When I turned 40 I wrote a list of things I've learned in 40 Years.
Now that I have just turned 43, I think it's time to add a few items to the list and tweak a few things that have changed, even in just a few years.
1. My mind loves the stimulation that writing, reading, collaborating or taking a class provides.
2. I am creative; always have been.
3. I can learn the art of patience.
4. You shouldn’t wait around to have enough money in order to fulfill your hearts’ desires; there are too many missed opportunities if you go down that road.
5. I don’t believe in missed opportunities.
6. If you plan to stay married for a good long time, you better learn to communicate. It’s not always fun, but it’s always worth it.
7. Being the mother of boys is one of the greatest joys of my life, even if they’re a royal pain in the ass sometimes.
8. That said, it’s pretty cool when they grow up and you actually like who they have become.
9. Sometimes in life you have to do the hard things and you have to feel uncomfortable. This is where growth takes place.
10. I still love to travel, even though 9/11 scared me so badly that I developed a fear of flying for nearly nine years; so debilitating that I thought that part of my life was over. It isn’t.
11. My kids have benefitted from my love of culture, language and overall travel. Now I can travel to see them.
12. If you read to your kids and show them that you love to read, they will eventually develop their own love of reading and learning (disclosure: this might take 15-17 years, so hang in there).
13. You can’t rely on other people to make you happy.
14. Learn to love yourself because you need to able to be your own best friend sometimes.
15. Sometimes. When your mom is one of your best friends and your sister is another, that’s kind of like having a perennial security blanket tdraped across one's shoulders.
16. People who you thought would never disappoint you will disappoint you.
17. That said, be careful about expectations. Don't walk down the same street and fall into the same hole in the ground 3 times and expect something different to happen on the 4th go round.
18. Family is everything. Sometimes, if you're lucky enough to choose some of your 'people' who become family.
19. I can’t control the behavior of others. I can’t control the behavior of others. I can’t control the behavior of others. I can, however, walk away.
20. I will never accept injustice in all of its hideous forms.
21. I am a sensitive soul and that is simply a part of who I am.
22. I choose to see the gift in that now.
23. It took a long time for me to find my voice—this involves a lot of areas of my life. It feels good to “sing.”
24. Sometimes you have to feel really uncomfortable before you can get to a better place. This is true of work, in relationships, in general. You have to do the work to get the results.
25. I’ve never believed in shortcuts where kids are involved. Children deserve the best of us.
26. I also believe in forgiveness, especially of ourselves.
27. I will never regret the time I devoted to my children and their happiness. Their childhood years go so quickly.
28. Don’t wait until you have enough money to do what your heart desires; you’ll never have enough money.
29. I need girlfriends in my life.
30. I also crave solitude.
31. I’ve witnessed births and deaths and each one has changed me in a way that has shaped who I am now. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve shared and the souls I’ve been honored to know.
32. Divorce affects you in strange ways, even when you are in your 30’s when your parents separate. You still mourn for “what could have been” –for yourself, your kids, your siblings…your family. I think age intensifies that feeling rather than relieves it.
33. I love early mornings before my husband and kids are awake…the quiet, the coffee, the toilet seat in the down position.
34. I find myself wishing my father-in-law were still around sometimes.
35. I finally learned to bake bread. I will never make a perfect piecrust, and I don’t care because no one is perfect, except maybe Oprah.
36. I eat whatever I want now.
37. I deprived myself for most of my life, and I'll never live that way again.
38. I don’t want gifts these days so much as goals and plans for a simpler life with less stress and fewer taxes to pay.
39. I like small town living and may just make that my reality. I also love the ocean, so maybe there is room for a beach house in the grand plans.
40. I don’t feel 40. I started going gray in my 20’s and I just color it to reflect the way I want to feel. You’re as young as you feel, right? I’m still as young as I feel.
41. Never say never. I have made some serious changes in the last year alone that I never knew I was capable of making.
42. I am a dreamer of wild and wonderful things.
43. I actually believe that my dreams are full of possibility now, though. That's the difference. Why did I wait so long to allow such a simple mind shift? It's never too late to change your life.