Today, 21st Feb 2015, is my 35th birthday. Wait. How is that even possible? Surely this must be some gross error?! But alas, I checked the calendar, did the math and it is confirmed. I can no longer consider myself to be in the advanced stages of “youth”.
To celebrate this milestone, I’ve made a list of 35 random things I’ve learnt in the journey to now. I’m pretty sure I’ll look back on this one day and cringe that this is all I could come up with after 35 years. Maybe I’m just a slow learner. But anyhoo…in no particular order:
- A broken heart will heal, no matter how much it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
- The Internet is the greatest invention of our time (in my humble and totally unscientific opinion). It’s made the world smaller and so much more connected.
- Money does not equal happiness. But heck, I’m sure it does help facilitate it, just a little.
- There is no point working so hard that you don’t ever get to enjoy the fruits of your labour.
- Keeping up with the Joneses is stupid and stressful. Do you, Boo, because your circumstances, opportunities, values and priorities are not the same as the next person’s.
- Good support underwear isn’t only for our mothers. That ish works wonders.
- In reality, nobody looks like the airbrushed, Photoshopped creatures in the glossy mags. (Just ask Beyonce.)
- Smoking is an awful habit and an incredibly hard one to break.
- The human body is amazing. But not as amazing as the human spirit.
- There’s a greater chance of dying in a car than in an aeroplane. Yet we buckle up on flights, but sometimes not in our cars. Seat belts save lives, people. Let’s all use them.
- Every mother thinks her kid is above average.
- As you get older, your circle gets smaller. Quality over quantity becomes more important.
- Advice from friends is good, but letting anybody speak negativity into your relationship or marriage, no matter who they are, is a recipe for disaster.
- Figuring out the Love Language of those near and dear to you makes it easier to connect with them. (Quality Time is mine, by the way.) While you’re at it, try to understand everybody as a personality type and you’ll save yourself a lot of grief, too.
- Living the values of your chosen Faith is way more important than just blindly following the rituals and customs dictated by it.
- The pretty, popular girls at high school can still end up miserable and fat. Gotta love karma.
- An education, an income and the ability to drive can offer a woman real independence.
- Even the seemingly strongest relationships can crumble. Sometimes love is not enough.
- The wedding is only the beginning, no matter how long you’ve been together before that day. Marriage is real, hard, messy, daily work.
- Being Miss Nice is exhausting. Eventually you have to speak up and learn to say the dreaded N word. N-O. No. (I’m still learning this.)
- Money is the greatest deal breaker in any relationship. Romantic and otherwise.
- Kids add all the love and warmth and mush that you would expect. But they also bring a lot of truckload of change and challenges, too.
- A woman can never have enough clothes and shoes. Even when she has more than enough clothes and shoes.
- Some people are just unfixable. If they’re toxic life sappers, sometimes it’s smarter to save yourself instead of trying to save them.
- No matter how much you hated or were disappointed in your wedding flowers / dress / food / lighting / dancing monkeys/ whatever, your guests probably didn’t notice and if everybody still had a great time and you got to marry the love of your life, then who really cares?
- Doctors are not God. A medical degree can still be earned by even the laziest in the med school class who just scraped by. Don’t listen to everything they say without getting a second, third and fourth opinion (yes, even from Dr Google). Nobody knows your body like its Creator.
- Short-term debt is akin to being tied up by the short and curlies every month. Credit cards. Retail credit. Loans. Get rid of it BEFORE you hit your 30s.
- The roof over your head is the first thing that must be paid for each month. No exceptions.
- Your 20s are for fun, excitement and being care-free. But they’re also for sacrifices and a bit of discipline to ensure a more comfortable life in your 30s and beyond.
- Reading. Exploring the world. Having regular conversations with people who are different to us. That is how we slowly tackle our ingrained prejudice and all the things we do just because we don’t know any better.
- Babies and toddlers don’t need expensive clothes or toys to thrive. They’re happy with an empty box and the contents of the Tupperware cupboard.
- Education is obscenely expensive and we might as well start saving for our kids when we’re kids ourselves.
- The choices we make for our sproglets in the first 1000 days of their lives greatly impact their health and development later in life.
- Nelson Mandela was a legend. There may never be another like him.
- We’ll all post stuff on social media that will make us go whaaaat?! when we look back at it a few months or years down the line.
If you made it to the end, well done and thank you. Happy Birthday to me!!!!