My boss was in from out of town a couple of weeks ago and happened to walk into my office as Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes’ classic (it’s over 30 years old now, so it’s a classic…) “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” came on and all of sudden, two women who were talking about clients and contracts were dancing, singing and almost attempting the Jennifer Grey/Patrick Swayze lift. I think I listened to the song five times on the way home alone and couldn’t stop laughing and smiling at the complete spontaneity of that moment and how often, we don’t allow for such things because so much of life is planned and calculated, down to the very minute we wake each morning until we close our eyes at night.
My list of wishes, reflections and dreams changes from each year to the next because I change. What I want changes. What I value changes. What I’ve grown accustomed to, tired of or desiring more of continues to change. And as I step closer into this part of life we might call middle age, I think I’m growing more comfortable with the fact that change is not only inevitable, but healthy. It’s okay to change your mind about something or someone as long as it fits you. It’s okay to walk away from what no longer has the same purpose in your plan or to realize that someone you once loved is causing you pain and you need to distance yourself. It’s okay to try things you maybe once mocked because you didn’t really understand them and it’s okay to accept that where you are right now is… okay. Tomorrow, I start volume nine of my 30s and as of this moment, this is what matters to me most.
- It’s time to stop negotiating with terrorists. You will never be able to afford the ransom.
- You may never understand why you’re terrified of fictional horror films but can watch 16 straight hours of documentaries about real people who’ve killed real people.
- You don’t really need another pair of jeans.
- Someone labeling you as insecure does not make you insecure. Reading into their description of you does.
- It’s okay to embrace the present, be excited about the future, but still miss part of the past.
- Please stop using your credit cards so much and start paying off more of your college debt.
- Call your Grandmother more often.
- At least try to stop laughing when your son swears and give a little more effort to not swear in front of him.
- Tupac is probably not acceptable car music for him either.
- It is okay that you feel that some of the self-help books you read feel like regurgitated volumes of other people’s work.
- You may never write that novel, but you can write bits of pieces.
- When people ask you what you’re going to do after you finish yoga teacher training, you’re allowed to say… “I don’t know.”
- Sending texts that are not answered does not make you less worthy of people’s love.
- When you are trying too hard to fit in, you know it. Listen and breathe.
- Holy crap, you are sick! Yes, you! You who does not believe you can get sick. Go to the doctor. Wrap your throat. Take a hot shower. Go to bed.
- There is no competition for best mother. The only competition is best mother for your kid and guess what… winner winner chicken dinner. Every day.
- Stop sucking in your stomach when you’re in a bathing suit and breathe in that warm, salty air.
- You are quirky and goofy and at your best, this is exactly who you were born to be. Embrace her and love every single piece of her. Those who really love you (and there are many) do.
- You have truly been given the most amazing friendships and honoring them is both your privilege and your responsibility.
- Your son may not be an athlete. He may not be an artist or a musician. He may just be a kid… if you want to be accepted for who you are, continue to accept him for exactly who he is.
- It might be time to find a good therapist again.
- Being replaced by someone “more important” does not diminish your effort, your accomplishments or the amount of work that went into them.
- Sometimes friendships end. Not because anyone did anything wrong. Not because anyone hurt anyone. But because it was time.
- You may never really be able to afford to buy a home here on your own. Renting does not make you less than and it doesn’t mean your child doesn’t have a home of his own.
- You have TWO cars! How freaking cool is that?!
- So you invite someone to do something with you and they say no. Again, this is not a reflection of you, your self-worth or your value. Life is busy.
- Your gift is remembering everything about everyone. This is not everyone’s gift, so don’t expect that it should be.
- Wash your face at night and if you forget, let the little bumps that appear on your forehead remind you why you should.
- You’re doing a great job, kid.
- There is no such thing as a mom-appropriate bathing suit. There are only bathing suits.
- If looking at something online makes you feel like crap for whatever reason – whether it’s inadequacy, jealousy or even superiority, stop looking at it.
- This really should be #1, but put more effort into putting God at the forefront of your existence. If you’re struggling, ask Him. If you’re happy, praise Him. If you need an answer, ask Him. If you are lonely, pray to Him and read with Him. He is your oxygen mask and should be put on first before you are out there trying to save the world.
- Fight like hell for that little boy and don’t back down when you believe he is not being loved and treated the way he deserves.
- In a year, you’ll have more gray and wrinkles than you do now, so appreciate that beautiful face every day.
- You’ve loved the wrong, weak men for years. Find a strong one.
- Ask the people at work if they’re okay. Ask what makes them smile and what makes them happy. Be curious about their lives and their families. People love to be cared about and usually want to share.
- Stop feeling guilty about the things you’ve done to improve your life.
- Have more moments of spontaneity. Jump in the car and drive somewhere new. Fly home and surprise your parents. Take a random day off of work and lay by the pool with nothing more than a book to read and a good playlist (and a bathing suit… ahem).
- Love yourself, continue to be grateful, and listen to only your heart.
May you allow yourself to grow, evolve, change and experience moments of pure, spontaneous joy.