I met Jen Vondenbrink through work ten years ago. She worked in one of our regional offices and I was at the corporate headquarters. I have always been inspired by Jen’s positive attitude, her amazing facilitation skills and her dedication to delivering excellence. A few years ago she made the decision to leave the “comforts” of corporate America to begin her own consulting and business coaching practice, Life Simplified. Jen inspires me in so many ways; I was thrilled when she said she’d be willing to share her perspective on the topic of turning 40. Jen, thanks for this post, for your support and your guidance! (Check out Life Simplified to learn more about the ways Jen could help you meet your goals and dreams.)
The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music…
That’s how I spent my 40th birthday.
Quite the opposite happened. Instead a started what has now become a treasured tradition.
My life…our lives…are so hectic. Spending time with my girlfriends, sister and family is great, but this tradition is about quality time for myself, by myself. Oh yeah, and it isn’t a night off. It’s a full 48 hours (or more)!
So what do I do with 48 hours?
I contemplate the year, do a lot of writing, eat good food and create a vision of what’s to come. I try to spend time in nature and sometimes have conversations with relatives who have passed away. I decorate my space with the flowers I love and never go to places I’ve already been.
All of this stimulates my senses and helps me reset my mental thermostat. Once my head is clear, I write a letter to myself to be opened the following year. By the end of the weekend I feel revived. I can breathe, think and see so much clearer.
I can’t say this is the prescription for everyone, but what I know for sure is we all need our own private traditions that mark milestones in our lives especially as we get older. Whether it’s a 40th birthday, passing of a parent, or moving to a new home, it’s important to acknowledge where we’ve been and celebrate where we’re going.
Why did I start this tradition at the von Trapp Resort in Vermont?
Believe it or not, I was there when I was about 7 with my parents and grandparents. We got to meet the real Maria von Trapp and some of her children. I had never been back, but exploring the grounds brought back memories I’d forgotten long ago.
So the hills were really alive for me that weekend. An added bonus for a 40th birthday, wouldn’t you say?
Photo courtesy of Jen Vondenbrink — a photo snapped at the von Trapp Resort!