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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: 25 ways I’m going to embrace Life before I’m 25

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25 ways I’m going to embrace Life before I’m 25

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: 25 ways I’m going to embrace Life before I’m 25

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

September 22, 2010

25 ways I’m going to embrace Life before I’m 25

As promised, I decided to make list of 25 things I’m going to do/say/change about life to really embrace every moment before I’m 25. As I mentioned yesterday in my “What is Living Beautiful?” post, we aren’t promised tomorrow. We are certain that this moment won’t be our last. And me, being the slightly neurotic and obsessive compulsive person that I am, the only way for me to truly stick with something is to make a list. So…that’s what I am going to do.

In order to truly embrace life and live in the moment, I am going to:

1.  Spend more time listening and less time complaining. God gave us two ears and one mouth because he meant for us to do twice as much listening. I am guilty of not listening to the Big Man as much as I should. My aim is to designate a time during the day to just sit and BE with the Lord and hear what he has to say.

2.  Learn to joyfully accept the things that I can not change. I want to actually put the serenity prayer into action. I am not in control. No matter how much I try to fight the circumstances, I. can’t. change. them.

3.  Surround myself with people who matter and people who care. I am guilty of trying to find friendships and relationships that end up leaving me feeling empty. When really, in truth, there are people around me [both in real life and virtually] that would be there when I needed them. Some of the ‘posers’ I can not rely on for so much as a phone call. It’s time to change that.

4.  Set up a schedule for my time spent blogging and my time spent editing photos. While I’m not on the computer all day, I spend far more time on here than I should. Especially with a toddler in the house. Though there are many times that I think he just assumes to play with his cars in the floor while watching a movie, he’s not going to be little forever. And it’s time I start pulling myself away from my chaotic world and into his. We all know how easy it is to sit down with intentions of being at the computer for 15-20 minutes, and then we look up and the whole day has gone by. Been there.

5. Love my husband more than I do now. When I found out about the wreck that killed that poor girl, I cried. I cried for her and for her family, but I also cried at the acknowledgement that that could have just as easily been my husband. That something could happen to him out there just like it did her. That, as hard as it is to even think about, I could never see him again. Good Lord willing that will never, ever happen, but whether we want to think about it or not, it could. And I want to make sure that he know, without any shadow of a doubt, just how much I truly, wholly, and completely love him.

6.  Revel in the small things. A card. A hug. A sweet kiss from my little guy. Our world is too fast paced and too materialistic to spend much time enjoying the tiny things. But I’m going to. Because in essence, they mean more than anything else ever will.

7.  Continue my ‘Photo a Day/365 Project’ as indefinitely as I can. I have Maegan to thank for this. Her very moving, very sincere post on how she was affected by her willingness to push herself to take photos everyday moved me in ways that I can not even explain. I’m already enjoying looking back at the photos in my project and remembering where I took them, why I took them, and how happy I was when they turned out the way that I wanted. Granted, I’ll begin to challenge myself with this project in many ways as time passes. But I have to make it till the next year first before I can even think about talking about that.

8.  Keep better track of the small things Little Man does. I initially got this idea when I read Suzannes Diary for Nicholas and started on it pretty quickly. I bought a journal and I’ve been writing ‘letters’ to Little Man about life before he was born, and all of the things that he’s done that make us smile. It’s very rewarding and I’m looking forward to sharing it with him when he’s older.

9.  Get involved in a charity. This has been on my heart lately. I want to use my blog and my photography to give back. I pray about this a lot. God has given me this talent [and I use that term loosely because I don’t like to feel like I’m bragging, because I most definitely am not.] and I want more than anything to use it give glory to him. I find joy and fulfillment in writing and photographing people, but I want to find more. I want to use it to glorify him…in whatever way he deems fit.

10.  Develop better exercise and eating habits. This may not make sense to some, and to other it probably sounds perfect for what I’m writing. I have already made the choice to make the move to Organic for the good of our family. More will be coming on that as we move and get in our own home again, but this is something that means a lot to me. I want to make sure that I provide the best for my family and take the best care of myself that I can.

