Today is my birthday, my own personal New Year. And tomorrow is the Lunar New Year, so it’s a day of new beginnings indeed.

But turning 43 is weird. It’s not a milestone age like 30, 40, or 50.

I can’t all it my Jackie Robinson year like last year or my Obama year like next year.

Turning 43 doesn’t feel special. It just feels old.

But then I remind myself that as a cancer survivor, each birthday is a milestone. And aging is a gift.

My birthday journaling rituals always help shift my perspective.

Here are the 3 things I journal about each birthday…

I journal about what I’m grateful for.

I kicked off my birthday making a list of 43 things I’m grateful for – one thing for each year I’ve been on this earth.

I won’t share the entire list here but it included:

  • My husband
  • My home
  • My family
  • My friends
  • See Jane Write
  • My writing opportunities
  • My speaking and teaching opportunities
  • See Jane Write
  • GirlSpring
  • Being cancer-free
  • Health care
  • My Mazda CX-5
  • Memories of all the places I’ve traveled to

Next, I acknowledge everything I’ve done that would make my younger self proud.

This helps ward off thoughts like, “By now I should have…”

Yes, there are lots of things I wish I’d accomplished by now, but 11-year-old me would still think that 43-year-old me is pretty cool.

Here are 11 things I’ve done that I think would make 11-year-old me proud:

  • I’ve written for ELLE magazine.
  • I’ve traveled out of the country by myself.
  • I’ve traveled to New York multiple times.
  • I’m a homeowner.
  • I did a TEDxTalk.
  • I was a teacher for 10 years.
  • I have my own home office.
  • I wrote and published a book.
  • I’m a full-time writerpreneur.
  • I own a Black SUV.
  • I have two degrees.

Finally, I set some intentions for my new year.

These are different from the goals I set for 2024. These intentions aren’t about things I want to accomplish but more about habits I want to adopt so that I will be happier and healthier.

My intentions include…

  • I will write more for myself and not just for clients.
  • I will move my body daily not to achieve fitness or weight loss goals but as a way to celebrate being alive.
  • I will prioritize my relationship with God.
  • I will be a better steward of all God has blessed me with.
  • I will behave like I am the CEO I dream of being.
  • I will continue to nurture my relationship with myself so that I am always my own best friend.

If you want to show me some love on my birthday, send your See Jane Write contributions via Cashapp to $JavaciaB.

Happy birthday to me!