Happy birthday to me : On living the next 365 days intentionally

Today I celebrate my 53rd birthday. That sort of feels like a generous number for my limited abilities and experience. I still feel unsure of many things, like my successes in my career are several years behind and I am in a race to catch up.

I don’t feel like I thought I would feel at this age. I look back at my perception of my parents when they were in their early fifties, and I see two people who seemed much farther ahead in life than I am, much more stable and sure of things. I still feel like I’m not a full adult, like I’m still finding who I am, what I was meant to do and who I was created to be.

I’m still a kid trying to figure it all out. 

I am writing this on an airplane, heading home from a week in our company’s corporate office where I had the privilege of participating in the second phase of an intense leadership development program. My head is full of ideas and challenges. My heart is beaming with appreciation for the relationships forged with new friends. My soul is thirsty, longing to be still and quiet so that I can take all I have learned, apply and share it.

All of this is colliding with my birthday, where I get to embark on a new year of living on planet earth, and I want to ask myself,

What will you do with the next 365 days of your life? What will shape this year? On November 7, 2016, when you look back at the year behind you, what will you have accomplished?

I almost backspaced that last sentence right out of this post. I don’t want to be about doing. I want to be about being.

But reality is that I have things I am expected to do. I have challenges to face, decisions to make, business to grow, margins to increase, people to hire, relationships to build. Those are all active words, verbs that represent action and intention. None of that feels possible if I am not first centered on being who God created me to be.

Just doing is not enough, but neither is just being.

Above all things, this year I want my life to be intentional.

Intentional about relationships.
Intentional about choices.
Intentional about work.
Intentional about writing. 
Intentional about making space for reflection.

I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I have some ideas that involve 3×5 cards and calendar appointments and saying no to some things. It will look a lot like having honest conversations at work, trusting that caring sometimes says, “No, you can’t do that.” Or, “You didn’t meet my expectations and that is not okay.” Maybe, “I really need your support on this.”

These choices require me to have courage to share my ideas without worrying about who might not like them. I will need to be bold, knowing that there will be resistance but I have to stay the course. And I will need to be a risk taker, remembering that without risk change isn’t possible.

It may not be your birthday, but you can make some changes and choices too. You can be intentional about how you spend your days, whether that is at work or at home. Be bold, take risks, have courage. Do that one thing today or this week that reminds you there is something more to reach for.

I’m pulling for you. I’m pulling for me. We can do this!

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4 Comments on “Happy birthday to me : On living the next 365 days intentionally

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARI!!!!!!! Wishing you a BEAUTIFUL day with many smiles and lots of laughter. Great post……. Thanks for sharing. I too, feel like a kid still trying to figure it all out. Peace, Love and Lots of Laughter,

  2. A Great read Kari and Happy and Blessd Birthday! I believe that whatever age we may find ourselves, in whatever season we are in, that you have shared the essence: Be Bold, Take Risks, Have courage! LIVE INTENTIONALLY! Thanks for sharing and for your friendship, and for being such a wonderful friend to Caran! My prayers go with you on your journey! Gloria

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