November 22, 2011

24 Years

As of this morning yesterday (these things take time), I've officially been hanging around this lovely planet for 24 years. Some days I wonder if I have much to show for those 8767 and a half days, but looking back (birthdays are good for inducing nostalgia) I know that I've learned quite a bit from all of these trips around the sun. Today seemed like as good a time as any to share
1. There are very few problems that a well-timed peppermint mocha, pedicure, or hug can't help solve.
2. People are always going to tell you "these are the best years of your life!" High school, college, your twenties, your fifties... everyone wants to tell you that your prime is right-this-very-minute and don't you dare waste it. Don't stress too much: in truth, the years keep getting better. If you spend too much time worrying about enjoying the moment, it will be gone.
3. No matter how many master's degrees you've earned, all it takes is one "alot" or misplaced apostrophe to assure peers that your IQ is roughly equivalent to that of a rather slow goat. Knowing basic grammar rules and following them carefully can get you far in life.
4. You are never too mature to channel your inner four year old.
5. A glass bottle of wine and a great friend or two are often much more effective (and far less expensive) than professional therapy.
6. Take the time to learn what makes you happy, and whatever it is, do it. Often. Never apologize for it or make compromises. Do it.
7. Everyone should live alone for a little while. As much as I miss my husband right now, I've discovered so much about my own schedule, needs, and preferences. I know that this time alone will help me live more comfortably when he comes home.
8. There are certain things on which you should always be willing to splurge: clothes that make you feel beautiful, quality education, a comfortable bed, your family's health, and the perfect gift for someone else.
9. Technology can be a blessing and a curse. Unplug often enough to appreciate the incredible things it can do for you, but never make the mistake of missing real life because you're stuck behind the screen of a computer. Google will never manufacture love, sunshine, or sleep.
10. Life is all about the little things, so pay attention: they fly by pretty quickly.                                                  
11. Losing weight is never a continuous trajectory of numbers on the scale. It's a bumpy ride, and some weeks you're going to gain weight no matter what you do. There's always next week.
12. Alone time is absolutely essential for sanity. Do whatever it takes to spend some time in your own mind each week -- you never know what you might find.
13. Never underestimate the power of another species to love and care for you. A meow or a woof can express a lot more than words.
14. The cleaner your life, the easier it is to live. Clearing out the clutter in your house/office/car can do wonders for the cobwebs in your head.
15. Hard work is one of the best things you can do for your self-esteem. Tackling a challenge head on and sticking with it until you succeed teaches you things you never knew about your limits and how far they really stretch.
16. Running is 25% physical and 75% mental. Your legs can be fully capable of running a race, but if you don't think you'll get to the finish line, you absolutely won't. 
17. That guy you married probably isn't the one you dreamed of as a kid, the one you imagined and hoped for, the one you saw yourself growing old with..... he's better.
18. Your best investment really is yourself. Save, save, and save some more -- you will thank yourself one day.
19. Maintaining a good friendship takes hard work and sacrifice, but any friend who is worth it will always reciprocate.
20. It's never too late to say "I love you" or "I'm sorry." Or "More dessert please."
21. Sometimes you just have to let go of the perfectionism, the pressure, and the demands. Give yourself a break, go a little crazy, do something for you. Those deadlines will still be there when you get back.
22. People change. Sometimes they grow in a different direction, they disappoint, they let you down. It hurts, but you have to recognize when it's time to let go. On the other hand, someone you never expected might turn out to be just what you need the most. Never allow yourself to be so hurt that you can't still be pleasantly surprised.
23. Speaking of surprises: always surprise yourself. Push your boundaries, try new things, keep yourself on your toes. If nothing else, it makes life interesting.
24. Remember that things always gets better. The lows are the worst and can seem neverending, but if you keep fighting through it, you'll eventually make it out the other side. No matter what happens, never give up on yourself.

Here's to another year of living, loving, and learning.
And since I started writing this two days ago and it's now Thanksgiving, I hope that you all have a wonderful Turkey day! Enjoy all the time with family, friends, and yummy food!



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