Week 1: Setting up the Plan

Imperfect.

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.

— ellen goodman.

In my mid-30s, I blew up my life, and over the last 2.5 years I’ve been slowly working to put everything back in order—but not back together, because I want a completely different life by the time I’m all done and ready to move forward.

I went back to grad school, I left a job that made me miserable, and I started my own business. Those were the big 3 of the shakeup.

As I let go of those big things the smaller things that I’d put up with because there were more important things to address started to clamor for attention, too. I started to ask why I didn’t stand up for myself more, why I wasn’t taking care of myself, and whether the beliefs I’d carried about myself through life to this point were even true anymore. I started to take a look at my relationships and the way that I spent my time.

Now, I am starting this project as a way to reset my parameters. I’m going to experiment with how I do things, do a lot of writing & thinking, and talk to other women.

By my 40th birthday, I hope that my life will be all set for the next chapter, full of joy and intention. I hope to have a framework to get me through whatever challenges come in the next decade.

While I’m going to write about a lot of ideas and subjects organically, these are the main topics I plan to dive into each month:

  • January: Health
  • February: Visibility, Self-Love, and Self-Care
  • March: Soul Searching
  • April: Financial Independence
  • May: Fashion and Organization
  • June: Relationships & Family
  • July: Travel
  • August: Creativity
  • September: Stepping Out of Comfort Zones

Another part of this project is being okay with imperfection, and being kinder to myself in the process of redesigning my life. My husband recently pointed out that I was hyper self-critical…and I knew that, but it was startling to know other people see that in me, too.

I don’t deserve to have to live under such hard criticism, even if it is from myself. I need to show myself some grace, and learn to make room in my life to learn, to make mistakes, and just to breathe. So, I made my word of the year for 2020: Imperfect.

If any of this sounds interesting, I hope you’ll follow my blog. I’ll have some challenges if you’d like to do some of the same projects that I tackle.

So, there it is. That’s the plan. I’ll share January’s Challenge on Wednesday.

It’s all happening.

Penny lane, Almost Famous.

Welcome to 40 by Design

I’ve got exactly 40 weeks until i turn 40…

It’s January 2020, and here I am, looking at my planner and realizing that it’s showtime in this thing we call LIFE. What I mean is: 40 is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s the age that I’ve imagined that I’d have it all together, and come into my own…

I design customer/client experiences for a living. And my life isn’t all that messy or anything, but I definitely thought I’d have my shit together before now, you know? By 40, I should have this adulting thing down!

I decided that I’m going to do something different this year. Not exactly a resolution, more like a project. A LIFE DESIGN PROJECT. For 40 weeks, leading up to my birthday, I’m going to examine 40 different aspects of my life and the lives of women I admire, and make adjustments for maximum living.

Why do this?

  • Because I want to do something to honor this milestone—something to celebrate it. I want to bring more JOY into this year!
  • Because the more I work on improving aspects of businesses and brands, the more I see the connections you can make to improving your life. I like this idea, and I want a way to explore the concept.
  • Because it’s a creative project, and I’m a big giant nerd! I’m not sure what this will look like in the end, I’m just jumping in and seeing what happens, and that’s exciting because all my other projects are results-oriented. This is just for the doing!

I’m going to share things I’m working on (including organizing my closet, trying to do a better job at managing my household, fun things I want to try, and other goals I’m working towards); I’m going to share personal stories; and I’m going to explore deep issues. I invite you to follow along with me.

Before I get started, let’s answer a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
    Because I did the research—there aren’t many interesting resources that discuss the topic of being a woman about to turn 40. I don’t care about “Anti-Aging Techniques to Keep You Looking Young” or “40 Things Women Over 40 Shouldn’t Ever Wear”. I’m interested in growth, depth, and insight. Maybe this will be a resource for other women looking for the same kind of thing.
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
    Cooking, Style, Decorating, Art, Managing My Schedule, Health, Being a Woman Business Owner, Being a Woman, Deep Soul Stuff…cats…
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
    I want to connect with you if you’re a woman working to find her way in the world with intention. I want to connect with you if you care about character, grace, being a good person while doing great things…and how to manage all of that without going flippin’ crazy!
  • If you blog successfully throughout the 40 weeks, what would you hope to have accomplished?
    I hope that this will be a record of an amazing journey. I hope that I step into my 40s with a well-designed life that suits exactly me!

NOTE: My blog probably won’t be for everyone and that’s okay. I’m learning that you can’t make everyone happy, and this is ultimately for me. I’m exploring my life, so the topics I cover and my opinions are by no way anything you have to agree with me about. If you don’t agree, I invite you to stay anyway if you like. Or, you can stop reading and write your own blog! What we’ll agree upon now is this: negative, mean-spirited comments will be erased and ignored.

So, that’s the plan. 40 Weeks to evaluate, revise, and redesign my life. I’m happy you’re here to follow along!