Saturday, November 21, 2009

The not so big 3-9

Tomorrow I turn 39. Really 39 not "and holding" or "forever 39". I will not be staying put, I will gladly move to 40 next year. I enjoy aging, it gives legitimacy to all my bossiness. Ha ha. Anyway...This age has me thinking about 40. I remember when John and I were in our mid 20's and 40 seemed like a life time away. We would talk about goals and say, "by the time we are 40 we will...". With so much time to accomplish whatever followed how could we not reach that goal? All the big things in life fell into this category.

So that has me thinking about some of those things we wanted to accomplish, what can I still do in the next year (or 6 months for John), what have we already accomplished and what do we need to move into our new "by the time we retire..." conversations.

What we didn't accomplish...

Pay off our house. We moved into this house 7 years ago and owe twice as much as we did when we dreamed that dream. Clearly moved backward on this goal but have a plan and will definitely own by the time we retire.

Buy a cabin. If you live or grew up in MN this is likely on your dream list. Considering the prices and responsibilities of cabin ownership we have gone back and forth about this and made some modifications to this dream. None-the-less we still dream it and have moved it into the "in our 40's" conversation.

Be able to pay for Jake's college. Now technically Jake has 2 years left of school and we will be 41 when he graduates but the goal should be in reach by the time we are 40. I like to think we have enough to get him through a couple years at community college but if we don't see alot of excitement in the stock market soon I am not even sure of that. I always thought I would just get a job when Jake graduated but then our little mid-life crisis came along and I will be busy with a 1st grader as Jake graduates and not likely to want a job to pay for his college. We are abandoning our poor son to the world of scholarships, grants, public education and a job. (we are discouraging loans in favor the 7-10 year graduation plan.) Actually he is planning to get into ROTC so we are good. That will be like we accomplished the goal only the government will pay for it. Which I guess is still us...

Could still accomplish by 40...

The non-specific "financial stability". (I didn't say we had made well thought out, clearly defined goals) While our 30's started off in the right direction somehow, even before this unfortunate economic time, we got off the path somewhere. John's work that was going great seemed to get derailed for a time during what I call the "mid-life crisis" of his career which ironically occurred amidst adopting the mid-life crisis. Now finally doing something he enjoys and is doing well at I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel. Plus we took a personal finance class a couple years ago so we now actually know how to accomplish our goals and have set some specific ones. If we stay focused I feel confident that I will be able to check parts of this one off by this time next year.

Things we can check off the list...

Go to Africa. Actually this goal was "before Jake graduates", another defined time frame we didn't think would ever come. This one goes with "travel more". Although I wouldn't say we have done a ton of traveling over the years, unless you count visiting my sister in Atlanta probably 20+ times, we have done a few things and definitely with this trip have seen the vision for prioritizing travel/vacation in our lives. Already I am thinking of a trip to France "before Isabelle graduates from high school". Will that day every come?

So in conclusion...I am a goal setting nerd that actually finds all this really fun, exciting and motivating, even the stuff I didn't accomplish. I am excited for this next decade of my life. But more than just another decade it is another whole stage. If I am now in "the stage before 40" then next year I will enter "the stage before retirement". So this next year as I am 39 and enjoying these last years of early adulthood I will be busy getting my life in order to launch into my retirement planning years with gusto. Yes I am weird, move on.

Interestingly as I look at the list I see that so many of our dreamas have been financial. While most big goals do require money I am thinking that maybe I should work on some non-financial goals for my retirement. How about...Run/walk a marathon, this is one I am considering for my 40th birthday. Have a greater understanding of theology and various biblical philospophies. Write a book or magazine article or...something, get published. Encourage other women. Learn and grow, stay open to the plans God has for my life. Give more.

There is one more thing that we can check off my dream list, phase one of a very fun remodel project at our house. Tomorrow or Monday will be the big reveal of something very exciting that has been going on at our house. John is working hard today to finish up my birthday present. Can't wait to show you! I love being married to a remodeler! OK, you want a hint. Here are a couple peaks...

And here is the color I am painting the walls...Painted Turtle.


  1. at first i was clueless and thinking that those pictures offered nothing...then you mentioned the paint color and i know that you are painting your kitchen. then i looked at the pics again, and it clicked!! i've got it!! He cut the hole for the garage door into the house!! am i right?

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY from one goal planning dork to another! LOL I hope you had an amazing day!