Bazinga! 39 x 39 – Day of Rae, My Blogaversary and An Announcement

Hi Loves!!

How are you?  Today is my birthday aka #Raeday!!!

Bazinga!!!!

Wooooh!  I’m thankful and excited.  I love birthdays.  It’s an honor and a privilege to see them.    *cue “Never Would Have Made It by Marvin Sapp.  It also happens to be my two-year blogaversary!!!  Which I can’t really believe.  From Rae with Love, the Little Blog that Could, is two years old.  It’s been two years!  So much has happened since I first began writing From Rae With Love.   Funny enough, I’ve only shared a handful of the stories with you.

In my very first post this time two years ago, I shared some lessons I’d learned as of my 36th birthday and then I wanted to share a few thoughts I had on turning 37.  This year, I am going to do something a little bit different.  I want to share 39 things I want to do before my 39th birthday.  Not only does the number of years I’ve spent on this earth astound me, it’s also interesting to see how others handle and deal with it as well.  I’ve been watching people who are farther(further? why worry) along on their journey.  Some of them are handling the aging process better than others.   Mostly I think many of us just weren’t mentally prepared for how the time flies.  Not to mention, according to so many others and the rhetorical bullshit that spews out of someone’s mouth, as we approach 40 that’s supposed to mean we’re old? I don’t buy into it.  I never have.  Aging and growing older (and hopefully wiser) is a beautiful process.  From what I can tell, it’s about how we each choose to see it.

I have a who shitload of stuff I want to do over the next year.   They haven’t been listed in any specific order.  Each of them is critical to me and the next year.  Without further adieu, here’s the 39 x 39:

  1. Use the mixer my mother got me last year – more..which means I’ll be baking, or making pasta, or grinding meat.
  2. Create a series of You Tube Videos.
  3. Submit these short stories for publishing in literary journals.
  4. Write the short stories I mentioned in #3.
  5. Relocate.
  6. Take more photos.
  7. Lose 20% of my current bodyweight.
  8. Purchase a DSLR camera.
  9. Create a short film.
  10. Write a script for a show treatment.
  11. Tour DC with my friends and act like a tourist.  [I’m wearing the colored protective visor and Tevas and shorts and shit]
  12. Increase my income by 50% + get a new job.
  13. Eat from 30+ new restaurants (read includes dives, mom & pop stops and food trucks – that’s where the best food is)
  14. Take a series of photos worthy for a gallery exhibit.
  15. Add 1000 new followers on twitter.
  16. Create a new series of blog posts.
  17. Bake from scratch.  [I owe a series of zucchini loaves to a very close friend]
  18. Cook 25 new dishes I’ve never cooked.
  19. Purchase and successfully meal plan around a crock pot.
  20. Journal.
  21. Buy new furniture that meets my actual home-style now.
  22. Build a home theater system.
  23. Create a logo for the website.
  24. Attend a writers workshop.
  25. Research (info, interviews etc), write and publish an article or podcast for a major publication.
  26. Get a tattoo.
  27. Participate in new twitter chats.
  28. Have a conversation with a published author I admire.
  29. Publish a series of stories on Amazon.com.
  30. Be consistently happy.
  31. Be less fearful of trying new things.
  32. Publish one blog post that scares the shit out of me.
  33. Be on a major panel as a guest.
  34. Live. Like really have more to tell you so y’all can be all up in my business.
  35. Be able to achieve certain yoga poses.
  36. Write handwritten letters and notes to my close friends and family.
  37. Sew three (3) new projects and create a few new pieces of jewelry.
  38. Him.  [Redacted No. 38 about Rae’s love life]
  39. Pray more.  Hear more.  See more. Be more. Love more.  [I cheated here but IDC]

Whew!!! There it is – my 39 x 39.  Doable?  Yes.  Now let’s see how much of it I can get done effective immediately.  It’s not just about a mad rush of checking things off of a proverbial list, it’s about living and improving my quality of life.   There are also so many other things I plan to do within this next year – like buy some skates and roll around the city!!  Which brings me to my next announcement…..

I need to take a creative hiatus (aka a creative furlough, a creative retreat).

Relax.  Don’t freak out on me and get crazy.   The blog isn’t going anywhere.  I’m not really going anywhere.  I just won’t be posting for a while.  For the record, I don’t exactly know how long a while means, however, I do know it will be through the summer.

When you have a personal blog, it becomes increasingly difficult to share certain things.  Hills, valleys, good news, life changes and events and whatever else may come along means life tends to take over.  Life has taken over which means, I need to just live.  That’s what’s most important.

I’m still going to be here.  You can still find me on twitter @fromraewithlove.  I’m on twitter daily.  Otherwise, catch me on the Facebook page for the blog or if you really need to get deep, you can email me at fromraewithlove at gmail dot com.  So see, it’s not really that bad.  I can be located.  I just won’t be blogging.

So you’re wondering what am I planning to do with all of the time I don’t spend blogging?  I still plan to write.  I have a number of writing projects I need to complete.  I have new projects that are just taking off, that I can share later this week.  I’m also on the Dr. Vibe show monthly.  A few of my blogging friends and I have started a series of Google Hangouts. In other words,  I’m still here.

I know I’ve slowed down in the last months.  That’s mostly been because I am at a crossroads as a creative, as a writer and as a woman.  I’m not in a space to post everything.   I also have so many other things planned for the blog, for my life.  So basically, it’s time to live and get some things done.  Where else do all of these wonderful posts come from?  LIFE.

As the good 39 x 39 list reflects, I have a lot of work to do, a lot of living[loving] to do and quite a bit to organize, shift and put into motion.

