Birthday Progress

Well, it’s June again, which means my birthday’s coming up. Last year my birthday freak-out was huge. I could barely think the word ‘birthday’ without having a panic attack. But I did a lot of mental health work back then and it’s helped me work through my feelings about this coming birthday, my 29th.

Celebration

Menu for birthday party

This time I’m planning an awesome party to celebrate, something I couldn’t do last year. I’m cooking a seven-course dinner in honor of characters from Once Upon a Time. I’ve been practicing and testing these recipes for three months. I’m so excited! (And yes, I’m totally going to take pics and post them here, check out my next blog post.)

But even with all that happiness and excitement, there’s still a part of me that doubts, that worries. There’s still that small voice in the back of my head asking me, ‘What have I accomplished in the past year?’ And even though the voice is quieter than last year, it’s still there.

So, just like last year, I’m going to answer that voice by writing down exactly what I’ve done.

What Have I Done?

Back squatting with 85 pounds

After years of encouragement from friends and family that I should open a bakery, I finally did it. A few months ago, I gathered enough courage to take the leap and opened the doors of So Many Cookies. I may not know how it will do yet, but I have embraced the fact that my baking is of a high quality.

Even with all this baking, my health is still a top priority. Steadily I’ve removed more and more foods with processed white sugar and flour (besides baking ingredients of course). Now I only have 10 items in my kitchen that contain a form of sugar, and most of those are organic.

I still start every morning with eggs, make sure to drink at least three liters of water every day, and munch on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

I still go to the gym regularly, now even upping it to twice a week. Not to mention, I have recently managed to complete five to six real push-ups keeping good athletic form. This is something I have wanted to achieve since I was an overweight little kid. I have continued to build my strength and stamina and can now back-squat 85 lbs. (last year it was 45 lbs.) and walk 5 miles in under two hours (last year it was 3 miles).

And most importantly, I’m still following my dream of being a writer. I’ve written more than two new full-length drafts of my novel. I recently re-read where my story was last June, and practically cried/laughed at how rough it was. Now, the character arcs are way more defined, the POV voices distinct from each other, and the plot smooth from start to finish.

I’m Still Working

Me & my kitty at home

As I wrote all this out, I noticed a lot of my items of achievement are continuations of things I started in past years. They’re all good things, yes, and all moving in positive directions, but I didn’t start many of them this year, I’m just still doing them.

Maybe that’s why my struggle is still cropping up. I may have worked through the false belief of ‘I haven’t done anything this year,’ but now I’ve uncovered a new false belief: that continuing a positive pattern is less meaningful then starting a new one.

Well, you know what false belief? That’s just not true. Yes, it’s difficult and worthwhile to start new healthy patterns, but it’s just as hard, or maybe even harder, to continue them day after day after day.

So, if all I’ve done these past 365 days is continue to make decisions that better myself and the life I have chosen to live, then I think I’m ok with that.

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