Just a week after my thirtieth birthday, I decided it was time for a change. Many people would call this some sort of mid-life crisis, but not me. I labeled the choice to cut off my waist length blonde hair and turn it into a short dark bob, a practical decision for living aboard Miss Lone Star and not having direct access to my stylist 24/7. Trust me I do have the number to the bat phone if my blonde locks ever became too unruly.
A funny thing happened when I watched all of that hair that had been with me through so many different things hit the floor. I began to think about all of the other things I would be leaving behind when we set out on our maiden voyage. No longer would I have the Jones’s to keep up with next door, or my daughter’s kindergarten teacher looking at me wondering why I didn’t bring cookies to the bake sale last Tuesday. I realized that I would be free from all of the encumbrances that at one point I thought I enjoyed. Two days later I got up blurry eyed, and got to work, I put my hair back into a ¼ inch ponytail and thought about other ways I could simplify my life. The first thing I usually did over my morning coffee was check my Facebook page. Who ‘liked’ me, who ‘un-liked’ me, what ‘friend’ that I hadn’t spoken to in years commented on my waistline.
VIOLA! I deleted it. I wont lie the first few days were hard, it seemed like how I’ve heard people describe alcohol withdrawals. I was sweating and went to the log in page several times without taking a drink; I just needed to “hold the bottle”. A strange and wonderful thing happened next, I looked up from my smart phone, stepped away from my computer and I thought less about what others were doing and started to be able to focus more clearly on goals of my own.
I’m a little bit of an over achiever so I started with “30 things to do before I turn 31”. The first thing was “de-clutter” which was a nice way of putting “Dear Aubrey, 106 pairs of your shoes are not going to be joining us on our voyage!” So instead of tackling my shoes I started on things that were a little bit easier for me to watch go, such as my husbands Krav Maga training gear. How many rubber knifes and plastic training guns do you really need?
A few other things on my list:
-Finish scanning all of our old printed family images (everybody should do this for their parents and grandparents. It is so important to preserve your family’s history and share the wealth of the digital age)
-Take an art class (CHECK we’re signed up)
-Capture more images of my children
-Teach a photography class
-Practice listening better
-Finish the first draft of my book
-Swim (Fun fact… I’m terrified of the water; I will discuss this disaster later)
-Get my grandmother’s life story at least in bullet points on paper
-Make ice cream from scratch
I’ve learned and come to appreciate how important it is to really listen to your spouse with your mind quiet and your heart open. I am very fortunate that my husband Robb and I became such fast friends, we connected on a level deeper than I have experienced with anybody romantic or otherwise. Had I not quieted my mind and listened I would have not caught the flicker of light in his eye and the sincerity in his voice when he first spoke about leaving land behind and growing closer as a family on a little boat named Miss Lone Star.