It’s my birthday today — a whopping thirty-nine years and counting. If I’m honest, my days are so riddled with the whirlwinds of life that I forgot my birthday was coming up. However, this year, my birthday day approached a lot faster. Maybe because last year was sluggish and traumatic; I was two months into moving my kids and me into my parent’s house. My life and future were in shambles.
This year, the dust has settled.
Turning thirty-nine feels a whole lot better than turning thirty-eight. As soon as I changed my depressed outlook on turning a year older to thinking of it as the beginning of my personal new year, my life began to improve.
Here are some tried and true things I’ve learned along the way:
- You can’t control anyone but yourself. And even that is hard to do sometimes.
- You may go through droughts of intimacy here and there, but you will have sex again.
- Things will never be the same after you go through a divorce. But don’t give up — they may be even better.
- Be grateful, and your life will improve substantially.
- Dance like no one’s watching and write (your heart out) like no one’s reading. (Even though you are, and I love you all so much for reading.)
- Music Heals. Full stop.
- Kids are the best and worst roommates in the world.
- I actually do know how love works. It’s finally all coming back to me at age thirty-nine.
- Go hiking, biking, and enjoy your life outdoors. Sunshine and fresh air will be some of the best medicines you ever take for your soul.
- Your kids will know what kind of parent you are.
- Find a good therapist. They will change your life.
- Radical Acceptance is the key to a good life.
- You are not responsible for anyone else’s behavior.
- I don’t have the guts (or guap) to get a tattoo.
- Knowing the difference between aloneness and loneliness will get you far in love and life.
- Letting go of how you thought life would be like will give you (and your kids) a better future than you could have ever dreamed of.
- Gratitude transcends all things— that’s a promise.
- You deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.
- As soon as you accept your part in toxic relationships, you will start to attract healthier ones.
- Having one sexual partner all my life is not enough.
- I love being a mom. That love oozes from every pore of my being.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers rock my world!
- You are good enough.
- “Just be yourself” is one of the most cliche things you’ll ever hear and some of the best advice you’ll ever get in life.
- Everyone dies. Be grateful for what you got when you’ve got it.
- Moms, we love you.
- Dads — we love you, too.
- Menstrual cups aren’t pretty, but you will never go back to those cotton ponies again!
- Beware of others who lack empathy.
- Be kind, be safe, be free.
- Are you having a bad day? Then answer a writing prompt!
- Spoiler alert: the grass isn’t greener on that other side.
- I will continue to watch ‘Friends’ reruns until the end of time. They make me laugh, and I’m not sorry.
- Take your kids to pick out a real tree for Christmas once in a while. It will make them smile from ear to ear.
- There’s a difference between mistakes and fundamental limitations, selfishness, and complete disregard for another human being.
- Letting go of the past will make room for a sexy, sensual future!
- You have to starve your ego to feed your soul.
- You have to love yourself as if your life depends on it.
- Life really is what you make it — it has little to do with your age.
It’s been a long road to get to thirty-nine. But despite the impending doom of finalizing my divorce and having to sneak my future boyfriends into my parent’s house at almost forty years old — I really have no complaints!
This post was previously published on Medium.
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