My birthday was last week. I turned the marvelous and wonderful 42.
Fourty. Two. Years.
Roughly. Give or take a leap year.
It sounds old, but it’s really not. I’ve had a lifetime of experiences, learning lessons, heartache, tears, laughter and joy. I’ve raised 4 kids, divorced, had another baby right before turning 40. Somedays I think I’ve lived two lifetimes but I’m embracing every year. I remind myself that there is so much more to come in this beautiful, messy life. Each year I’m learning, and I’m going to share a few of my best personal lessons I’ve learned.
Less is More
Whether in accessories, clothing or friends this is an important lesson. I have a supportive and loving circle of friends and acquaintances. But I can count on one, maybe two hands the people I would call in the middle of the night if my world was falling apart. These are the people I spend my energy on because they spend their energy on me. Don’t waste your moments. Give your time to people who deserve it.
Despite what you think you know, you don’t know. You cannot assume or dictate someone’s level of hurt, sensitivity, past or present demons. You have no idea what happens behind the closed doors of their house or mind. Treat everyone with compassion and if you can’t then walk away.
Know When to Stand
Not every argument calls for a fight. Peace is always better than being right when you’re arguing with someone you strongly disagree with. State your case and move on with no anger. What they do with it is up to them. You won’t change them with a debate. They have to learn their own lesson in their own time. It’s not about who wins. It’s about where your heart is.
Savor the Now
Stop living in your past accomplishments and make new ones. Did you have an awesome college experience? That’s wonderful, but let’s not relive them every night at Bunco group. Let’s go out and make new memories.
Have the Conversations
If it really matters to you, then talk about it. Little things are easier to let slide in the name of peace, but if it’s important then respect yourself and your opinion enough to address it. Having an elephant-in-the-room conversation with a family member or close friend is better than ignoring it. Don’t waste your time with resentment or anger. Be strong enough to start a hard conversation. It might not end like you like; however, you can say you tried.
You’ve made it this far. You’ve lived through what you thought would kill you. You’ve suffered loss and heartbreak. It’s all part of life. Take the vacation, ask for the promotion, chase your dreams and don’t stop. Keep your head up, keep moving forward and be bold!
Know Your Worth
Not everyone on the internet, in the grocery store, at school drop off or even church has to approve of you. Your lifestyle, your feelings, your opinions and your style is all yours. The world would be boring if we were all the same. If someone dislikes you or makes fun of you because they don’t think or act like you, that’s on them. Know that you are a messy, beautiful work in progress and own it. Embrace it. Isn’t this what we teach our kids?