So yesterday was my birthday. I turned 34 years old and I am proud to say it out loud. Since I am one year older I thought it would be fun to make a list of 34 lessons I have learned in 34 years.
I am very different now than how I was back then. In these past 34 years, I think I have found out who I really am, what I like, and what I want for my life.
Although I have been putting myself out there these past 5 months with this blog. I feel like I am losing sight of why I started this blog. Making this list reminds me of why I was doing this. What pushed me to do it?
34 lessons I have learned
I spend the day reflecting on my past, you know… where I have been and how I have changed and grown up. It amazes me how different I am now from my younger self.
I see a change in my Facebook posts when they pop up in my memories. It was a lot of complaining and doing the poor me, poor me act. I put myself in those situations and could have easily changed the situation, but I didn’t.
Would I change anything in my past? Absolutely not. All the ups and downs I have had made me who I am. It has made me care more about people overcoming obstacles and rising up from being an underdog. I have so much love for the people who are trying to get their shit together.
And all of these pictures are just throwbacks to my younger self. These are the only pictures I have of my childhood.
1. Take as many photos and videos of your life.
I have loved going through old photos or looking at my old videos on YouTube. Having memories there that mean the most to me. I don’t have many pictures of me as a baby or as a toddler and I never wanted that for my life or for my family. I may take too many, but it’s better than not having any.
2. It is a must to do a daily or weekly brain dump.
Our brains only hold so much information. A brain dump allows me to get all my to-do lists, thoughts, complaints, and gratitude out of my head and onto paper. I can then organize everything. It helps me at night, so my brain is not racing with all those thoughts.
3. Decluttering can make you feel better.
Most days I wake up and think I don’t need the things in my home that I have. I thought at one point I would use it and it brought me joy, but now it doesn’t let someone else enjoy it. It also means less I have to clean because let’s face it cleaning is a bitch.
4. Resist sharing your opinions about everything.
I tell Mike this all the time. Just because something is said doesn’t mean you have to have an opinion about it. If it doesn’t help the person or the situation, why say it?
5. Come up with a skincare routine.
If you don’t care about your skin you will look older than what you actually are. I have noticed lately I have some issues I need to work on that make me self-cautious. I wish I would have done something to prevent it when I was younger, but better now than never.
6. Don’t waste too much time arguing.
This goes along with number 4. Take a moment and think is this something that you want to argue about? Is it something you can keep to yourself and see if it still bothers you in a day, a week, or a month from now?
If something were to happen to the person you were arguing with. Is this what you would want your last conversation to be about? You can’t really control how people handle situations, but you can handle how you react. It’s not worth it in the long run.
7. Drink more water.
This goes along with number 5. Drinking more water has helped with my issues. I didn’t believe this growing up but now I do. It has helped with my skin, weight loss, and energy.
8. Have Meatless Mondays
Not every meal has to have meat. I have found a lot of good recipes that do not involve meat. Saves me money at the grocery store.
9. Coffee is my friend.
This may not seem important, but coffee makes me less grumpy when I don’t get a good night of sleep.
10. Stop talking about what you are going to do and just do it.
I did it with this blog. Spending many years wanting to do this and finally, I took the plunge. Having more drive now to make this work than ever. I am not looking to do this for money. I do it as a creative outlet. Would I mind making money while doing it? Of course not. I won’t complain. That’s not my sole goal of sharing what I have to say.
11. You are only as good as your word, so keep it.
I am a firm believer that if you say you are going to do something then stick to it. Don’t go back on something you said unless there is a very good reason. Just tell the person why it is you can’t do what you said. Although, don’t promise things you know you can’t deliver on.
12. Write down your goals and look at them often.
I am a list maker. I have so many goals and dreams for my life and I want to see them every day. Seeing the constant reminder of what it is I am working towards. That’s why Mike and I always do a life audit. We want to make sure we are on the right path towards our own personal goals as well as our family goals.
13. Cut out everything in your life that does not reflect who you are.
This goes with number 11. When we do the life audit we are evaluating what is working to help us achieve our goals and dreams. We remove the things that are not working. I have noticed since I have changed my way of thinking. I have had a lot more opportunities presenting themselves in our life.
14. Putting positivity into the universe brings great things to your life.
Again changing the way I thought about things and the negativity I was putting into the world. That mindset made things hard for Mike and me. Once we made the choice to say yes more. We knew everything will work out in the end. It changed things in our life. Mike got a job where he makes enough money to support him and me. Enough for me to quit my job. We have the ability to do more things in our life that make us happy and it hits me hard when looking back.
15. Show gratitude out loud for the things you appreciate.
This shouldn’t only happen around Thanksgiving. Gratitude for all things in your life be it good or bad should be expressed out loud. Thank the universe, your neighbor, your boss, and anyone who has affected your life. Even if it was a bad experience, appreciate the lesson you learned from it.
16. It’s okay to cry at sappy stuff.
When I was younger it took a lot to make me cry about things. When people passed away or when a baby was born and people got married. Certain events didn’t affect me. I have noticed that the older I get the more I cry about things. I cry from too much joy and happiness or something sad and heartbreaking. It is OK to cry to show compassion.
17. The perfect time to start something doesn’t exist.
This will never exist. It took me a long time to realize this. Our Redonkulous Life is a product of not waiting for the perfect time. Something will always be in the way. Life happens you just make a decision and work it out after. If you wait for the perfect time to do something it will never happen.
18. Experiences are worth so much more than possessions.
As I got older and became a stepmother it hit me how many experiences stuck with me from my childhood. I have so little of my possessions as a child. Yet, I have so many memories of my childhood and I made it a point to make sure Mikayla has experiences she can share. It makes a big difference when you shift from possessions to experiences. You enjoy what you are doing more, plus you’ll save money on the little knick-knacks you would have bought.
