So about 2 months ago I turned 40!! Freaking 40! I have never over thought an age as much as I have 40. I won’t lie, the night before my birthday, I was panicky. I kept thinking so many things over and over….
What in the hell happened to my 30’s?????
20 was like a million years ago!
40 is old right!
I mean my parents are 40, I can’t be 40!
Damnit, my parents are not 40, I’m 40!
And the “F” word came to mind several times.
But then, the next day, I had some clarity. I know that may sound slightly cheesy, but it’s true. I had a good birthday, and in true Shelley fashion, I made things out to be a disaster in my head and it turned out pretty okay, well so far. And to add to the cheese, I started to think about the things that I had learned in the last 40 years about myself and other people. I thought of a lot, which I feel compelled to share with you. (Well some of it!) I’m going to give you 28 things I have learned because mentally that is where I am staying and giving you 40 would be wayyyyy too long!
Some of these things might resonate with you, maybe some you will learn one day, some you might not agree with, you might stop reading this right now with an eye roll, but I am going to share with you anyway. So in no particular order, contain your excitement and here we go…
1. Faith, family and friends are really to be cherished. Even when any of them are hard, they should still be cherished. Make time for all of them!
2. You teach people how to treat you. Teach them well!
3. My sister taught me this one, which Joyce Meyer taught her, screaming “God Bless You!!!” to the prick that cut you off in traffic feels just as good, if not better, than saying F You!
4. If you have to be rude to prove your point, you either need to rethink your point or your strategy.
5. Political parties are ridiculous this day and age. Don’t believe something just because one side of fence told you it was true. Learn to research. Don’t be afraid to agree with things from both sides. Don’t follow something just because it is left or right sided. Get both perspectives. Be a party crasher!
6. Which leads me to…for the love of Pete, get an inner monologue! Not everyone needs to hear your opinion about everything that you have probably already voiced! I promise we know how you feel!
7. Be teachable. Don’t shut down as soon as someone disagrees with you.
8. Don’t judge what you haven’t lived. After becoming a mom, and a special needs mom, this one really hit me!
9. Snobbery is a tacky trait. Be kind to everyone. It is so much easier than being rude. Just FYI…people can tell when your faking it.
10. What’s going on in your life doesn’t necessarily trump what is going on in someone else’s.
11. Be present and a good listener.
12. Your four year old will repeat “Oh Shit” if you say it enough!
13. Don’t expect people to do things exactly the way you think they should.
14. Humble yourself often. You will appreciate what you have more.
15. Sometimes you have to be nice and smile around people you do not prefer. It is not being fake, it is being an adult!
16. Being considerate is one of my favorite traits of people.
17. Excuse the language, but “Resting Bitch Face” is just rude. You’re not impressing anyone. Put on a smile! And when someone smiles at you, smile back.
18. Put out the effort that you want to receive from others.
19. Social media is a blessing and a curse. I try to remind myself I should take a break from it every now and then. And I thank the sweet Lord it was non existent during my teens and early twenties. You cannot learn or pretend to know the depths of someone’s life from what you see on a flat screen!
20. Work on yourself! If your self confidence is low, find a way to lift yourself up. Learn to love taking care of your mind and body early in life! It is a habit you won’t regret!
21. Some friendships are only meant for a season of your life and that is okay.
22. Pick your battles! But don’t use this as an excuse to not ever fight some. Your internal battle bottle will get full and explode if you don’t learn this balance.
23. Being a parent is not for the faint of heart! It’s hard and messy and awesome all at the same time! It is exhaustingly fantastic!
24. Positivity is infectious and something we all need to work on. Try to not always focus on the negative.
25. Sometimes you have to go through the hard times to get to the good ones!
26. Don’t be afraid to share your faith! In fact share it often!
26. This one is hard for me, but try not to worry about things you cannot control. Give it to God!
27. Make time for you and your spouse! It is important to have kid free time.
28. And last but not least, my late sweet cousin’s favorite mantra: Carpe Diem (SEIZE THE DAY)!
I have so much I could add, but I will end there. I have had so many blessings in the first 40 years of my life. Highs, lows and so much in between! I am so thankful for where I am now, and I thank God for all of my blessings and what I have learned. I am excited to see what I will add to this list in the next 40 years and pray I feel just as blessed then as I do now!
Lots of Love,