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34 Things I’ve Learned So Far In Life

I celebrated my 34th birthday last Wednesday, which makes my 4-year-old self (pictured above) feel really weird. But actually, I’m loving my 30s, and am more comfortable in my own skin than ever, which makes me feel incredibly grateful. Since my birthday, I’ve been reflecting on some of the things I’ve learned in my years on the planet. Certainly there are FAR more than 34, but to keep the theme intact I narrowed the list accordingly.

These are in no particular order, and some are more playful than others, but all are things I’ve found to be true in my experience. (This was a fun exercise if you’re looking for an activity for your next birthday!)

Here goes:

  1. Put down lots of dots so you can connect them later. I loved this concept outlined in the book I Miss You When I Blink: This idea that experiences in our lives are dots, and then as our experiences multiply we’re able to start connecting them. The more dots you have, the more options for connection you have later. Will you connect the dots in that direction? What if you use different dots to go that way? The more dots, the more options you have later (and the more well rounded you become in the process, too).
  2. Who you choose as your spouse is incredibly important, so choose wisely. This seems like a “duh” statement, I know, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in eight years of marriage it’s that I’m so fortunate to have found a true partner, and that I get to link my life to someone who I admire so intensely. Kevin and I don’t NEED one another, and I think that’s important. We both could do just fine on our own, but we’re better together. No one supports me, encourages me, pushes me, loves me the way he does.
  3. When in doubt, order Teeter Thai
  4. Movement and mood are definitely linked. Feeling off today? Maybe it’s because you haven’t been active enough. (This is definitely true for me!)
  5. Surround yourself with people who make you the best version of yourself. Be picky about who your friends are. Choose the ones who make you laugh and who you can be authentic and comfortable with.
  6. Your definition of what it means to leave a legacy may change when you become a parent. Mine certainly did.
  7. Remember that we’re all doing our best most of the time. Give each other grace and the benefit of the doubt.
  8. Say no — but also say yes. Know your limits and be careful not to over commit, but don’t be afraid to go for something even if it’s new or scary or challenging. (Often, those things turn out to be the most rewarding.)
  9. Trader Joe’s is the best place for fresh flowers.
  10. Showing up matters. Being there for people — in hard times and in times of celebration — is something they’ll never forget. It speaks volumes (and you can “be there” without physically being present, too — but if you can be there physically, do that for sure!).
  11. You can do it all, you just can’t do it all in one day. Life has seasons, and some last longer than others. Recognize the ebb and flow of that, and allow yourself to structure your days and months and years differently as a result. You might find it helpful to make a list of “not right now” things so you don’t lose sight of the things you love that just don’t fit at the moment.
  12. Drink plenty of water.
  13. Being a parent is more fun than I anticipated. (And I’m so grateful that’s the case.)
  14. Hawaii is just as beautiful as everyone says it is, and Iceland is just as magical. Visit both, if possible.
  15. Breastfeeding is really freaking hard. 
  16. Direct sales doesn’t have to be a pushy, uncomfortable thing. I often talk about how Beautycounter was one of the most unexpectedly fun things I’ve ever experienced. I signed up as a consultant without expectations of what that could look like, and it’s turned into a big part of my life — one I truly love, and one I work hard to run in an authentic, helpful way.
  17. Take a probiotic.
  18. Make intentional choices. Don’t just sit back and let life happen do you. If you don’t like something or aren’t feeling challenged enough or if you feel stuck, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. You may not be able to make huge changes overnight, but you can definitely start taking steps toward something new.
  19. Tell the people in your life what they mean to you (and do it often). Reminder: You can do this with both your words AND your actions.
  20. Make time to be still. I’m terrible at this, but when I remember to do it I’m so much better for it.
  21. Backpacks > purses
  22. Support one another. There’s plenty of success to go around.
  23. All those cheesy, clichéd quotes out there? Yeah…they tend to be true. Learn to be okay with that (even if you don’t repost them on Instagram…)
  24. Give yourself permission to do your own thing. There’s no box you have to fit into, no lines you have to stay within. Work hard to find out who you are, then lean into it.
  25. Stay curious. (Reference: My blog’s name.) 🙂
  26. Find yourself a spouse who will have coffee ready to brew every morning. Talk about true love…
  27. Health should include seeing a counselor or therapist at some point during your life.
  28. Prioritize gratefulness. 
  29. Avoid making assumptions about people and they’ll tend to surprise you in the best ways. 
  30. Eat the cookie. Okay, so not EVERY DAY or anything, but a life without cookies is a life I don’t want to live…
  31. If there’s one key thing I want to teach my daughter, it’s to be kind. I can’t think of much that’s more important than that.
  32. Set challenging goals for yourself and work towards them. (And if you don’t have a goal at a given time, don’t beat yourself up. You’ll find a new one soon!)
  33. A king-sized bed is key to a well-rested marriage. 
  34. Here’s an important perspective to keep in mind: Remember when you wanted the things you now have?

 

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