Monday was my 32nd birthday and for the most part we spent it snowed in and entertaining kids. It wasn’t fancy but Kel did everything he could possibly do to make it special, including gluten free french toast and a total takeover of my Facebook page.
He hacked my Facebook page and asked my friends and family to share thoughts or memories of me and it was over and above the best part of the day.
It’s fascinating learning about yourself through other people’s memories of you. People chimed in from every stage of my life reaching all the way back to elementary school and it made me feel whole.
I saw the continuity of myself, the seeds that were planted in 3rd grade tell the story of the person I am today. Someone who is comfortable being honest and unique, who loves words and apparently has and will always love musicals and movie soundtracks.
Seeing the story of yourself told through the eyes of those you who love you is an amazing gift and to all who chimed in, thank you.
So that being said I’ve spent the last few days reflecting on the things I’ve learned along the way. So here they are:
32 lessons learned in 32 years of life.
1) The moment you think you don’t need to pack a spare diaper, tampon, or hand sanitizer is the exact moment you should turn around and get it, because? Life is mean like that.
2) Eat real food made from real, understandable ingredients. It tastes better and it’s what your body was designed for.
3) Having kids is exhausting and it takes everything you have, and more, much more. Then, in a surprise instant it gives you more than it ever took. I say this with a 6 inch scar across my abdomen.
4) Most things are better with a good playlist. Listen to good music, I use and adore Spotify.
5) If you wash your makeup brushes regularly you’ll get less zits. True story. You can do it using baby shampoo, it’s not hard.
6) Going somewhere? Bring a book, you’ll end up waiting and will enjoy it more than mindless phone surfing.
7) If you’re feeling small or less than worthy, get off the internet. Often it’s the compare / contrast that has you feeling scattered. (I get paid to do social media and currently don’t have facebook or twitter on my phone for this very reason)
8) Take more baths, they’re good for your nervous system and your soul.
9) Discipline sounds constricting, but usually it just frees you up to live a deeper, healthier, happier life. Sounds backwards, but it’s not.
10) Having company? Don’t freak out about the house. Set the timer for 10 minutes, do what you can, then pour wine and remember that your friends love you just as you are.
11) If you’re ready to explode, take a walk. There is something about moving and nature that resets the crazy, it’s probably even science.
12) There is more than one way to do everything: This includes parenting, marriage, eating, working, everything. Judge not.
13) It’s easy to get wrapped up in who is not noticing you but it’s far better to love and tend to those who are. It brings with it contentment and depth.
14) Hot breakfasts change lives.
15) Gratitude fixes nearly all internal struggles. There’s this stat that says that one week of daily, intentional gratitude affects the next three months of your mental health and outlook.
16) Celebrate things. Buy champagne, toast the milestones, write on and save the corks.
17) “I’m sorry” is one of the hardest and most important tools you have. I know, I KNOW it’s hard, but do it anyway.
18) Try to stop worrying about other people’s bad habits and choices. You can only change you.
19) You will never regret a night of going to bed early with a book.
20) Learn this phrase: “I’m not in charge and it’s wonderful.”
21) Go to therapy as needed, maybe more. No shame, NO SHAME, we all need mental tune ups or complete overhauls at times.
22) Potty training is not a litmus test for good parenting. They won’t go to college in diapers. Stop listening to whoever is making you feel like a failure in the diaper aisle.
23) Don’t feel guilty over reading more novels than non-fiction. Stories change lives as effectively as “how-to” books.
24) Reconciliation isn’t easy but it’s worth it to go to long haul with people. This being said some people will walk out of your life and you can’t fix it, for this I suggest a good cry and maybe some ice cream. (refer to 18)
25) Laughter is a salve for so many wounds, especially in marriage.
26) It is no small thing to get to know yourself, it’s hard and worth it. I recommend this sorter to find out your MBTI temperament.
27) Avoid “When I’m a _____, I’ll never ______” statements. They’re judgey and often times they just make you feel silly later.
28) Your concept of home will change as you get older, this is really scary but also natural.
29) Give your children your time and attention before they start demanding it in the wrong ways. I schedule kid time before I schedule work from home, it’s like making a deposit in their love tanks.
30) In this DIY world it’s tempting to do ALL THE THINGS. Pick some things that you just don’t do, I’ve learned this the hard way.
31) As often as you can take 100 things to Goodwill or the equivalent. Less really IS more. I promise.
32) Embrace your age but never, ever stop allowing the wonder of this wide world to stop you dead in your tracks like a child at Disney world.
What would you add? Come on chime in, consider my birthday present.
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