Check in with me.  I still need want to hear from you.  I love emails and tweets.  See info above….

BTW, I’m always watching.  Trust and believe.

Mother loves you,

Rae

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Inaugural Blog Post : Life’s Lessons for 36 Years of Living

Today is my 36th birthday.  Aka the Earth Anniversary.  Born Day.  I like to think I am in what I call version 3.6 of myself.  This birthday is not one of epic fail proportions – I know you know what I’m talking about.  You know, those birthdays where it feels like everything is crashing around you?  I’ve had those.  I have had to break up with significant others on my birthday. Entertain surly guests and loved ones.  Work at jobs I hated.  Not today.  Today has been spent in peace.  Good news.  Loved ones.  Blessings.  Lots of food.  Lots of wine.  Lots of prayer.  A nap.  Doing just what I wanted to do.  Calls and visits and messages from those I love.  There were a few people I missed, but the love is still there and that’s what matters.

Today however is a special mile marker.  It marks the first point that I am nearer to 40.  Let me be clear, I am not an ageist.  However, I did have to have a CTJ aka a Come to Jesus meeting with myself to remind myself that I am worthy of all of those things I have on my life’s list of things to do.  Whether or not it looks like it, I am all deserving.  I know God loves me.  I know my family and friends love me.  I know who I serve and who I love.  I have a sense of direction today like no other time I have had in my life.  I am thankful.

(realizes she’s rambling…)

I decided it fitting for my inaugural post to list 36 lessons I have gleaned thus far.  Of course these have been MY lessons:

  1. God is real.  Have faith.  Even if it’s the mustardseed-size kind.  It will get you through.  He appreciates it.
  2. There really is a difference between the confidants, the constituents and comrades.  Be able to identify them.  Your goal is to be able to discern who they are.  Don’t know what I’m talking about? See TD Jakes discuss it here:       
  3. As previously stated in “About Rae” I firmly believe most things can be fixed with the following: prayer, love, the right words, patience, a good meal , a glass of wine, a good cry, a good laugh and a nap.  We don’t always manage it in that order, but you get the idea.  Then repeat as many times as needed.  If it cannot be fixed with any of the above, it probably cannot be fixed and it will be something you have to live with.
  4. Heart break is inevitable my sweets.  When we put ourselves out there, it’s bound to happen.  It may be your spouse, your significant other, a friend, someone you thought was a friend, children.  It happens.  We have to learn this is a part of life.
  5. It’s important to have hope.  As my mother mentioned to me, we may not always be able to articulate it, but if you manage to wake up and pull yourself out of bed – then you have hope.  In fact, if you just wake up – there’s hope.
  6. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  7. Puppies are always good.
  8. Real love is worth fighting for.
  9. It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice to people.
  10. Know your boundaries.
  11. Cooking is a worthwhile endeavor.
  12. Always tell people you love them when you do.   Tell them twice in fact.
  13. Be honest.
  14. A good friend, a good playlist and a cheap glass of wine can get you together.
  15. Every woman should have one really good purse and one really good pair of jeans.
  16. We need to know when to speak up and when to shut up.
  17. Personal accountability is crucial.  Many times, the issues that we have are self-created.  Blaming others will get you nowhere.
  18. Meet others where they are.  I would like to think this is self-explanatory.  But let me put it like this – everyone is in a different place.  Some are farther ahead.  Others trailing.  Meet them where they are, as they are.  Learn to speak their language.  When you seek to understand them and not to get them to understand you, your life will change.
  19. Listen.
  20. Share.
  21. Give.
  22. Be open.
  23. People love you or they don’t.   You can’t change this, don’t try.  You’ll waste your time.  You can love them, but don’t expect it in return.
  24. Love is an action verb.  Saying it and not doing it don’t count (yeah I said it don’t count).
  25. Your first instinct is correct.  Gut feelings, hunches, small quiet voices (like the kind that tell you to turn left, or don’t have that second bottle of wine) are right on the money.  Special note: should you find these voices saying nasty things to you, then this isn’t the right voice.  Just saying.
  26. Time is your most valuable asset.  It’s not on your side – unless you’re reading this at 16. Everyone else, live your life unapologetically.
  27. Happiness is aligning yourself with your own principles.  When you follow what you know to be your personal truths, happiness seeks you out.
  28. You (self) are your most important investment, lover and friend.  Everyone else is a bonus.  Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of other people.
  29. Your house should be a place of refuge.  A place you like to be.  Spend some time there.  Make it so that you want to be there.  This means that you should be able to be comfortable.  Have a good set of sheets, good soap and your choice of beverages and snacks.  In fact, be able to invite others over.  I promise, it will change your life.   See apartmenttherapy.com for inspirational love.
  30. You have the gift of reconciliation.  Work it out.  Make up with people.  Try and make things right.  Sometimes, this means you need to give up some of your own bullshit (yes, I curse – see About Rae).   Sometimes, people won’t want to make up with you.  This is ok too.  You tried.  Try again.  If that fails, pray.   And well, maybe curse a bit too.
  31. “Solvitur Ambulando.”  ~ It is solved by walking ~ St. Augustine.  Take a walk.  Alone.  With your significant other.  With the dog.  With a friend.
  32. Be kind.  People have their own shit they’re dealing with.  So don’t dish out a bunch of bullshit.
  33. Don’t start what you can’t finish.
  34. Kiss more often.  Hug more often.
  35. Forgive.
  36. Love is all that really matters.  Make it your priority.

What are your thoughts about the list?  What have been your most important life’s lessons?  What has life taught you?

Love,

Rae