Yep, you guessed it! Today's my birthday. So far 25 is feeling good. Although I do have to admit, it doesn't really feel very birthday like. Just a typical day over here! Full celebration will be happening on Sunday which I am excited for, of course.
I planned to take the afternoon off and do something fun but I took yesterday off instead because it was just not going in the direction that I wanted. I figured it to be best to renew my energy and spirit up to a higher vibe place before sending things out into the world to share with you guys. So here we are! Working. Getting things done. Feeling good.
I didn't have any plan to write something out for today. I just intended on doing a full recap of my weekend to share next week. But as the day goes on I just can't not write something. I feel like I need to get this (whatever "this" is) out into the world. I think I've yet to share a list of things from the past year on my birthday. Each year I want to do it but it never actually manifests into reality and I end up writing about something else. Well, this year is the year!
24 thoughts for 24 years.
1. Read Harry Potter for the first time
This comes full circle as I type this because I am currently reading Harry Potter for the second time. I am way behind on the Harry Potter obsession but reading it last October and November sent me into a deep spiral of obsession that I don't think I'll get out of any time soon, and that's cool. I'm 100% okay with it!
2. Paid off my first new car payment, yay adulting
I bought my first brand new car back in 2012 and I paid it off last November which officially made me completely debt free. Best. Feeling. Ever!
3. Outdoor game: Penguins vs. Flyers
I don't talk much about hockey online because, well it doesn't really go with the Create N Plate vibes. But I'm pretty into hockey out in the real world and I got to go to the Outdoor Game last February. I was so cold that I thought my toes were going to fall off but we had the best time! I'll just throw in a bonus moment here from the beginning of this month when I went to the first home game and they raised the banner for the second year in a row - clarification for what I'm talking about for non hockey peeps, it was a very exciting moment.
4. Enter gluten
Back in the spring I had some absolutely awful stomach issues and tried everything possible to feel better. Nothing worked and out of frustration I went to get a (veggie) burger, fries, and a milkshake just because I was giving up on trying to fix everything. I expected to be super sick afterwards but guess what, totally fine. I reintroduced gluten in my diet after that and haven't looked back because my issues went away. *thank you gluten gods*
5. Gained close friendships
I'm very particular when it comes to who I let into my life. I'm a private person until we're friends and then we can pretty much talk about anything at all. Over the past year I've dropped a few people that I was friends with for years because although I liked them and still do, they weren't people who fit into my lifestyle or that I connected with on a deep level. That ultimately resulted in gaining a couple friendships that completely surpassed the level of friendship that I let go of.
A perfect lesson of letting go of the old to let in the new.
6. Shenandoah x3
My favorite place, three times in the past year. Very different experiences, all extremely special. Sleeping in cars, bear and rattlesnake experiences, eating too much almond butter, buying socks I don't need but want because they have pictures of bears on them, living on clif bars, and being blissfully happy.
That's all you need.
Hint for the future: I'm trying to get there again this coming week. Yessssss.
It's no secret that I love baking. I got away from it for years due to struggling with an unhealthy relationship with food. Now that I've improved that and keep on doing so, baking is back and it's back at an extreme rate. I'm baking something a few times a week and loving it so much.
Roxy's still doing well and is as much of a bright shining light in my life as she always was. We took our annual trip to Erie this past August and had the best time.
9. Hike, hike, hike
I spent more time this year hiking than I have ever before and dangggg. LOVE. I'm really getting more and more into doing hard things that aren't necessarily fun in the moment but result in deep feelings of happiness and joy. Hiking is one of those things. The more I do it, the more I crave it.
10. Support local farmers!
This has been a game changer. I've always tried to shop at farmers markets before but I couldn't find one close enough to my house that I really enjoyed going to and could find things that I wanted. That changed this year and I found The One. It's over for the season now *big sad face!* but I found so much contentment in going each week and picking out food from local people who put time, effort, and so much care into growing plants. A new, beautiful habit has been formed.
11. Intuitive exercise
This is huge. I took months and months off of scheduled exercise and just did what felt good. That was a lot of yoga, barre, and cycling. The freedom that it brought me is something that I've been able to take into other aspects of my life as well. I'm back to scheduled exercise currently but that season of life where I was very freely following how I feel set me up to change the way that I look at fitness in such a positive way.
12. The DL on DL (the down low on Darrin Lettie)
Darrin and I have been together for almost 3 years now and I think that this past year was the best yet in regards to our relationship. I don't really talk much about us in detail online because I prefer to keep that part of my life more in my real life, but I couldn't recap things without a quick mention!
13. Daily walks
This was key for me this past winter. Getting outside everyday, no matter what. It helped to make the winter much more tolerable even if being outside wasn't the most pleasant experience. There's just something about the routine of it each day that keeps me centered and refreshed.
