Last year, when I turned 24, I vowed that I would complete 25 things on my bucket list before I turned 25. 25 before 25. Well, it turns out that a year goes by quite fast. I wasn't able to accomplish everything on my list, but I accomplished what I made important, what I pushed myself to accomplish, and what I had control over.
1. I read 1 book a month.
2. I became certified to be a personal trainer.
3. I bought a new vehicle.
4. I went zip lining.
5. I took a spontaneous trip with Sal.
6. I presented at a child life conference.
7. I started and finished a project life album (2007-2008).
8. I traveled to a new state.
9. I did a 5 minute plank.
10. I SAVED money!
Even though I was only able to cross off ten things on my list, they were HUGE things, things I'm proud of. Many, many more things happened during my 24th year, and I wouldn't have traded any one of those things in, even if it would have helped me cross off something else on my list. And now that I'm 25, I find myself living more and more in the moment. Time slips by so fast, and if I've learned anything in this past year, it's that life is precious, more precious than any of us realize, and it can be taken away or changed in an instant, with one decision, with one tick of the clock.
Not only did I turn 25 this year, but Sal did as well... 22 days before me, to be exact. For his birthday, he decided, he wanted to keep it low key and simple. I took the day off to spend with him, and we spent the whole day together, doing what he wanted! We woke up early and headed off to kickboxing to get in a killer workout, and then headed to a fancy brunch afterwards, where we enjoyed plates and plates of food, as well as mimosas! There he opened his fit presents, including a C4 and Cellucor weight loss powder, and a heart rate monitor (all of which he has since become addicted to- whoops!). We ended the day in our Green Bay jerseys, cuddling up on the couch for the football game. Yes, we changed our outfits three times that day, going from sweaty messes, to a classy couple, to bums, all in a matter of hours.
Twenty-two days later, and I had quite different plans for my birthday. Every year I try and do something spectacular, something with a bunch of friends, that usually ends up costing Sal more money than anyone else. This year, I chose to do something a little low-key, but still really fun, and something that included all of my friends and loved ones. We went out on the 21st, instead of my actual birthday on the 22nd. I took the weekend off, and made reservations for a fancy brunch with my closest friends, at the same place that Sal and I went for his birthday, because I loved it that much. The only thing that was required was ugly christmas sweaters. I didn't think it'd be such a hit, but everyone that walked through the door showed up in an ugly sweater, and it was hilarious. We sat and enjoyed plate after plate of food, and I made the waiter and waitresses keep bringing us rounds and rounds of mimosas. I honestly can't even remember how many I drank, I just remember having two in my hands at all times. They were good, you can't blame a girl for drinking on her 25th birthday, now can you? The party wasn't over after we left though, considering that it was Sunday and football was on TV, we headed to the bar, where we enjoyed more drinks (since we had already been drinking since 12, what did it matter that it wasn't 5 o'clock yet? It's 5 o'clock somewhere, they say! Half time brought on free pizza, and we were the happiest people in there, we eventually cleared the place out, and headed home. The day could not have been more perfect. I think it was one of my best birthdays ever.
On my actual birthday, I woke up and opened my amazing gifts from my family, in bed. Once I was dressed and able to be seen in public, my brother and I headed to get the world's best breakfast sandwich - taylor ham, egg, and cheese on a bagel. We sat in the small bagel shop, talking so long that when we left we smelt like grease, which is always great to smell like, especially on your birthday. We went home, and Sal came over, and that's when we relaxed and popped in a movie. We eventually had to drag ourselves off the couch so that I could go and teach at CKO Kickboxing that night, because I was not about to take off of teaching, it was only an hour. Afterwards, we headed to Applebees for half price apps with my family, and it was such a perfect way to end the celebratory weekend.
Even during my birthday weekend, I found lessons in life's moments, and have never felt more sure of myself. Sure, I've gained materialistic things in the past year, but more importantly I've gained more confidence, closer friends, and more love than I ever thought was possible. This year has taught me all about balance. I used to be so focused on doing it all - working out like a maniac, working to make money, trying to see all of my friends and family, and it was tiring, and I ended up burnt out and exhausted. I refocused this past year, and have been really able to balance, find my passion again, and bring it to life. Twenty-five is looking like a good year, already.