Birthday Reflections – 47 Lessons Learned

Today is my birthday. 47 trips around the sun and I still have work to do. I’m still learning, still growing, still evolving into a more fully expressed version of ME. I’ve realized a few things in my years on this planet…and I’d like to share them with you. Some are observations, some are words I live by; I’d love to know if any of them resonate with you.

  1. It really is best to let sleeping dogs lie.
  2. Eating anything when you are not hungry just means you are not hungry for food…you’re hungry for something else.
  3. No one makes you feel anything you haven’t chosen to feel on your own. Admit that, and life will be a lot easier…and easier to change.
  4. Driving a nice, clean car with the roof open feels really, really good.
  5. 80’s music can change your mood in an instant. So can show tunes.
  6. Fresh flowers in a home are always a good idea and shouldn’t be reserved for special occasions. That’s today. TODAY is a special occasion.
  7. Gay men can really brighten up a funeral home. And I hate funeral homes.
  8. Never pass up an opportunity to ride a horse. It’s the closest thing to flying with your feet on the ground.
  9. Your body will tell you if you are making good choices.
  10. High tea is delightful.
  11. I will never be too old to enjoy Disney or Pixar.
  12. Experience all four seasons if you can. There are life lessons in each of them.
  13. Use the good dishes.
  14. Laughter really IS the best medicine.
  15. Holding in gas is not ideal. Nor is releasing it in public spaces. Pick your battles.
  16. Read books regularly. It will open your eyes, shift your perspective, and allow you to go places you might not otherwise.
  17. Travel is good for the soul.
  18. Spend time alone. It’s the longest relationship of your life. It’s wise to invest time on getting that one right before trying to correct others.
  19. Find a scent that reminds you of something you love…and luxuriate in it often.
  20. Send real, hand-written thank you notes.
  21. Dog people are awesome.
  22. Tacos really should not be limited to one day of the week.
  23. Write; daily and for yourself…but, write.
  24. If you’re the smartest person in the room, it’s time to find a new room.
  25. Allow your photo to be taken, even if you aren’t “thin enough, made up, or dressed right…” People will love seeing you in real moments. Especially after you are gone.
  26. Marry your best friend…and be willing to do the work to better yourself (and each other) every single day.
  27. Prayer works.
  28. Walk in the rain at least once in your life. Your hair, makeup, or clothes will get over it. Your soul will be forever changed.
  29. You can’t choose your family…but you can choose how you love them.
  30. Do an occasional media fast (no tv, iPhone, Netflix, radio) for an entire weekend. ANY issue you need to address in your personal life will rear its’ ugly head. Then you can get busy working to change it.
  31. Call your mother.
  32. When people choose to leave your life, don’t block the door.
  33. Every now and then, sit on the floor with a four year old and have a conversation. They have things you need to hear.
  34. Be nice to people in the service industry.
  35. MARVEL over DC any day of the week.
  36. Stop posing for photos with your hand on your hip.
  37. Be willing to listen to views you don’t agree with…with the intention of better understanding versus securing your own dominance.
  38. Get your passport…just in case.
  39. “Get lost” in your hometown…drive around without a set path and be pleasantly surprised by what your notice.
  40. Invest in good lingerie/foundation garments.
  41. Less is more…with makeup, starchy carbs, and unexpected visitors.
  42. Take 60 seconds out of your day to really drink in a sunrise or a sunset. It’s never the same show twice.
  43. A good hair stylist (cut and color) is worth their weight in gold.
  44. Outsource things you don’t do well. Your time is better spent doing things in your zone of genius.
  45. Master the prep and execution of one fabulous meal…just in case.
  46. Never be afraid to dine alone in a wonderful restaurant.
  47. Real cheese, real butter, real coffee…always, and in moderation.

The end of the year is a natural time of reflection for everyone. Having an early January birthday delivers a double dose of that. The annual review is more about the year that just was, whereas a birthday causes an examination of one’s life in its entirety. It can be rather emotional to take it all in and start to question…what’s next?

I can say, with complete certainty, that not one thing in my life has turned out exactly the way I imagined it would. In some cases, it has been far better. The next year…or eight..or 27 will, no doubt, bring more change, evolution, experiences, and adventures. I’ll take it. I’ll take all of it. Every day…a gift. Thank you for sharing this one with me.

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