YIKES. 35. THIRTY FIVE. thirrrteeeeee fivvvvve. GAHHHH!!! This is a tough one. 34? I was totally fine. 35… not so much. I’ve been asked a million times what I want to do for my birthday. Well, today’s the day and my only answer is to eat raw fish and be with friends. So those are our plans. I’m raiding the newly remodeled Japanese grocery store, going crazy buying sushi grade fish and kobe beef for shabu shabu and possibly some cocktail ingredients =) and inviting over the besties. They have a babysitter secured, we’re good to go. Maybe a game of Truth or Fib? Or I’ll finally learn how to play poker? Who knows what the night may bring. For sure there will be 90’s Hip Hop involved, I can tell ya that.
I may not feel 35 nor have huge pieces of wisdom for you but here are some nuggets from this little life of mine. Here goes…
1. Life is never going to turn out how you’ve planned it in your head. Don’t take this one the wrong way. I love my life. I’m beyond blessed. If you would’ve told me 15 years ago I was going to end up an Acupuncturist married to an ex-bartender, I would have told you that you were crazy. Lesson learned.
2. God is in control. I have seen Him work in my life, the hub’s life, and countless others lives in amazing ways. He is always there and He is always good.
3. Honesty goes a long way. If you know me, you know I am usually to a fault, blatantly honest. I probably need to hold it back at some moments, but for the most part, I feel honesty is always best.
4. Authenticity shines through. Similar to #3 but deserving of its own number. Authentic people hold a special place in my heart. They may be strange or a little rude sometimes but they are who they are and they aren’t afraid to be exactly that.
5. Friendship takes work. I suck at maintaining friendships. It’s not that I don’t love the friends I’ve lost along the way… It’s just that when someone is not in my daily/weekly/monthly life, I just plain suck at keeping in contact. I’ve lost contact with some awesome peeps and that’s not ok. #ineedtoworkonthat
6. It’s the little things that count. I am usually striving and striving to attain something big. From getting my master’s, passing the board exam, getting a job, getting another job, having to move, etc… I forget that all the things in between those big things are what’s really important. The people I met and experiences I’ve had are irreplaceable.
7. Sugar is a drug. For real. If you’ve been following allowing this blog, you know I gave up sugar for lent and had a heck of a time. More to come on me getting back on the wagon, but it’s a drug and I’m addicted. Beware. That is all.
8. Happiness is a choice. Ok, maybe this isn’t true all days. And, maybe this is just me. This is my list after all. You could be one of those always-in-a-great-mood individuals. If so, more power to ya. But, most days I don’t wake up chipper and singing and 100% full of joy. But, after some prayer, devotion and a decision to have a great day – it is much more likely to happen.
9. A good night’s sleep is of extreme importance. The older I get, the truer this is. I treasure my sleep. The hubs and I are usually in bed before 10:00 pm (old, I know) and I wouldn’t have it any other way. (His alarm does go off at 3:45 am so give us a break!)
10. Don’t dwell on your regrets. Yes, I’ve made some extremely poor decisions in my 35 years. Need proof? I’ve got the permanent ink on my bod for that. I used to ruminate on all this nonsense. Let it go. It’s over. Embrace the present and see #8.
11. Take things in moderation. Food, drinks, exercise, you name it. Every time I sprint full bore into something without looking back, I usually end up quitting or regretting it.
12. Perfectionism is overrated. Yikers. This is a tough one for me. I’m your classic textbook only child, overachiever, perfectionist. As difficult as it is for me to say everything doesn’t need to be perfect, it’s true. Biggest place I’ve had to exercise this is with this blog. #beingaworkinprogressisok
13. Ask for help when you need it. Another one I am so NOT GOOD at. It’s taken almost 9 years of being married for me to say, “hey can you go get the laundry for me?” And for the big stuff? I’m even worse. People want to help you, let them. *Mostly speaking to myself here*
14. Hard work pays off. Sometimes my work feels insignificant. It can feel like I’m not contributing anything huge or meaningful to this world so why bother? I heard a TED talk a while ago that was amaze. Doesn’t matter what you do – work hard and find happiness in what you do. Don’t let what you do define your happiness. Your hard work will be seen, even if only by Jesus and you will be rewarded.
15. Be sensitive to others. Remember #3? I’m a little too honest for my own good on this one. We have absolutely no idea what others are dealing with. Watch your words. The woman you just vented to about how much your mom is driving you crazy may have just lost hers. You get the idea.
