The weird thing about coming up my 40th birthday is a small but growing sense of urgency that I'm running out of years that I'll be able to go all out, balls to the wall, and Do All The Things. I find myself thinking this is my prime, it's now or never, and what am I waiting for. I'm sure it's symptomatic of working in an industry that fetishizes youth, particularly one's 20's and 30's. Or maybe it's being a woman coming to the end of her childbearing years.
I know the running-out-of-time narrative is a fiction, but in 2014 I embraced it—for better and worse.
I took on more last year than I have in any other 12 months of my life. I moved cross-country, sold an apartment, bought a new home, launched a product to over a thousand crowdfunding backers. Started renovations on that new home, traveled, mentored, spoke, built a team, shipped a lot, faced hard realities, laid off that team, and all the while, co-hosted two weekly shows. My daughter took her first steps, had her first surgery, and started physical therapy. I lived at my mother's and at an Airbnb. I worked at five different offices. I got riled up about Ferguson and Gamergate and spent too many nights laying in bed, unable to sleep, scrolling through my Twitter timeline boiling with rage. I started several books I didn't finish. I never filed my tax returns. I barely wrote. I spent most of the year in a state of being head-just-above-water.
I'm proud of everything that my family and my company accomplished in 2014, but I'm happy to leave behind the headspace I was in. Most of the time I was frazzled and stressed and worried, or completely checked out, eating cookies and watching approximately 1,726 hours of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.
Looking back, there's nothing I would've done differently, except maybe skip the last season of Gilmore Girls, take better care of myself, and let it go a little more often. Stressful times are the ones I learn the most about myself, and I got a good self-education last year.
Now that the literal and metaphorical dust has settled, my goal for 2015 is to reduce craziness and give myself the time and space to feel grateful for what I have and where I am. At home, things are starting out well: more than anything else, the first snowfall of 2015 made me feel happy to have a walk to shovel. At work, we've laid the groundwork for a small business I love building, even if its first year was super-hectic, even if it takes awhile to catch on.
Along these lines, I'm making a few changes to how I spend my time that I'll write about more in the coming weeks, one being The Great Twitter Unfollow of 2015. In the meantime, I'm reading more long-form prose, planning further home improvement, making exciting product plans for ThinkUp, and pondering the best ways to use my skills and time to give back.
Happy New Year.