Taylor Swift names songs after her age, or the age she's singing about.
Adele names entire albums after her age when the album is released.
I figure it's okay to name a blog post after my newly achieved age.
I recently turned 47. 47 is one of those non-birthday birthdays; doesn't end in a zero or a five, doesn't really need a party but does want a little acknowledgement.
A friend from years gone by reached out via email to say happy birthday, and I was reminded of how she used to tell me that around her birthday, she intentionally took some time to evaluate her life. Having a January birthday, I haven't done that as much - I've traditionally been coming down from the New Year's resolution high and haven't spent much time around my birthday focusing on where I want to be, where I am going. As I no longer subscribe to the "New Year, New You" guilt trip perspective that has often surrounded my New Year's resolutions, I now choose to put time and mental energy into birthday ponderings....and so here goes. I asked myself: in my 47 years on the planet, what have I learned? what have I contributed and what can I contribute? Everything I've learned has originated from other sources and been run through my own filter; here are some of the things that speak to me right now (most are also words of advice I have said or plan to say to my daughters).
listen. You are smart and have interesting things to say, but you learn best by listening.
when people are heard, they feel loved and validated.
make good friend choices. Get to know a variety of people so you can figure out which ones are Your People.
don't worry about what others think of you. They probably aren't.
don't expect anyone to read your mind. Do your relationships a favour, and be clear about what you need and want.
on the same theme, don't assume you know what your partner or friend needs or wants. Ask them, and really listen to the answer.
when relationships end, take the best parts with you (usually that will be the lessons, some of which may start with "what not to do...").
did I mention not worrying what others think of you?
don't underestimate the power of finding your tribe.
don't overshare; tell your stories to those who have earned your trust and the right to hear them.
On your body...
your body is more than fine, it is beautiful and powerful, and will feel even better if you find exercise you love.
drink lots of water.
your mind needs to calm the heck down. Meditate.
eat real food made up of ingredients you can pronounce.
don't over-pluck your eyebrows (they might not grow back).
hair WILL grow back, so try new cuts & colours.
sleep. like, really sleep.
On change and trying something new and possibly risky...
a new job, a new school, a new situation can rock your boat and open your eyes at the same time. Be open to it.
moving to a new town is scary and exciting all rolled together. Take chances.
millions of people have done that thing and survived.
vulnerability is definitely not weakness.
On making life more fun...
prioritize laughter, and don't worry if your sense of humour isn't like others'.
don't take yourself too seriously.
find a hobby you love. It might turn into a career, or it might be the thing you look forward to doing on weekends or evenings.
get creative. Doodle, try (or come up with) a new recipe, paint a wall an unexpected colour that lights you up.
Some other thoughts that are worth thinking about...
having a job in the service industry early on in life makes people kinder.
failure and regret can be our best teachers if we choose to learn from them,
when other people show their vulnerability and humanity, it looks like bravery. Don't be scared to show that, too.
you are enough. Decide that even if you're not enough for someone else, or maybe you're too much for the to handle, you are enough for you.
Bonus words of wisdom from someone who has been around since 1915...
My grandma turned 101 earlier this month. Some of the best advice she's given me (through word or action) includes:
tell people you love them, but also show them. If you cook, cook for them. If you drive, offer them a ride.
pray. Have faith in something greater than yourself.
try not to worry - you will, anyway, but try not to.
start every day with a cup of hot water. Lemon optional.
Life Coach, Yogi & lover of Meditation, mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter, cookie baker, seeker of truth & laughter, volunteer. Passionate about women's stories and the women who share them.