14. Stand my ground
I stick up for myself and say no when I want to say no. This has been something that I haven't done at all in the past. I'd let things go that bothered me and I couldn't say no because I'd feel bad. It never worked out (clearly) and always made things pretty terrible for me. I've learned, and practiced, turning things down and looking out for myself before I let anyone else commit me to anything that I'm not sure that I want to do.
This is huge. Doing things with intention. If you want to add a game changing practice into your life, make it this. I'm better at this sometimes more than others. It's a constant practice to be aware and present enough to do it but I've found it so amazing. Simply doing everything with intention. For example: drinking tea like the tea is the most important thing in the world. Feeling the warmth of the tea and the comfort of holding the mug as you drink it. Intention - bringing joy into my life like no other.
16. Create N Plate break
Ah, yes. We've reached the moment of time this past year where I took 4 months off from it all. It was completely unintentional and absolutely the best thing I could have done to stop myself from calling it quits for good. In the 4 years I've had this site I haven't taken more than a day or two off, at all. I struggled for a period of time not knowing if I wanted to continue with this site but decided to press on and keep on sharing. Fast forward to this past May when I just stopped. No plan, no agenda, nothing. I just let it go and focused on other things. It was amazing and it felt so right, until it didn't. I came back here in September and knowing that I don't want to quit. I'm here for the long haul and I absolutely love, love, love what I've created.
17. SUP/kayaking - all things water
I tried SUP for the first time this past year and I'll be surprised if I don't have a board by the time next year rolls around. Obsessed. I also took a ton of canoe/kayaking trips over the summer and I quickly realized that I could get very into kayaking and SUP. I love water so very much and there's something about spending the day floating along with schools of fish swimming underneath of you and deer standing on the upcoming riverbank.
When I decided to write this post the Adirondacks was the first topic to pop into my head. I knew that I'd be writing about it because I very quickly fell in love while visiting for the first time this past summer. I don't really know what the ultimate meaning behind visiting Lake Placid and falling in love with it is but I know that it holds great significance in my life. I am connected, all in. I think about it way more than I do about other trips that I go on. There are just some places that I click with and this is one of those places.
19. Quitting my job
Two big things in a row. I quit my office job last month, quite impulsively. Lets just say that I knew it was time to go. Now I'm out here Create N Plate'ing full time, for the time being. Is another job in my future? Will I be able to make enough from this site to sustain myself? Who knows. There's a lot of unanswered questions but time will certainly tell!
I'm giving YouTube a shot. Yikesss. I'm very new to the whole using a microphone and filming a yoga class and not actually leading it to real people thing. Working on it though and it's a process. Just putting myself out there though and seeing what I can do. So that's scary/exciting!
21. Cat bites and ER visits
I'll start by saying; hey, I'm Amanda and I love animals so much that I'm willing to be bit and scratched by them just to help them out.
If you're a stray kitten and you want a nice warm place to stay all you have to do is sit on my porch meowing your little head off and run away from me when I try to help you. If you do this then I will FOR SURE help you.
I'll lay in the grass with a bowl of food until it gets dark and wait for you to (very slowly) approach me. It'll be so unexpected that I won't be prepared with gloves or anything to hold on to you with that when I grab you it's no surprise that you freak out and start biting and scratching me like never before. I'll hold on tight though and scream for someone to get me a blanket. Which they do, and as I wrap you up you escape and run away and I end up at the emergency room because of the possible rabies and tetanus and infections galore!
But hey, it gets better. Really.
The little kitten got trapped once I got back home and has been living in the garage ever since. We had no rabies, I'm updated on my tetanus shot, and no infections are present. Yay successful rescue! She's about 12 ish weeks old now and is so playful. I named her Peanut the night of The Fiascoand it stuck from that point on. Lesson learned, but I'd totally do it again.
I'm coming up on my one year anniversary of meditating every single day. CRAZY. I'm someone who meditates literally ever day. I never would have guessed that would be me. But it is! And it's great! It's changed my life (cliche, I know) in so many ways and I have zero intentions of stopping any time soon. I've worked my way up to 20 minutes and that's such a huge accomplishment for me. Exciting!
23. Some things aren't worth the money
Ah, a recent lesson learned. Yes, I have realized just this week that some things aren't worth the money. Before this I was willing to a lot for some extra cash. But I've gotten myself into a situation involving cleaning (very dirty) public bathrooms and it is something that is absolutely not worth the money to me. Lesson learned, the hard way. But hey, that's okay!
24. Gratitude. So much gratitude
If you know me personally then you could have probably guessed that this would be somewhere in this post. After my Gratitude project last year I have been so aware of all of the good in life. That lengthy (challenging) project rewired my mind to be in an almost constant state of gratitude. I am so grateful for the past year of experiences and the people that I shared them with.
Thank you so much for reading, today and always. I appreciate you so much!! xx