Tuesday, February 12, 2013

41 Things at 41

I used to love my birthday. As far as I was concerned it was just a nifty excuse to party and be pampered. Things have changed.

It's not that I hate my birthday - I've known too many people without the privilege of any more birthdays to not be grateful for every year. It's just that birthdays no longer feel special. Maybe it's because I stopped celebrating with my own bottle of you-will-feel-like-crap-tomorrow tequila?

Because it started to come with the label you-will-feel-like-crap-for-the-next-three-days.

I was inspired by Susannah Conway's post Hello 40 this year to make my own list of things I've learned so far. As long as you understand that by "have learned so far" I really mean "am still learning every day."

  1. Things will rarely turn out the way you imagined.
  2. This is a good thing.
  3. Stop creating your own drama because Life will hand you enough.
  4. You will survive it.
  5. Let them take pictures of you. No matter how awful you think you look, you will be glad you have them later.
  6. Getting older is awesome if you let it be.
  7. Trust your gut. Even when everyone else tells you it's crazy.
  8. Even when you think it makes you crazy.
  9. Using a "crutch" doesn't make you weak.
  10. Refusing a "crutch" when needed makes you a selfish asshole.
  11. There is no such thing as a fashion trend that flatters every body.
  12. Learning the "hard way" is usually the only way to make it stick.
  13. Lean into the fear.
  14. If you work on your own crap, the rest will usually fall into place.
  15. Be yourself with no apologies.
  16. Change your mind.
  17. Try new things all the time - a haircut, a brand of clothing, what you read, a hobby, food. New experiences keep you looking at the world with fresh eyes.
  18. Speaking of hair, it will always grow back.
  19. Enjoy your own company.
  20. Don't distract yourself from loneliness or boredom. Use them to propel yourself in a new direction.
  21. Never stop writing.
  22. Vulnerability will show you where you are strongest.
  23. Be compassionate. You don't know what anyone else is dealing with at the moment.
  24. Be kind. You don't know what anyone else is dealing with at the moment.
  25. Figure out what success means to you. Living someone else's dream is a nightmare.
  26. Getting lost is the best way to start an adventure.
  27. Fill your life with the things you love - the colors, the people, the styles, the activities that make you feel more like yourself.
  28. Stop obsessing about finishing things. You'll want to finish the right things.
  29. Make your own rules.
  30. Make your own rules subject to change.
  31. You are worthy.
  32. You are worthy.
  33. Depression lies. Stop listening to it.
  34. Your tribe is out there just waiting for you. Go find them.
  35. Do your best to stay out of debt. Know that this will not always be possible.
  36. Find a few things that make you feel really good about yourself and splurge on those things. Go cheap with everything else.
  37. It's never too late.
  38. Your actions are the best indicator of your values. Listen to them.
  39. Actions are also the best indicator of others' values. Listen to them.
  40. Learn the difference between self-care and shadow comforts, and act accordingly.
  41. It's OK to not have it all figured out. It's OK to not have even a little bit of figured out. Just keep going. You'll get there.

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