19. There are no mistakes, only learning experiences
When you make a decision and it doesn’t go the way you thought it would, isn’t a mistake. Think about why it didn’t work and find the positive side of what you can do differently next time. It is an experience you learned from.
20. Learning experiences shouldn’t stop you from doing anything.
Just because you had something not go your way. You don’t need to fall into the rabbit hole of wondering what if and stop you from doing it again. Learn the lesson from the experience, Look and see what you could do differently, and move on.
21. Don’t spend too much time worrying about what if.
There is no sense in wondering what if. You made a choice for a reason. If a decision doesn’t sit well in your gut or heart, don’t do it. That is what causes what if. You doubt yourself as a person who can make decisions. Even if it was wrong life goes on. Take the learning experience and see what you would do differently.
22. You can’t please everyone and not everyone will please you.
We are all different in our own unique ways. How you think and act is different from others and we will not all agree 100%. So do not get upset if a person doesn’t like what you have to say. because you will also never like what another person has to say. Worry about how you feel and react because those are the only things you can control.
23. Spend less time with people who hold you back.
In the last year, I have made it a point to cut out people who I feel are not helping me achieve my goals. I don’t hold any negative thoughts toward them. I just know that where they want to go (or stay) in life might be a different path from mine and it’s okay to move on.
24. Surround yourself with positive people who push you to be better.
This one speaks for itself. Surround yourself with people who push you out of your comfort zone. If you are not scared to do something you are not learning anything. Find people who understand what you want out of life and don’t mind helping you get there.
25. Comfort zones are comfortable for a reason.
As I just said a few seconds ago. If you are not scared to do something you are not learning anything. If you are comfortable with how things are going something is wrong. Get out of your comfort zone. When you are older you will be playing the “What If” game with yourself. No one wants to do that. Even if you just push yourself a little bit, it’s better than nothing.
26. Say yes more.
The first 6 years of my relationship with Mike were spent telling him “NO”. No, we can’t buy that video game, no we can’t go to that baseball game, No we can’t take a vacation. Once I started saying yes and knowing that the world would not fall apart if I did. I knew that we would work everything out after. That is when the universe changed for us.
Since I said Yes we took a vacation to Massachusetts, camped in New Hampshire, and search for moose in Maine. We have gone to many ICP concerts, Drove to Key West and back in 24 hours. We have done so much and the world did not fall apart.
27. Stop giving a f*#k about what others think about you.
This took a long time to learn. Hell, who am I kidding all these took me a long time to learn. If I learned all this when I was younger I wouldn’t have a post to write about on my 34th birthday. I really try to instill this one into Mikayla. Nobody’s opinions matter more than your own.
It took a long time to be comfortable in my own skin and weight. I always saw myself as the unlovable fat friend, knowing I would never find love, because of things people would say to me. I was very insecure and if I learned not to give a f*#k sooner things could have been very different and I don’t regret learning this later in life. It made me who I am. Just know their opinions don’t matter they are an asshole anyways.
28. Do not have any regrets. At the time you thought it was the right thing to do.
It’s pretty clear on this list I don’t regret anything. Now… Now I don’t. If you asked me 7 years ago if I regretted decisions in my life I would agree 100% that my life was shit. Again in that last year, I realized if my life didn’t go the way it did. I wouldn’t be the compassionate, caring, and loving person I am today.
29. Each day is a fresh start filled with new opportunities.
I remember my MySpace profile bio said: “I never want to live the same day twice.” It still holds true to this day. I look at each day as an opportunity to try something new. If I spent the majority of my day doing the same thing I am okay with that, but every day I will try something new. One day I could be trying to learn a new song to sing at karaoke and the next could be making homemade bread. The day after that I am exploring a new county in Florida to write about. I am writing about different topics every day. I am never living the same day twice.
30. There are plenty of ways to achieve success, but the common theme is consistency.
I have learned that in the last 5 months, especially with this blog. Consistency is key. Success does not mean starting a blog. If could the relationships in your life. Being consistent in maintaining those friendships. As long as you are consistent you will have success.
31. A drama-free and boring life is amazing
Once I ditched the negativity in my life, I found I enjoyed being home. I pay to store my stuff here, so why not chill here and enjoy it? My life is not that exciting, but when we do, do something I appreciate it so much more. Now that my priorities switch from what they were in college, I can now see how much drama was in my life. It was a constant battle. I appreciate my simple life.
32. Someone that’s nice to you but not nice to the waiter is not a nice person.
People can be 2 faced. If you find yourself with a person who is so nice to you during conversations can easily turn on another person. By quickly change their tone and starts bitching. Then turn back to you and go back to being nice. They really are not a nice person. RUN…
33. The biggest adventure of your life is discovering who you are.
This whole journey all its ups and downs has been amazing. It really showed me who I am and where I want my life to go. I am not done learning who I am. My thoughts and tastes will change. I am just evolving. Never give up on discovering who you are.
34. If you want to progress in your life, make more decisions, and take more risks.
Finally, we made it to the end. Last but not least. This one right here is the reason why Our Redonkulous Life’s tagline used to be “Let the Adventures Begin”. Don’t wait for things to come your way. Go out and make your own adventures and take your own risks. Make decisions in your own life, don’t let others do it for you. You can’t get time back, don’t waste it.
Thank you for reading the 34 Lessons I have learned! I have really enjoyed finding who and what makes me, me. I still have so much more to learn, so here’s to 34 MORE Lessons to learn. See ya back here when I am 68. LOL
If you want to give me a birthday present…
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I appreciate all of you who take the time to read my posts.
Until next time, Have a great day!