Today, I am 34 years old. I'm now in my "mid-thirties." Part of me doesn't feel that old, part of me feels like my age has caught up with how I have felt for years. Getting married and having a baby at 19 made me grow up pretty fast. So far, my thirties have been pretty good. I still don't have everything figured out, but I'm more comfortable in my own skin. Earlier today, I was thinking about how I'm different now than I was ten or even five years ago. So, in honor of my 34th birthday, here are 34 lessons I've learned.
1. Life is too short to listen to telemarketers. No is no, I'll even give you another one just because I know you're simply trying to make a living, but then I'm hanging up.
2. Don't make yourself unhappy trying to please those who don't care about you.
3. I have more friends than I realized.
4. Just let it go. Relax.
5. When combined with enough chocolate or caramel, coffee is delicious.
6. But don't drink too much in a day... ugh.
7. Eating junk for a day is okay, but more than a day is SO not worth it. Eat good stuff and feel good.
8. You ALWAYS have time for one more hug or kiss. Too many people don't get that chance.
9. Two days in the year I absolutely refuse to cook: Mother's Day and my birthday. I don't care if we stay in and someone else cooks and cleans up, or we go out - I'm not doing either.
10. Gifts are nice, but what REALLY makes me happy is togetherness. And if someone else wanted to do the dishes, vacuuming, and put away the laundry I'd just be ecstatic.
11. Sharpie WILL come off laminate furniture with enough scrubbing, but so far nothing gets plain ballpoint pen ink off the wall.
12. Sounds too good to be true = really is too good to be true
13. Check the source. No matter what the information, check the original source for the truth.
14. Technology is awesomesauce, but it's even better to get a real card or letter in the mail.
15. Family is everything
16. Money isn't.
17. Keep the receipt.
18. Nothing beats a great group of friends.
19. The main difference between a teenager and a toddler is height.
20. Your kids will argue, no matter what the age difference is.
21. Preview the book before buying. "First chapter free" is a wonderful thing.
22. Don't be afraid to look ridiculous.
23. No matter how cool of a parent I think I am, I'm really not.
24. When the knee pops and pain starts, STOP DANCING. Even if you did just post on Facebook thirty seconds earlier that you were going to kick your daughter's butt at Just Dance. The ability to walk trumps saving face.
25. Being a parent does not mean I can't be myself. My hobbies and interests are important, too.
26. Marriage is not a fairytale. But it is so worth it. Nothing beats going through life with the person you love.
27. Don't forget to love on the dogs.
28. Don't forget to bathe the dogs....
29. Fill the bathtub with water before caulking or else you'll be doing it again.
30. It's not hard at all to fix the toilet. Just Google the problem, get the correct part at the store, and follow the directions. Don't be afraid to try it.
31. Fresh fruit goes bad quickly. Eat lots of it and learn to cook with it.
32. Experimenting in the kitchen often has tasty results.
33. No matter what, stop to listen when someone is talking to you.
34. Some things can't be unseen.