Another birthday has come and gone.

Every year, on my birthday, I go through the same thought process. First things first, I’m grateful. Birthdays aren’t about celebrating a person, but celebrating a life. On this very day, 32 years ago, I was given life. (Okay, if you are like me, you believe that life begins sooner than that.) I was given the opportunity to experience all the beautiful things a life can offer. Of course you have to take the good with bad, so I was also destined to experience my own share of struggles and heart ache. These things make the beautiful things that much more incredible, so I would still choose them if I had a choice.  Well, most of them.  Today, I am grateful for my life and being given the chance to experience love.

My birthday is the beginning of a new year. I’m so happy I was born just a couple of weeks before the New Year or I would do this twice a year. It is a time of reflection and goal setting. Another year has passed. Just as quickly as it came, it went. How did I do this year? How did it compare to previous years? Am I growing as a person, a mother, a wife, and a friend? In what ways have I failed? Where do I still want to go? Do those I love know just how much I love them? How will the next year go? Will it be better?

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When it comes to my failures, I am always honest with myself on areas I want to improve on. I also forgive myself because I know that I truly tried my best. Failures are not failures at all, they are opportunities. I have been presented with opportunities this year, for sure. I will be working on those things going forward. Most of them are ongoing goals of mine.  I want to be a better mom, wife, friend, photographer and business owner, but mostly it’s to seize life. We get one shot at this! ONE! One chance to matter, to leave a footprint on someone’s heart, and to feel unconditional love. I can easily get caught up in things don’t truly matter.  Carpe diem.

At the same time, I did do some things right this year. I am proud of many things and I have many people in my life to be grateful for.  I accomplished more than I set out to this year; for that I hold my head high. I have learned that I am not superwoman. I will never be perfect or do everything perfectly. I cannot please everyone nor should I try so hard to. Ahh, who am I kidding, I will always try to please because I am a people pleaser. I hope that I made others happy this year and made a difference to someone. My list of opportunities is often longer than my list of accomplishments.

For next year, I have set no goals for myself. I just want to live. Embrace the moment and the life I’ve been given.  I want to enjoy more quality time with my family and enjoy this world we live in.

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