Hello, thirty-two. I’ve got big plans for you. You and me, we’re gonna change the world.
Last year, I began a birthday tradition of documenting the things I’ve learned. Especially in a year like this one, when I still have yet to really sit and reflect on the year past and put together a list of resolutions, this looking back on my time as a thirty-one-year-old feels so important. Thirty-one was good to me. My life and my heart expanded in ways I never dreamed possible. I grew into myself more, also in ways I never dreamed possible. I feel more whole now, more myself, than I did when I greeted 31 just 366 days ago.
And in the process, I’ve learned and accepted so many important things.
Life, the good, really living parts of life, happen in the small moments. Rarely in the big ones.
Guilty pleasure music, TV shows, movies… they all have their place. And it is a very important place.
The lessons you learn in books about dealing with your toddler can be very successfully applied to the adults in your life.
There is nothing wrong with looking forward to and planning for a family vacation, only to leave it early because you all just want to curl up at home. Don’t stay because you think you should. Leave because you know you want to.
On the topic of the village – find, build, cultivate yours and do so carefully. The village is infinitely important.
Putting your house on the market when you are 6 weeks pregnant, nauseous, and exhausted is a bad idea. But it will pay off when you move in to a new house at 5 months pregnant and have very specific reasons to use all of that crazy, pregnant, nesting energy.
The most simple things can create a happy child. Think a few balloons, a bit of homemade play-dough, a few pieces of colored chalk and a sidewalk begging for decoration.
Never underestimate the power of a second chance.
Even when all conventional and philosophical wisdom tells you not to, sometimes you have to let go of the people and things in your life that do not make you happy. You will have peace once you do. And while that peace will be mixed with heartache, it will still be peace.
Twenty-five minutes to shower and dry my hair is a worthy investment of time in my day.
Go out of your way to love your family. No matter how far they might be.
Good friendships are not measured in hours spent together or miles spent apart. They are measured in the number of quick, I’m-thinking-about-you notes exchanged and the size of your smile when you see a friend’s name appear in your inbox, mailbox, caller ID.
New pajamas create smiles.
Don’t freak out if you walk out of the hair salon hating your new haircut. Wash it and give it a day or two.
Act how you want to feel. Dress how you want to feel. It really does work.
Cereal should have a place on your dinner menu every so often.
Don’t spend too much time looking back or looking ahead. Enjoy the moment you’re in right now.
And with that, I’m off to start enjoying thirty-two.
On the topic of age, I’m over at Just.Be.Enough today talking about appreciating the special age of three. Join me there, won’t you?