I turned 38 this past weekend and here are 8 important lessons I’ve learned along the way.
Be okay with who you are.
It might not always be the most glamorous description, but if it’s who I really am, then I’m okay with it. I’m a small town girl who prefers wearing clothes that can best be described as “comfortable,” I’m introverted, a bookworm, and not all that athletic. While I think there are situations that would be a lot easier if these things weren’t true, I don’t feel a need to change any of this because it’s who I truly am.
Spend time with those you love.
There’s never enough time to spend with the family and friends you want to spend the time with. Busy schedules or living far apart can make it hard to spend very much time with those I love. So when I have the opportunity to do so, I need to take it. And if that means that sometimes I’m NOT spending time with someone I DON’T want to spend time with… there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t waste that time with someone who makes you miserable (or often it’s mutual misery) when you could be spending it with those who bring joy to your life. Be greedy with your time because you don’t have that much of it.
Know your limits.
Push yourself to grow and step outside your comfort zone. But it’s also okay to know when something isn’t right for you and to say no. Or even HELL NO. Even if it’s something you know you could do but you also know you’ll end up resenting saying yes to it…. avoid that and say no in the first place. You know yourself, so set those limits for yourself.
Accept a compliment.
No making excuse for why we aren’t as fabulous as someone is telling us we are. Don’t explain it all away, saying it’s no big deal or disagree with the person trying to compliment you. Just say “thank you.” Which is related to…
Be proud of what you’ve done.
And we’ve all done something. Whatever your accomplishments, own them. If you start thinking you haven’t done much, ask a good friend to tell you what they think you have to be proud of. They’ll be able to give you a list (if they can’t, reference “spend time with people you love”). Everyone has done something- be proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish.
Don’t give away all your trade secrets.
It’s nice to help others and to have an attitude of “pass it on.” But you don’t have to allow people to step all over you and use you. Also, sometimes that “trade secret” is simply that you worked your ass off for something and that’s how it happened; there is no shortcut you can tell someone to do for that. Don’t feel guilty about that, it’s just how it is.
Realize most things aren’t personal.
This is probably the hardest one for me because I tend to take things personally. But if I think about everything someone else is going through, I know that I might not even be a fleeting thought in their mind when they do something- that they’re just trying to get through their own crap and don’t have time to consider the ramifications to every other person on the planet when they make their choices. I know I don’t, much as I don’t want to hurt others’ feelings.
Your family, your friends, those who just need a little extra love shown to them for whatever reason: do it with your whole heart.
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