Wednesday, May 6, 2015

40 things I know for sure...

I woke up this morning and just like that, I was forty.

After hitting my 4:30am alarm, I went to the gym and ran, rowed and stretched, much like every other day when I was thirty something.

I came home, put lunches into back packs, made toast for the kids, jumped in the shower and enjoyed an adorable "Moms & Muffins" program at Claire's preschool.  It was beyond lovely.

But as I was driving around doing errands and being mindful of this milestone, I started ruminating on the things I know to be true for me...nuggets I feel that I've amassed over the last four decades that shape who I am and how I experience the world.  None of the following are in any particular order...

  1. You can never say "I love you" too much, really only too little.  And while you're at it, be the first one to do it...don't wait to respond to another...often, they're waiting for you to take the initiative.
  2.  There is no such thing as too much coffee. Only too little cream.
  3. Sometimes, actually, more times than you think...the appropriate response is "Fuck" on all kinds of levels.  And that's okay.
  4. There really is no such thing as talented or gifted exempt of elbow grease.  If you want something badly enough, put the time in, do the work.  You may not be the best but you'll get a hell of a lot closer than if you sit on the sidelines wishing you were in the game.
  5. Parenting is the most beautiful, terrifying, exhausting, exhilarating job that I have ever known...and I'm only a decade in.
  6. Get good at saying "I'm sorry."  Equally as good as saying "I love you."  Injuring another is  part of being human.  Apologizing and authentically feeling remorse is the second chance you get at doing the dance again.
  7. Cultivate really, really good friendships.  Find people that love you unconditionally and that encourage you to scream and to air your dirty laundry and will call bull shit when you're trying to rationalize your stupid behavior. And will drink with you and tell you that you're the best even when you kind of suck.
  8. Write your 5-year plan and then throw it away.  Being wedded to a non-living, breathing entity is like making yourself a prisoner to unforeseen circumstances and whimsical fancies that you have no idea live in the future.
  9. Go to the beach.  Walk.  Swim. Freeze your ass off in the water. Make a wish. Believe.
  10. Get out of your head.  Nothing great lives there.  Most of it is worry or fantasy or distraction.  If you feel pulled, go.  Put one foot in front of the other and try.
  11. Have sex.  Copious amounts of it.  No one said that you have to have a partner to do this.  And don't apologize.
  12. Jump out of a plane or ride a roller coaster or swim with sharks or bungee know.  Something that scares the bejesus out of you and see that the sun still comes up the next day and you were all freaked out for nothing.
  13. Get your heart broken.  Really broken.  Like you can't breathe broken.  That means that you jumped in.  You gave everything.  You didn't hold back.  You loved with everything you knew to give.  From that moment forward you will know that vulnerability is the only way to truly live.
  14. Choose not to be selfish.  Mow your mom's lawn.  Get up in the middle of the night with your kid.  Help your neighbor.  Give, give, give.  You get so much more out of it than the receiver.
  15. Stop quibbling over God.  God is love, grace, forgiveness and you are a child of God.  You never have to wonder.  You just need to trust.
  16. Stop deciding who gets to love which person.  Love is love.  Love is powerful and a force not to be reckoned with.  And commitment, partnership and trust is beautiful.
  17. Wear red lip stick.
  18. Take long baths preferably with wine or tea.
  19. Write down all of the things you think you are not.  Take a torch and burn them.  
  20. For the most part, everything is temporary, so if it hurts now, it won't hurt forever.
  21. If your gut is guiding you, go.  Don't second guess intuition, God gave it to you purposefully.
  22. Tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.  If you want it, today is the day.
  23. Whoever invented chocolate, particularly sea salt caramels deserves a special place in Heaven.
  24. Appreciate, even for a brief moment, what is.  It's impossible to move forward if you don't honor what is and what has been.
  25. More people rely on you than you think and your presence in their life matters.  Never underestimate your worth and the widespread joy you bring to many.
  26. Spanx suck and should never be put on in front of your significant other.
  27. There comes a time when the only thing that makes sense is a big bowl of homemade whipped cream, a Lifetime movie and you in your underwear on the couch.
  28. Throw away the clothes that have been taking up room in your closet...they represent all of the things you think they do.  They've done their service and you deserve better today than you think you do when you get back to a size whatever.
  29. Get fresh flowers.  Put them on your desk or in your kitchen and know that you are loved.
  30. Anger is never a good counselor.  Sleep on it.  Nothing good ever happened when you were filled with rage.
  31. Take the high road except for with the real assholes...that's when it's okay to be passive aggressive.  Nail those dicks when they're not paying attention and make it hurt all with a smile on your face.
  32. Laugh with children. 
  33. Jump in puddles.
  34. Pole dance.
  35. Travel.
  36. Remember that no matter what, it will be okay.
  37. Drive Hondas.  I'm not kidding.  They fucking rock especially at 100K+ miles.
  38. Invite people in always.  Make a place at your table. 
  39. Be mindful of your foot print.  If you died tomorrow, what would you be leaving behind?
  40. In all things, at all times, be you.  There's no one else to.  You're it.  All 40 years of you.
That's it.  That's all I got.  I'm ready for adventure, a little less acquiescing behavior when I don't want to, a lot more "hell yes's" and in general, a decade of beauty and surprise.

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