Monday, January 10, 2011

A Reflection...

I'm such a bad blogger. I don't really update as much as I should. I don't take pictures of events in my life. And I don't write things down, so I'll always remember them. I have so many things I need to work on.

Being a new year, I started reflecting on past years and events of my life, relationships that have come and gone, careers that were short lived and new people I have met. It's unbelievable to me how fast time flies. It seems like yesterday I was taking my new teaching job in Arizona with Laura and setting out on a new adventure. That was almost 4 years ago. Incredible. So much has transpired since that year in Arizona. I've had two job changes, married, bought a house and a dog, certified in pilates, and aged. I still feel like I'm 23 and ready for any obstacle ahead of me. But the increasing lines on my face and gray hairs tell me otherwise. I'm still young at 27, but approaching my thirties quite rapidly.

Because experiences are but a fleeting moment, I've realized how much has happened these past years and how much I need to improve on. Have I become a better person than I was four years ago? Have I become more self disciplined, more compassionate, more selfless, more kind, more serving and less judgmental? Not to the extent I need to be. I find myself judging people very quickly. In fact the older I get, the more it seems I am set in my ways and therefore judge people more. However, the older I get, I realize the importance of character rather than material or superficial things.

Marriage has made the most transformative change in my life and in my character. I am a different person compared to the Ashley that got married two years ago. Our anniversary is approaching and our marriage is better and amazingly more seamless than when we first said "I do". I truly believe I was a kid then. Even though it was two years ago, I felt like I have aged and grown the equivalent of 10 years.

Marriage is an amazing thing. It has taught me several life long lessons. The most profound being love. Love is not infatuation. Love is hard work. Love is loving a person despite their flaws. Love is working every day towards a better marriage. Love is coming home to my husband and being so grateful he chose to marry me. Love is being less self-centered and giving your all to your partner. Love is creating a family. Love is uniting yourself to your husband to which you become one. Love encompasses all sorts of great character traits. Ones that I have improved on since that Valentine's Day in 2009.

I'm turning 28 years old this year. With my thirties approaching, I have been very contemplative with what has transpired in my life, what I have accomplished, and what goals I have going forward. But what is really bothering me, is I feel like I haven't been charitable. What have I done for others the past 27 years of my life? I know that I have done a whole lot for myself, but not a whole lot for my neighbors, friends, family, and community.

This is my primary goal for 2011. To forget about my trials, my daily tribulations and start helping and serving others. I have it so good. I have been so blessed. I have an amazing husband. I have an amazing family. I have amazing friends. I have a home, I have a job and I have a healthy body. With all this goodness that fills my life, I feel like it's my duty to give back.

I hope that this year will be more of a reflective and contemplative one. I hope that I can improve on my weaknesses. I hope that I can always live by what I believe. I hope that I can help others. I hope that I can be more forgiving and less judgmental. I hope that I can slowly, but steadily change who I am each day for the better. I hope I can look back four years from now, and be ok with what I have done.

Happy Monday.

**Quote above by James A. Froude


amanda james said...

oh my, who are you? that was such a precious post. I feel the same way about everything that you said. It's so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and worry about stupid stuff. Please, your husband hit the jackpot with you. You are such a goldmine. Sure wish I lived in slc so I could take your pilates classes. I need to get my baby booty in shape

Amy said...

Very, very good post. Made me think about my life. You're great!

Raising Helm said...

reality check! Woowee-I definitely have a lot to work on. Reading this made me want to track you down and start a "service project." I too hope I can better myself this year. Thanks for the inspiration! Goals are great!

Ashley Blackburn said...

Brittany--I would totally start a service project with you. We should do it!

Debra said...

Ashley...just found this and loved it! It makes me grateful that my son found you. It gives me confidence and hope in the future when I get a glimpse of your goodness. Everything really will be OK!