36 things.

{little me, circa 1980}

on the eve of my 36th birthday,
here are a few things i've learned in my 36 years on the planet.

i certainly don't have it all figured out.
i'm still learning.
but sometimes it's nice to write down the things you maybe, kinda, sorta have some experience with.
and then, build from there...

1. spend less time worrying about what others think of you. 
your time and energy are better spent on other things.

2. paint your nails. 
you'll just feel prettier.

3. give people the benefit of the doubt.
most often, they are doing the best they can, given their circumstances.

4. do something that scares you.
you won't believe how good it feels.
and you just might surprise yourself with 
what you are capable of doing.

5. have at least one friend you can be ridiculous with.
and laugh until milk comes out your nose.

6. teach your children to respect the planet and everyone on it.

7. if chocolate makes you happy, then eat chocolate.
but only a little bit.

8. calories don't count on your birthday, indulge.

9. date your spouse.
it's as important as it is fun.

10. visit a foreign country.
and immerse yourself in the culture.
it changes you.

11. less is more.
this rule applies to nearly everything.
simple = better.

12. never buy a piece of clothing just because it's on sale.
you're always better off putting that money toward a piece you really love.
quality over quantity.

13. have friends of all ages.
the young ones keep you young.
and you'll learn so much from those who are older and wiser.

14. don't over schedule yourself or your children.
never underestimate the importance of down-time.
you need it.
and your kids do too.

15. visit the ethnic markets in your town. 
and try as many foods as possible.
who knew fish sauce would be so delicious?

16. do something to get your heart rate up, every single day.
dance while you vacuum,
go walking with your friends,
push a stroller to the park.
doesn't matter what it is...
just do something.

17. comparing yourself to others isn't helpful, fair or productive.

18. eat clean
but leave some wiggle room for #7.

19. invest in a pencil skirt. 
every woman should have one.
and it should fit like it was made for you.

20. take gazillions of photos of your babies.
you'll be happy you did.

21. whiten your teeth.
and then smile more often to show them off.

22. keep a journal or a blog.
make a record of your life.
document the things you've learned, 
the things that make you happy,
and don't be afraid to include the hard times, too.

23. watch less t.v.
and read more books.

24. look people in the eye when they are talking to you.
especially your children.

25. any time you get the chance, hold the door for someone.
and if they hold it open for you,
say thank you, and mean it.

26. take pride in your appearance.
wear a little makeup.
style your hair.
put on real clothes.
you deserve to look nice and feel beautiful.
and you'll be surprised how much easier it is to take care of others
when you've spent a little time on yourself.

27. give genuine compliments.
notice the good things people do.

28. go to bed early and wake up before the sun does.
watch the sunrise and listen to the quiet.
it might be the only quiet you get all day...enjoy it.

29. buy nice toilet paper, sheets and bath towels.

30. don't own more than what you really need.
otherwise, it owns you.

31. schedule time for yourself.
remember the wise words of the flight attendant?
please secure your own oxygen mask first, prior to assisting others.
get a massage.
go shopping, alone.
plan a girls' weekend.
recharge your batteries.
you'll be better at  everything you do, if you are happy.

32. pray.
give thanks.
everyday, twice a day...or more.
live life with a grateful heart.

33. spend one-on-one time with each of your kids.
they'll never forget it.

34. stop and look around once in a while.
break your routine.
drive a different way to work.
have breakfast for dinner.
do something spontaneous.
ever been skinny dipping?

35. learn from your mistakes.
i've made enough for two lifetimes, but they've made me who i am.
and i like who i am.

36. milk your birthday.
celebrate for at least a week.
snuggle your babies.
kiss your sweetheart.
and hug your friends.
life is good. 
and it feels really good to be loved. 


Anonymous said...

Yes! Wise words, every one. Happy birthday!

Diane N. said...

Wow. Who would guess it were possible to learn so much from your own kid? I'm so proud to be your mom :)

The Webb Family said...

Simply amazing! For me...words to live by, I think I need to print this out and frame it! Have a wonderful birthday Jill!!

Kalli said...

You forgot:

Make a lot of internet lovers who enjoy your sense of humor and make dirty jokes.

Happy Birthday to YOUUUUU!!! 36 is awesome, just ask Paul. You guys went to Alta together, right? Am I remembering this correctly?

Kalli said...

Also, will you make me a new header? I need help. Will pay lots of monies because I am swimming in MONIES.

Sherri said...

Beautiful words from a truly beautiful person! Thank you and Happy Birthday!

Hannah said...

Happy birthday, Jill! Amazing advise.

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