Today is my 36th birthday. Aka the Earth Anniversary. Born Day. I like to think I am in what I call version 3.6 of myself. This birthday is not one of epic fail proportions – I know you know what I’m talking about. You know, those birthdays where it feels like everything is crashing around you? I’ve had those. I have had to break up with significant others on my birthday. Entertain surly guests and loved ones. Work at jobs I hated. Not today. Today has been spent in peace. Good news. Loved ones. Blessings. Lots of food. Lots of wine. Lots of prayer. A nap. Doing just what I wanted to do. Calls and visits and messages from those I love. There were a few people I missed, but the love is still there and that’s what matters.
Today however is a special mile marker. It marks the first point that I am nearer to 40. Let me be clear, I am not an ageist. However, I did have to have a CTJ aka a Come to Jesus meeting with myself to remind myself that I am worthy of all of those things I have on my life’s list of things to do. Whether or not it looks like it, I am all deserving. I know God loves me. I know my family and friends love me. I know who I serve and who I love. I have a sense of direction today like no other time I have had in my life. I am thankful.
(realizes she’s rambling…)
I decided it fitting for my inaugural post to list 36 lessons I have gleaned thus far. Of course these have been MY lessons:
- God is real. Have faith. Even if it’s the mustardseed-size kind. It will get you through. He appreciates it.
- There really is a difference between the confidants, the constituents and comrades. Be able to identify them. Your goal is to be able to discern who they are. Don’t know what I’m talking about? See TD Jakes discuss it here:
- As previously stated in “About Rae” I firmly believe most things can be fixed with the following: prayer, love, the right words, patience, a good meal , a glass of wine, a good cry, a good laugh and a nap. We don’t always manage it in that order, but you get the idea. Then repeat as many times as needed. If it cannot be fixed with any of the above, it probably cannot be fixed and it will be something you have to live with.
- Heart break is inevitable my sweets. When we put ourselves out there, it’s bound to happen. It may be your spouse, your significant other, a friend, someone you thought was a friend, children. It happens. We have to learn this is a part of life.
- It’s important to have hope. As my mother mentioned to me, we may not always be able to articulate it, but if you manage to wake up and pull yourself out of bed – then you have hope. In fact, if you just wake up – there’s hope.
- Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
- Puppies are always good.
- Real love is worth fighting for.
- It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice to people.
- Know your boundaries.
- Cooking is a worthwhile endeavor.
- Always tell people you love them when you do. Tell them twice in fact.
- Be honest.
- A good friend, a good playlist and a cheap glass of wine can get you together.
- Every woman should have one really good purse and one really good pair of jeans.
- We need to know when to speak up and when to shut up.
- Personal accountability is crucial. Many times, the issues that we have are self-created. Blaming others will get you nowhere.
- Meet others where they are. I would like to think this is self-explanatory. But let me put it like this – everyone is in a different place. Some are farther ahead. Others trailing. Meet them where they are, as they are. Learn to speak their language. When you seek to understand them and not to get them to understand you, your life will change.
- Be open.
- People love you or they don’t. You can’t change this, don’t try. You’ll waste your time. You can love them, but don’t expect it in return.
- Love is an action verb. Saying it and not doing it don’t count (yeah I said it don’t count).
- Your first instinct is correct. Gut feelings, hunches, small quiet voices (like the kind that tell you to turn left, or don’t have that second bottle of wine) are right on the money. Special note: should you find these voices saying nasty things to you, then this isn’t the right voice. Just saying.
- Time is your most valuable asset. It’s not on your side – unless you’re reading this at 16. Everyone else, live your life unapologetically.
- Happiness is aligning yourself with your own principles. When you follow what you know to be your personal truths, happiness seeks you out.
- You (self) are your most important investment, lover and friend. Everyone else is a bonus. Taking care of yourself allows you to take care of other people.
- Your house should be a place of refuge. A place you like to be. Spend some time there. Make it so that you want to be there. This means that you should be able to be comfortable. Have a good set of sheets, good soap and your choice of beverages and snacks. In fact, be able to invite others over. I promise, it will change your life. See apartmenttherapy.com for inspirational love.
- You have the gift of reconciliation. Work it out. Make up with people. Try and make things right. Sometimes, this means you need to give up some of your own bullshit (yes, I curse – see About Rae). Sometimes, people won’t want to make up with you. This is ok too. You tried. Try again. If that fails, pray. And well, maybe curse a bit too.
- “Solvitur Ambulando.” ~ It is solved by walking ~ St. Augustine. Take a walk. Alone. With your significant other. With the dog. With a friend.
- Be kind. People have their own shit they’re dealing with. So don’t dish out a bunch of bullshit.
- Don’t start what you can’t finish.
- Kiss more often. Hug more often.
- Love is all that really matters. Make it your priority.
What are your thoughts about the list? What have been your most important life’s lessons? What has life taught you?