16. Help without being asked. Wow, who knew when I started this list it was going to be all the things I majorly suck at. I’m the first person to say or text a friend/family member: let me know what you need/how I can help/etc… Inevitably, the answer is always: thanks, I’m good. Because most people suck at #13. So, don’t wait to be asked. Show up with food, flowers, or just to be there for someone. Again – I’m mostly speaking to myself on this one.
17. Compliment, compliment, compliment. How good does it feel when someone says, “you look beautiful today” or “that color top really compliments your skin tone” or “that email you sent was worded perfectly.” Pretty.darn.good. Now go out and make someone’s day!
18. Take time out for yourself. Weekends for me are reserved for grocery shopping, laundry, meal prepping, cleaning, ugh. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! That’s why it’s super important to schedule some time for you. Just you. Whether it’s a mani/pedi, massage, bubble bath, shopping, gardening, cooking, reading, whatever it is YOU enjoy. Calendar it in and make sure it happens.
19. Treasure those God places in your path. So, you’ve learned I suck at maintaining friendships and I’m working on that. I do believe God places specific people in our lives right when we need them. Treasure it and them. Think about who’s around you and how they’ve influenced you. I know I’m incredibly grateful for the ones I’ve got. Now go back to #17 and tell ’em what you think!
20. Embrace spontaneity. I hate this one. I’m a planner. And then I plan my planning. I make list after list and then another list for my list. The hubs loves a good adventure. Bleh. I don’t even like the word ‘adventure’! I must say though that some of our best times have come from something spontaneous – a road trip to Cambria, random restaurant find, etc. Embrace the madness.
21. Roll with the punches. Along the same lines as #20 and another one I truly despise. Like, being told we have to move from our beloved home? Remember that doozy? Not that you could forget since I complained to you for a million years. And now… we’re in a home – dare I say – we actually like more! Roll with the ups and the downs. God’s got your back.
22. Love the ones you’re with. The ones we do life with on a daily basis are usually the ones we take out all our anger/hurt/annoyances on because, well, they’re there every stinkin’ day. Here’s lookin’ at you hubs. But, we would never treat those not as close to us as badly. Turn those tables and love the ones you’re with the most. They deserve it.
23. Prayer works. I have this sign up that reads, “Prayer Changes Things” Someone gave it to me and I put it up and see it multiple times a day. In my brain I know that it’s true. I grew up at church, worked at a church, have been through countless Bible studies, the works. In my life, I didn’t fully comprehend the truth of this statement until the past year. Try it. It works.
24. Don’t be concerned what others think of you. SO much easier said than done. Again, this is one of those work in progress statements for me. But I do feel the older I get, the easier this is to embrace. This is me, love it or leave it.
25. Don’t keep up with the Joneses. Just because your friends or neighbors bought the newest car, couch, tv, or whatevs – does NOT mean you need to. Yes, it may invoke feelings of envy. I get it. Hubs and I had no tv (yes, NO tv – as in no television set) for over a year. My car is old and the paint is coming off of it. I want the perfect home decor and to write the perfect blog post showing it all of. Instead I have all hand-me-downs or yard sale finds. Keeping up with the Joneses only puts you in a bad place financially, it doesn’t bring happiness. Make things your own and choose some joy in the meantime. Things are just that, things.
26. Embrace each other’s differences. I used to think if I was too different from someone we couldn’t be friends. Not so. Just because we don’t see eye to eye, doesn’t mean we can’t love each other and our contrasting views.
27. Take a technology breather. Put down the cell phone. And iPad. And laptop. The best part of our last camping trip was the fact that our phones didn’t work. At first I felt utterly helpless. Then it was strangely liberating. It needs to happen in my life and – I assume – yours much more often.
28. Say, “I love you” and mean it. One of my biggest pet peeves is people just throwing around, “I love you.” If you mean it, say it. If not, don’t.
29. Send a note to a loved one. Can you remember the last time you received actual snail mail from someone? It’s super meaningful. And not so hard to do. Grab some stationary and jot your thoughts. It’ll go a long way.
30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Life is just plain better when you’re not so serious.
…and now for some fun ones…
31. Binge it up. Sometimes we all just need a day full of Haagen Dazs & Netflix. Can I get an Amen?
32. Have a dance party. Pretty sure this will be happening tonight. Break out whatever floats your boat. I’m in for some Notorious B.I.G.
33. Enjoy your fav foods. Raw fish and chocolate for me, please.
34. Laugh til you cry. Let loose, play a game, laugh so hard it hurts. The best.
35. Sing at the top of your lungs in the car. Throw yourself a Taylor Swift concert and don’t be shy.
PHEW. If you actually made it through this post, you deserve an award. Or some biscotti. Thanks, friends for joining me on this blog-venture. Cheers to my 35th year!