With A Grateful Heart

Today – March 8, 2016 – I turn 31. Another year has come and gone and I have learned the lessons, felt the feels, made the memories, seized the opportunities….I have lived my life and find myself full with a very grateful heart.
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Happy Birthday Look Back Summer 2013
Today the ups and downs of 30 swirled in my head and just like any good a-type, I categorized them. The moments I had given in where I should have held on, the moments I could have stayed and I walked away, the instance that called for patience and I demanded action; were also accompanied by the memories of triumph when I thought I would lose, the many blessings presented over the months, the countless moments of generosity that fill my days, and the dreams that have turned to realities right before my eyes. Life is full of give and take and I am one of the lucky ones that has experienced both.
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Happy Birthday Look Back Fall 2014
Last year at this time I was nervous – the big 3-0! How did I even get here? This age always seemed so far away and in my innocent little mind, I always assumed this was the grown-up age. The one where my path would be very carefully constructed and I would just continue to live out life. I was never nieve enough to assume there would be no problems, but I was stupid enough to assume I could hand pick the challenges I would face. By this time in my life I was pretty confident I would be mid-way through my career- very certain of what I wanted to be when I grew up – and be doing it (or on a clear track of how to get there). Without a doubt I would be in a most perfect marriage. Sure it would have its problems, but we would be known for being the romantic, perfectly quaffed couple who spent Saturday mornings on a run and Sunday nights with wine and romantic tunes. I would be a mom to a few with plans for many more. We would have a home….. I would have a perfectly clean car (sadly ALWAYS part of my dreams)….and best of all: I was unbelievably thin with the ability to eat anything I wanted (My dreams can include selfish nerisosisc if I want it to).
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Happy Birthday Look Back Summer 2013
However my life is not really like that – actually its not like that all. The hard truth would be: I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, I am married – but we have only been on approximately two runs together – ever -and I can promise you they were not pretty. I have no kiddos,  my car – well it is clean, but that costs $15 dollars and rarely lasts a week in pristine condition – and I have eaten everything I wanted before and just had to buy new pants. That is the hard look at reality. The good news? Life doesn’t really wake you up one day realizing you are not in control. No – lucky for all us humans, we are taken on the journey of life that requires constant pivoting, plan Bs and accepting that perfection is just a myth. That way you aren’t completely caught off guard by the change in plans and expectations. No, you are eased into it…..over just a short lifetime.
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Happy Birthday Look Back Spring 2013
But you know what I have learned – and I think 30 has taught it to me best? The hard truth – isn’t the whole truth……not even by a long shot. So look again…. I have a job that could be a career, or could be a nine to five. My role is constantly teaching me to dig deeper, be a kinder version of myself and with people that I can’t wait to see when I get in each and every day. They make me laugh, my heart feel full and my world seem brighter. I am married to a man that I am so deeply in love with it still catches me off guard. We have fought hard for this marriage, worked at it, re-dedicated ourselves to it over and over again…. regularly I have moments that I say “I can’t believe this is my life” brought to you by our marriage. I share a name with a person that I want to be with forever – and I never stop falling in love. We do not have a family yet, but we have this puppy – who believe it or not brings us such immense joy, while testing our ability to train, care for and manage as a team. He is so full of personality – driving us so insane, all while making our hearts burst with love, that we know whatever family awaits us we will have a blast!  I have a car that is not always clean, because I have a life that makes me too busy to always be cleaning and instead have a little extra fun! And while I would still love to eat what I want and not have to pay for it later, I also know the true feeling of accomplishment when you learn how to properly fuel your body. The exercise journey has been one of frustration – but also one that has truly been inspiring. Both of these experiences would have been missed if I could eat with abandon.  And if we are telling the RAW truth…. I don’t live in a world where I go to bed hungry, and that is the true gift. So now I ask myself – how would I have ever explained this to the me of the past and missed out on the thrill of learning how beautiful the unexpected can be?
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Happy Birthday Look Back Spring 2015
This leads me back to the grateful heart. Thanks to 30 and to my little home here on the internet, I have been granted the gift of clarity for what my life truly is. When I really take a long hard look at what I have been given, I feel almost unworthy – a life so perfectly designed by God for me that I could not even envision.  I can’t be anything but grateful.
Cheers to a grateful heart and 31!

Thank you of reading and remember to make it a great day!
Jackie

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