The last week in December I turned 35 years old. I’m someone who has always looked back and reviewed the previous year after the new year’s festivities have died down, but this year I couldn’t help but review my life as a whole. Nothing like a diagnosis of breast cancer to make you want to stop, sit back and take an inventory of your life. I celebrated my 35th birthday and this is what I realized I’ve learned so far.
Easier said than done of course and certainly depending on the day, but when you choose positivity it can change your whole day. But it is a choice and one always worth choosing.
Eating healthy and taking care of yourself pays off. Whether it’s in your ability to be stronger in the present or easier to bounce back from a disease, illness or injury, you can never go wrong investing in yourself.
Give back. Volunteer. You can learn so much when you give back, but it must be done without any expectation of what you will get in return.
Really? Yes, really! I know this to be true because in my hardest, most uncomfortable and challenging moments, I’ve learned the most amazing things about life, myself, this world. It’s normal to want to hurry up and get through the hard times, but this is where you have the potential to learn and grow the most.
When we look back over our lives, do you remember every Christmas or birthday present? Most of us don’t! But more times than not, I bet you do remember the experiences you were given, the trips you took, the games you played and who you shared it with. Make the time to experience life!
You can learn a lot from others if you really listen and pay attention.
The more you travel, the more you learn that the world is not as big as it seems and we have a lot more in common than you’d realize. Learning about different cultures and seeing how others live is an opportunity that can never be fully learned in a classroom. Get out there and see the world.
Thank those who support you. Thank those who help you. Thank people, even for the simplest things. A thank you can go a long way for someone else
Living above your means is never that fun for that long. Bills and debt are not sexy. They are the gift that keeps on giving and not in a good way. Get a handle on it now and save for your future. Even if you save just five dollars a month, it will add up.
Whether it’s through church, meditation, spiritual retreats, books....make the time to learn and foster your spirituality and faith. There will be times when you need help and that may be the only thing to get you thru it.
Whether it’s your blood family or those friends who are like your family, make the time for them. Let them in. Make memories together. They are priceless gifts in life.
I do not mean read your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook feeds. Read a book, read the newspaper. Take a break from texting and social media acronyms and read full, grammatically correct sentences. Knowledge is power!
FOMO (Fear of Missing out) and guilt are wasted energies. At the end of the day, boundaries are a healthy thing. Whether it’s to let your body rest or to protect yourself from being taken advantage of and spread too thin, saying no enables you to have boundaries. Take care of yourself.
Life is too amazing to not try new things. You may not like it at all, but it could be one hilarious story and an even better memory to have. But what if you enjoy it or even better love it. Imagine what a whole other world this could open up for you.
You want to learn to dance, take that class! Have a crush, tell them! Want a raise, ask for it. You want that promotion, apply for it. What is the worst thing that can happen? They say no, it doesn’t work, you don’t like it!?! Then at least you know you tried. But if you never try, you’ll never truly know and always wonder. That’s a wasted space to live in.
You want to grow, push yourself and be the best version of you, surround yourself with those who will help you to go there. Surround yourself with those who push you. Surround yourself with those who lift you up.
Whether it's walking outside, yoga, swimming, the gym in any capacity, dancing, any form of exercise and movement is good for your body and your mind.
Whether you stay at home for your staycation or travel, take a vacation. Give yourself a break for self-care and to regenerate your batteries. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.
Whether it’s a job, habits, relationships or friendships, some things are just not good for you. Some things or people are meant to teach you something for a season. When it’s time to stop, let go or let them go.
In the same breath, some things and people are worth fighting for. Learn to differentiate between the two.
Things you may not like now, you may love later. We sometimes are so set in our ways we miss out on experiences because of preconceived notions and judgements. Make the time to give it a shot a 2nd time because you may be positively surprised.
Just do it. Tap your foot, shake that bootie, throw them hands up. But whatever you do, just dance. Dance whether someone is looking or not. Dance at work, dance at the grocery store, dance in your car. If you feel the music, dance. If you love the song, dance. It’s good for your soul and may even make you smile!
There is so much life out there. There is, even more, to be seen and experienced. But so much of our time is consumed by social media. Likes, posts, scrolling, trending #s and tweets, laughing babies and cute puppies. Make the time to take a break and regroup. Just like you take a vacation from work, take a break from social media so you can reset! You will be amazed at how much extra time you have.
Take a chance on a dream. On someone. Just put yourself out there and go for it. What’s the worse thing that could happen? It doesn’t work out! But at least you tried. We only regret the things we never went for.
People often treat you based on how they see themselves and their circumstances that have nothing to do with you. You truly never know what someone is going through. But your kindness could be enough to change their day, reset their path.
There’s only one person like you, and that’s YOU! People deserve to know and celebrate you for who you are because you are a gift
People may not always remember what you gave them or did together, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Kindness matters!
YUP! Just do it! Listen to your gut but know that if you ignore it, you may have to learn things the hard way.
Whether it’s journaling, exercise, massage, counseling, meditation, your ability to give and take care of others starts with yourself. You deserve it too!
Try new things. Go to new places. Create new experiences. This is when you stretch yourself and give yourself a chance to really grow! Step out of your comfort zone!
Amen to that!
Love will always win.
Laughter is good for the soul. And it’s
ok to laugh at yourself too.
This life is so precious, but it can all change and be taken away in a flash. So, make the time to celebrate your life. Celebrate how far you’ve come. Celebrate how amazing you are. Celebrate this life as often as possible.