Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Last Year in This Phase of My Life

I spent the last five days in Ventnor.  It was intended to be my annual birthday vacation and it was supposed to be as fun as previous years.  It wasn’t.  It was boring.  There wasn’t anything that I did there that I couldn’t have done at home.  Granted, there is a boardwalk that gives me a straight down and back or up and back route to walk but, again, boring.  I’d much rather walk loops around my neighborhood.  The other reason that it was boring: well, there wasn’t anything to really do besides shop and I don’t *need* anything.  Buying things just adds to the stress of my upcoming retirement so I limited myself to a few things that I thought would be useful additions: three pairs of pants and a necklace/earring/bracelet set.  And coffee.  Lots of coffee.  From Starbucks.

This Sunday is my birthday.  #39.  The last year of my 30s.  Who’da thunk?  While I was in Ventnor, I couldn’t help but reflect on quite a few of those years; specifically, the ones that I’ve spent in the military and what I’ve done in that time.  Did I make a mark?  I think so.  Did I do something that I loved and had a passion for?  Absolutely not.  Can I use this last year—345 calendar days, but who’s counting—to help someone else not spend 20 years doing something that they don’t like?  I know I can.  On the flip side, I *have* spent the past nine years doing something that I really enjoy: helping customers find the right fit at Victoria’s Secret.  You can really tell if you have a passion for something when damn near every conversation can get turned to that subject.  I LOVE helping customers find what fits them.  I really don’t care if it’s a VS item.  I prefer that it be ‘cause it helps me keep my job but I’d rather see them in a style that fits perfect rather than one that fits “pretty well.”

Because it is my last year of my 30s and my last year in the military, I’m using these milestones to track things a little differently.  I want to focus on three things: Mental Fitness,  Financial Fitness, and Physical Fitness.  I know, it doesn’t sound all that different that what I’ve been doing all along but herein lies the difference: If it doesn’t help the one, it better help the other.  No more spending idle time on facebook.  I want to make a difference in the lives of those who know me.  I want to deepen the friendships that I already have and cultivate them into relationships that really matter.

My first step in the Financial Fitness:  I removed my credit card from my wallet.  This is big for me.  I always had it there as a safety net so I never really had to comply wholly with my budget.  Now, I will be forced to.  No more “covering the difference with my credit card.”  I already have an emergency fund in place--$1000—for anything that might actually constitute an emergency.  Those are so rare though.  Most things can be planned and budgeted for; and that’s my goal.

For my Physical Fitness: I will just be continuing on the track that I began last year when I quit grains and sugars.  I lost 20lbs between September 2014 and March 2015 but hit a plateau.  Sugar crept back in so I’m, again, making a concentrated effort to eliminate it.  I will also continue hitting the gym on my nights/days off but I plan to work out a specific, goal oriented plan with a trainer friend of mine.  And it won’t be a one-month plan but a one-year plan.  I want to map out where I plan to be by the time I’m 40.

I will provide updates and progress along the way in hopes that I’m able to inspire one other person to do something similar.  I know I’ve been inspired by many friends’ blogs.  I hope I can do the same.

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