33 Lessons Learned by 33

Today marks my 33rd birthday.  This past year was really a great one for me but it didn’t go without a lot of changes.  I normally don’t do dedicated posts for birthdays, but I felt inspired to make a list this year of all of the things that have been on my mind lately.

I read somewhere that when asked later in life, the majority of people regard their 30s as the best decade of their lives.  It’s sure shaping up to be just that.

Here are a few things (33 to be exact) that I have picked up along the way:

33.  Phone Calls > Text

32.  Spending the precious time you have with those who genuinely make you happy is so very important

31.  Just take that trip- stop putting things off if you can help it

30.  On the same note, unlike my 20’s defined it, “trips” don’t always mean spending time in glamorous locations. Local trips count too and are just as glamorous if spent with quality people

29.  “Life is short” takes on a new meaning lately. I mean, I always understood it, but now I really understand it (feelin’ me?)

28.  Be more aware and protective of your time and become more fiercely protective of your energy and feelings

27.  Life events in general in your 30’s: realizing everyone (yes, even strangers) have opinions on these types of things. 30’s especially seem to be a magnet for unsolicited advice. Listening, smiling and nodding is always polite and a few “we shall see” comments should speed up these conversations

26.  Maybe it’s years being told this by my dentist but for the first time making a genuine effort to not clench and grind my teeth so much.  You don’t want that ‘TMJ’ thing down the road, whatever it is. Noted though to figure out exactly what TMJ is before 34…

25.  Work out consistently: you’re always happier and sleep better when this is happening

24.  Material things aren’t everything but finding things I really love seem more important nowadays. Invest in quality pieces that will last

23.  Also- becoming more acutely aware of where and how I spend my hard earned money seems much more important

22.  A sudden interest in my 401k (which seemed so incredibly boring and far away when I started saving for this in my 20’s). Actually listening to all of those little lectures from my dad on retirement savings nowadays…

21.  Saying “no” is okay.  Self care and time to yourself is so important

20.  Don’t be afraid of the unknown future

19.  On the same note, make sure I’m making strong and conscious decisions now to set myself up for future happiness during the next decade

18.  Be aware of my self-thoughts: next time I think negative things or criticize myself too much, I will evaluate those thoughts and if I would be too embarrassed to speak them out loud, I will stop that thought pattern

17.  Leave the cell phone at home sometimes. Even when walking our dog. I’m fairly certain she notices and prefers this as well…

16.  Never take my husband for granted.  In any aspect

15.  Learn to grow as a wife (even when I think I am perfect, I am surely not)

14.  Continue to write snail mail to friends and family: it brings such a smile when I receive it so why give that to the people I care about too?

13.  Be more open to re-connecting with old friends. Just because you haven’t hung out since high school doesn’t mean they can’t bring value to your life now

12.  Realize your parents won’t be around forever

11.  Tougher one: Get to know your parents as adults. I really want to be better at this

10.  Talk about childhood memories with those who were around you then and gain an adult perspective of your memories (this can be prove to be really interesting!)

9.  Most everything in moderation is okay

8.  SPF lotion for my face daily is something I will thank myself for later

7.  Healthy hair and skin trump anything fake so invest now to make sure it all stays this way…

6.  Be aware of aimless time spent on social media (I hear there are apps now that measure time spent- this could prove to be fruitful and scary AF to see)

5.  Crunchy tacos are so much better than soft tacos! Why did it take until now to realize this?

4.  Take the time to check in on friends. Even if it’s just a phone call or “hello” text every now and then. Even to the friends that you always assume are doing well. They need checking in on too

3.  Communication is key in all aspects of your life. Be clear and concise. It’s okay to question people when they question you. Be firm in your beliefs

2.  Don’t get pressured into life events. Things seemed to have worked out well naturally so far so keep letting them…

1.  Know that life is precious. Everyone around you is on a different path and that’s okay. Sometimes it is okay to stick with like-minded people. Be mindful of things or people who drain you. Take risks and try not to stay at a job too long if you don’t like it anymore. You are the sole owner of your own happiness.