11.  Find time to myself. This one is a key point in my life. I was talking to my BFF last night about this, and it is amazing at how many of us moms never take time for ourselves. If I don’t get any time away from parenting, I get irritable and frustrated and too often, my son and my husband are the ones that catch the raw end of the deal.

12.  Read. Read. And read some more. I love books. I love reading. Self-explanatory.

13.  Study, shoot, study more. This pertains to my photography. There is so much that I don’t know. And so much more that I want to know. I want to devote time everyday to the things that I love the most, and that includes photography.

14.  Stop sweating the small stuff. I get bent out of shape sometimes for no reason. This needs to stop. There are too many other things in life that I could be doing other than worrying. This post says it better than I ever could. Jhen’s writing is beautiful and there is no way I could word what I’m feeling any better than she did here.

15. Write Cards & Letters. Sounds silly doesn’t it? I love getting cards. I love sending cards. For birthdays, anniversaries, just because…nothing says “I care” better than sending someone a card to let them know you are thinking about them. I used to be really good about sending cards out to people, but I slacked off. And that’s not good. I need to start that back.

16.  Accept myself and how God made me. I am a woman. I notice my own flaws. I critique myself harder than I should. I have a husband who loves me and thinks I’m beautiful, but I spend more time noticing what is not {beautiful} than I do embracing what is. And I should be rejoicing because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

17.  Give. Of my time. Of my finances. Of my love. Of my abilities. There are enough selfish people around who think only of themselves. And I don’t want to be one of them. I want to give of myself and all that God has given me. Nothing is mine anyway. It’s all a gift to me and gifts are meant to be given.

18.  Teach and Inspire. There are people in this world who inspire me in all different ways. Beth Moore for her Faith and  Trust in the Lord. My high school English teacher who pushed me and challenged me in developing my own writing skills. Skye Hardwick, Jasmine Star, Amy Wenzel for their amazing photography and beautiful outlook on life. I want to reach that point myself. Where I use what I’ve been given to inspire others. If it’s here on this blog, or through the emotions stirred up in a photography…There are people who have shared their knowledge with me and I want to pass what I've learned on as well.

19.  Laugh.

20.  Dream. And dream BIG. Nothing is out of reach if you really want it and work for it.

21.  Strengthen my Faith. Someone said yesterday via a DM on Twitter that they admired my strong Faith. I thank you for such a kind and encouraging comment, but my Faith is no where near as strong as I would like it to be. I know what I believe and I know that God is in control, but that does not mean that I don’t doubt. That I don’t worry. That I don’t fear. Because I do. And I want to be stronger. I want to withstand things that I think I can’t.

22.  Sing, Dance and be Silly. I’m an adult. Well, most days. :) And adults are stiff and forget too often how to have fun. I want to dance around the living room being goofy with my son. I want to dance with my husband in the kitchen to no music because we love holding one another. Without a care as to who sees us or what anyone thinks. I want to sing in the car and in the kitchen while I’m cooking because I want to. [It definitely won’t be because I can. Trust me I am NOT musically inclined. AT all.] After all, why not?

23. Say what I feel. Whether it’s that I love something, dislike something or that I am offended or hurt by something that was said. All too often I feel things and don’t share. With my husband, with my family, with my friends. I hold feelings in because I’m afraid to hurt people. Or to be hurt.

24. Simplify. We don’t need a bunch of “stuff,” a bunch of “things” to make our livescomplete. And I want to de-clutter my home and my life and fill it with simple things that matter the most.

25. Live. Just live. Just take it day by day. As if there is no tomorrow. Because one day, there won’t be.

What about you? What is on your list? I’m going to leave this link open until NEXT Friday, October 1. Then I’ll come back and pull some of my favorite things from the lists that we linked and share here.

Happy Wednesday, guys!


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