Photographer: Stanley Parrish (

There’s something special about having a birthday in the second month of the year. If you’ve had less than a happy new year, if you’ve broken resolutions or failed to accomplish your January goals, your birthday becomes your second chance. Your birthday becomes your do-over.

Today, February 9, is my birthday. Today begins my second chance at 12 months of excellence.

Today I turn 36 and as I wrote in my Write Like a Girl column for B-Metro, at first I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this new age. You see, 36 is not a milestone birthday, but it sure feels like one as it officially declares me closer to 40 than 30. Does this make me old? I wondered. Does this mean I’m “over the hill”? Was 35 “the hill”?

But, I’ve decided that only I can define the prime of my life, so, I will take 36 and have the time of my life.

Here are 36 things — both personal and professional — I want to do while I’m 36:

  1. Attend the Lean On Alabama conference.
  2. FINALLY launch the See Jane Write membership site.
  3. Create a brand video.
  4. Build See Jane Write to 500 dues-paying members.
  5. Update my head shots.
  6. Have a staycation with hubs at the Grand Bohemian Hotel.
  7. Attend Taco Libre 2017.
  8. Reach my happy weight.
  9. Get a mini-makeover.
  10. Revamp my wardrobe.
  11. Have a fun fashion photo shoot just because.
  12. Start a podcast.
  13. Start a vlog.
  14. Work on a campaign for one of my favorite brands.
  15. Have a girls’ weekend with my best friends.
  16. Host a girls night in at my home.
  17. Wear a bikini again.
  18. Take a real vacation with hubs.
  19. Write and publish a book.
  20. Write for I Am the F-Bomb.
  21. Host a lady writers luncheon.
  22. Host a HUGE See Jane Write event.
  23. Organize a reading featuring the women of See Jane Write.
  24. See my byline in one of my favorite national magazines.
  25. Make six figures in my business.
  26. Pay off my credit card debt.
  27. Buy a new car.
  28. Share a story at Arc Stories.
  29. Speak at Blogalicious 2017.
  30. Participate in the Vulcan Run.
  31. Run a half marathon and not feel like I’m going to die when I cross the finish line.
  32. Grow my blog traffic to an average of 100,000 monthly pageviews.
  33. Last year published a list of 50 essential Birmingham restaurants. By December 31 I want to be able to say I’ve had a meal at every restaurant on the list.
  34. Complete everything on my 2017 Birmingham Bucket List and then start another one.
  35. Discover why Birmingham was named one of the best cities in which to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
  36. Participate in the MLK Day 5K.

How will you make your next year the prime of your life?