Even though it is not my birthday month, I’ve been thinking about birthdays & age a lot lately as we’re planning Oli’s 4th birthday. In his four years on earth he learnt to walk, talk, eat (sometimes), jump, brush his own teeth, sing, sleep in his own bed, wee in the loo, feed himself, share his stuff (occasionally) & so much more.
When we are young, we (seem to) know everthing. We also love telling everyone that we know everything. But the older I get, the more I realise how little I know.
This made me think of life lessons that I’ve learnt during my 35 years on earth. Here they are – in no particular order:
- Don’t burn bridges. The world, country & town / city is a village & somehow you are connected to more people than you know.
- We are all judgemental. Yes, when I was young I did in fact think by myself (as I saw an unruly child in a mall, for instance) that I will never be that mom. Now I am often that mom.
- Never say never. Life takes us on interesting journeys. Take this from a city girl who ended up in a dorp for two years.
- Pregnancy, birth & motherhood is a unique & (often) difficult journey for every woman.
- Grow & bloom where you are planted.
- We are all created differently for a reason. Do what you’re good at & stop worrying about what others think.
- Travel gives new perspective – even it is just around the corner for a meal at your favourite foreign eatery.
- Count your blessings when you feel sorry for yourself.
- If you feel like you’ve done nothing on your ‘to do’ list, make a ‘done’ list. You might be surprised.
- When in doubt: go with your gut, the peace in your heart / your sixth sense.
- You can’t make old friends. Even if you don’t see your oldest friends, there is something priceless about having a history & being able to pick up where you left off – even after a long separation.
- New friends will add a wonderful new dimension to your life. As a grown-up, friendships also have no age limit. You might find a gorgeous confidant in someone 30 years your senior.
- Painted nails make things better.
- Sunscreen is not optional. Wear yours. every. single. day.
- Start the day right.
- Appreciate your parents & grandparents – they won’t be around forever.
- You become like those around you, so surround yourself with positive, awesome people.
- When in doubt about the next step, pause, have tea & a quiet moment. Then proceed.
- Your body changes dramatically after 30, so it’s time to start taking proper care of it. It might even be time to consider Botox.
- Taking time for yourself is not selfish. It is vital. The only way that your vehicle (your body) can keep going is by keeping your own tank full.
- You are what you eat. Cliche, I know. But true. The older I get, the better I understand this.
- Kindness, kindness, kindness makes our own worlds & the worlds of those around us better. Small gestures, smile at strangers, meals for friends, shared cups of tea.
- Life is tough, so add some magic/zest to yours where you can.
- Preparing & eating good food with friends & family is priceless.
- Younger = braver. Do as much as you can in your youth.
- Moving is super stressful. The bright side? it forces you to take stock, declutter & start over.
- A G&T can change a day for the better. Even if it is a non-alcoholic one.
- A cup of tea is a good start to solving a problem.
- Only buy things that you really really really love – this is especially true for furniture & clothes. Never buy items on sale that you would not have considered at full price.
- You will have good seasons in life & you will have tough ones. Enjoy the good & remember that the tough seasons will also pass.
- Asking for help is not weakness.
- There are way more good people in the world than bad. They just don’t get all the air time they deserve. (When in doubt, visit this site)
- A good boss or positive work environment is not a given – appreciate what you have.
- Moisturise your feet & remove your make up before going to bed. You’ll be glad in the morning.
- Need a quick pick-me-up? Play a good tune. The louder, the better.
I’m quite sure that I have forgotten about some of the lessons I’ve learnt, but these are a start.
How about you? What are the most valuable life lessons that you have learnt so far in your time on earth?
Images via: ‘Older, Wise‘, funfetti cake with slice; featured image; pink funfetti cake.