life with, “Does this have eternal value?” For some people—everything is a drama. EVERYTHING. But I have tried to limit the drama. If I can answer this question—does it have eternal value, I know what I need to focus on.
26. When I start a sentence with the phrase, “Lemme just tell you a story…” or “A very similar situation happened to me when…” or something like that, you know that the story is going to involve a boy and is probably going to make you laugh.
27. I have the tendency to, when at work, respond to the statement, “Hey, Char?” with a standard, “Hey Yeah!”
28. NEVER (and I mean NEVER) loan money. Either give it as a gift or don’t give it. If you loan it, you will get frustrated or hurt if people don’t pay you back.
29. Establish truths (or personal rules) for your life. Rules that you impose upon yourself and that help you navigate your life.
30. Never judge anyone. You don’t know what they have been through. You don’t know what they are going through. You don’t know what they will face tomorrow.
31. Don’t share your dreams with everyone. Some people will celebrate you, but most won’t. Remember that misery usually loves company, so they won’t encourage you.
32. Create a to-do list. Even if you have a steal trap memory—this helps organize your day! It can also help you refocus!
33. You are the common denominator in your life. If your life “sucks” then that’s on you. If your life is wonderfully amazing, then that’s on you too! Own it!
34. Be honest. That applies to yourself and others. It sounds easy (and sometimes it’s REALLY difficult) but work on it! Strive towards it!
35. Quickly admit when you are wrong and correct it—make it right. It happens; we all mess up. We all make a mistake. Don’t blame others and quite acting like a victim. Own it, apologize and move on!
36. Live a life of gratitude. Being thankful, for even the smallest thing, can really put things into perspective. This doesn’t mean that nothing is ever wrong or sad in your life, but it gives you a different angle to view things from. I am always amazed at how my mind shifts when I live in an attitude of gratitude.
37. Know how to be alone. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. If you don’t know how to have alone time, you will try to suck the life out of others in your life.
38. Actively listen. Many times, we only listen long enough to prepare our response. Be in the moment of the conversation and listen to people. Don’t just hear them, but listen! Sometimes their words have words behind the words.
39. Live with purpose. This could go with 9, 22 or 32, but really, be about something. Have purpose. This gives you goals, inspires dreams and feeds your soul.
40. Wake up each day saying, “This is the best day of my life!” I have a whole morning routine/confession that I say out loud before I even get out of bed. I love it. It gets be pumped, it preps my day and starts my mind off right!
For the past 2 years, I have started off the new year with my Oneword commitment. As you know, I am not one for New Years resolutions; however, for the past 2 years, I have really been successful with focusing on my one word. Last year, I “embraced" the year. In 2011, I "committed" my year to a refocus. This year, it’s my desire to “connect” even more so.
I know that there are several areas of my life I really want to make sure that I connect. It is also a reminder for me throughout the year—to keep me focused; grounded. I mean, let’s face it, life happens about 3 seconds into the new year and my one word is a quick “check” for me when life seems to be getting in the way of the important things in my life.
So, this year, here is my game plan.
I want to:
CONNECT in a new, fresh way with God. I want to connect with Him in a way that I haven’t in my 19 years of serving Him.
CONNECT with my family, friends and loved ones. I want to be the best Mom, daughter, girlfriend, friend, co-worker, and person I can be.
CONNECT with my body and my health. I desire to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle that includes mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.
CONNECT with my community and the people and causes I am passionate about. I want to be an agent of change for those who enter my life. I want to impact and not necessarily impress. I want to be someone who is making a difference in my community and for my neighbor. I want people to walk into my presence, my life, and leave a better person.
So as we embark on this yearly journey, what do you want o accomplish this year? What is your goal? What are your dreams for this year? What do you hope to accomplish?
This reminds me totally of Hawaii
We landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico and were ready for our tour. We had left K on the ship while we were going to head out to do some ATV riding through the rainforest and protected natural habitat. I was really looking forward to it until I got on the bus and had the “pleasure” of sitting next to a 50something couple who proceeded to have a dialogue, out (very) loud about the “similarities” between Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
While I get it, both are tropical and both are an island—but um, really? Neither of these people could remember if Hawaii was a state or a territory. They were so surprised that they didn’t need their passport or go through some sort of immigration process when getting off the ship.
This is the trail of the conversation that put me over the edge. “This totally reminds me of Hawaii. Well, minus the signs not being in English, and why is that, I mean, c’mon. And they all have some pretty heavy accents. And well, it’s really hot, just like Hawaii, don’t ya think?” I had to tune it out at that point. No, really, I had to.
Your Family Looks A Lot like ours
There were several transracial families on the ship. clearly, when there are white parents, white siblings and/or brown siblings—I like to ask. I never assume, but I like to ask. K and a little brown boy (about 2 years old) were playing in one of the pools and his mom came over to ask home something. I mentioned, “Your family looks a lot like ours does.” She smiled and asked where K was born. Once I told her, she said something to the effect of, “we may look like your family, but our son was born domestically.” She grabbed her sons hand and didn’t let him play with K for the remainder of the cruise.
That bummed me out.
Glass Bottom Boat
Trying to explain to K about what a school of fish was—yeah, mommy, I see the school and that big fish right there—that’s the teacher.
I am thankful for pajamas and Christmas decorations. I am thankful for season passes to Disneyland where we can go for free and spend time with people we love! We are blessed with so many amazing people—it’s RIDICULOUS!!!
I am thankful for family—by blood or by choice. K and I are so blessed with so many friends who we consider and call family. Our lives are also very full of enormous amounts of love from biological family. We are truly grateful!