43 Promises to Myself on the Occasion of My 43rd Birthday

1. I will be kind and loving, not judgmental or regretful, when I happen to meet the me from 20 years ago, or ten years ago, or even last year in old journals or photographs or poems or memories.

2. I will consciously work to be open.

3. I will not continue to overpromise and under-deliver because I haven’t correctly estimated the amount of time for a particular task or because of health issues, and I will forgive myself every time I break this promise and overpromise and under-deliver anyway.

4. I will get out of bed when the alarm goes off, or when I naturally wake up—whichever comes first.

5. I will forgive my parents for not calling me more often after I left home and call them much more frequently than I currently do.

6. When I feel myself gaining weight, I will not buy more comfortable pants. Instead, I’ll figure out how to do what I need to do to get the pants I already own to feel more comfortable again. I will do this all without judgment.

7. I will be my own beloved.

8. I will write every day—whether that’s a blog post or a poem or a journal entry or a note telling someone I love how much I love them.

9. I will tell the people I love just how much I love them, loudly and more often.

10. I will kick Zuckerberg’s ass the next time he makes a change I don’t like on Facebook.

11. I will network out of a desire for community not advancement.

12. I will live in a way that even if the coffers are low, I can still give out of the abundance of my heart and spirit.

13. I will not break up with God no matter how often I feel like taking a break.

14. I will write more poems that make me nervous when I have to read them out loud to an audience.

15. I will dare.

16. I will speak up even if I’m not sure anyone’s listening.

17. I will remember to say please when I ask for something not just in my tone but with my actual words.

18. I will read more than one book of contemporary fiction this year.

19. I will not spend too much time apart from Mrs. Woolf.

20.  I will not suffer “buyers remorse” from saying yes when I should have said no.

21. I will remember to send birthday cards.

22. I will drink more water; I will drink more champagne.

23. I will break up with my blue-and-white couch on a regular basis.

24. I will not keep Netflix DVDs for months at a time hoping I’ll eventually watch them.

25. I will do the impossible at least once, and maybe even twice.

26. I will read War and Peace.

27. I will use my vacuum cleaner.

28. I will accomplish the things I put on my to do lists.

29. I will end the year with a surplus in my savings account, even it it’s only one dollar, and even if by savings account I mean the old flour tin where I sometimes hoard dollar bills.

30. I will sing in the shower more.

31. I will try to get through the entirety of Pretty in Pink.

32. I will buy a TV antenna so I can watch the Golden Globes and the Oscars and the old British sitcoms that air on Maryland Public Television.

33. I will dance more.

34. I will learn the words to Joni Mitchell’s “River.”

35. I will play the piano every once in a while to prove I still can.

36. I will forgive all those who’ve left me behind and I will celebrate all those who’ve stayed.

37. I will put things in perspective.

38. I will be kind to my body even when it’s not being very kind to me.

39. I will cry as often as I need to for as long as I need to.

40. I will not be ashamed to let someone see me cry.

41. I will read more Walt Whitman.

42. I will buy some of the albums I like rather than endlessly streaming them for free.

43. I will keep the promises I can and not hold on too hard to the ones I can’t.

Posted on January 8, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Jennifer Thoma.

    I love your list. You have inspired me. Xoxo

  2. I could stand to adopt every single one of these, but if i had to pick only three, I’m going with 11 (you helped me see the value of that), 12 (because generosity of heart and spirit matter most), and 36 (not where I need to be on this but heading in that direction). Thanks for giving us such a nice gift when it’s *your* birthday.

  3. Oh, wise and joyful and melancholy and wonderful woman, you inspire me! Happy Birthday, again, ongoing.

  4. eugene holley jr

    Spoken like a true Capricorn 🙂 Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2013 01:43:11 +0000 To: eholley@hotmail.com

  5. What an intriguing mix of the sublime and the small-but-oh-so-crucial! Enjoy your 43rd year and good luck with the surgery (and the checklist leading up to it of course).

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