40 Fabulous Things for Me

In a few short days from when you read this I will be celebrating what is considered a milestone birthday. I will be enthusiastically entering the fabulous 40’s! I have no regrets and that whole business of finding yourself in your 40’s happened for me between 37 and 38.  I am, according to the masses, ahead of the game. I am even embracing the new buzz word of “flawsome” as I near the big day. I own all of who I am, where I have been and where I am going.

I have determined that in my 40th year I will be doing “40 Fabulous Things for Me.” This has always been my area of struggle, taking good care of me while taking good care of everyone and everything around me. I have come a long way but still have a long way to go because the guilt still creeps in. It still baffles me why I do this when I can psycho-babble the heck out of why I need to take good care of me and how I will better take care of everyone and everything else, but alas those pesky ingrained emotions and patterns like to resurface and make me work even harder. I am okay with that. We are ever evolving and nothing bad can come of working on ourselves, expanding our comfort zones and growing as a human. But let’s face it, it is exhausting sometimes learning these life lessons and retaining the nuggets of wisdom to share and pass down.

Okay, back to my “40 Fabulous Things for Me.” I am taking over this problem area in my life and turning it into an opportunity to take my flawsome self to the next level. I will be exploring and discovering new things, reintroducing old things that make me happy, enhancing personal relationships, expanding and growing my mind and soul, fully embracing my body, serving more children, their families and teachers with an even deeper passion and purpose plus so much more. My 40’s will be filled with abundant joy, laughter, fun, peace, love and grace.

One thing has been a life goal on my vision board and in my heart for a few years now, and more recently it went on my “40 Fabulous Things for Me.” I wanted to meet my sister in person. I knew that this year I was going to make it happen. You may be thinking, “What do you mean you haven’t met your sister?” Well the extraordinarily short story is that we have different mothers and grew up without ever meeting. We really knew very little other than we each existed. A culmination of circumstances left us growing up and living life with only what we knew as our families. Fast forward to a few years ago and our paths crossed through a new series of events. Not knowing one another or if we would even like one another we agreed to email and share a few phone calls to see if a relationship organically developed or if we would be causal friends that touched base every now and then. It was such uncharted territory for us both but we were equally curious about the other.

Those few, what we thought would be awkward interactions, turned into phone calls that lasted hours, supporting one another through life’s happenings, sharing in a group called Happie Mail together, laughter, tears and everything in between. We became friends, but more importantly became sisters. We became family. Like the old 16th century saying “Birds of a feather flock together;” we grew our flock and a bond that I am eternally grateful for.

On essentially the eve of my 40th birthday I am packing for a visit to meet my sister as a gift from my mother and family. I think that is a pretty fabulous way to start my 40th year of life and I am thrilled to be knocking this visit off my “40 Fabulous Things for Me” list so quickly into my 40th year! I am also proud of myself because this trip is a huge act of self-love and taking good care of me…and I do not feel guilty about it at all. Everyone and everything will be just fine until I get home. We will all grow from this trip – in mind, body and spirit. This opportunity to meet my sister and her family embodies so much of what I want my 40’s to be. CHEERS to an amazing year no matter what milestone you are celebrating or what relationship you are cultivating!

Taralee A. O’Malley-Hurff is an educator, a philanthropist and a published author. Her book, 100 Things To Do Before You Are 10, is the go to resource for family bonding and adventure. Taralee has passionately contributed to the fields of special education and early childhood education since 1998, meeting her students as needed in the home or in school. She excels at recognizing each child’s unique gift and successfully ignites their love of learning through exploration, discovery and play. It is through this work that Inspired Education was born. As a philanthropist, Taralee currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Regional New Jersey Early Intervention Collaborative. This is her 6th year as a Board Member. Taralee enjoys family life in Southern New Jersey with her husband and three children.

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