35 things I’ve learned by 35

I turned 35 on Saturday. This birthday has been bugging me all year. I don’t remember having a problem with my 30th birthday, but for some reason, adding that “5” after the “3” is messing with my head. I feel like I’m supposed to be old now. Or wise. Or accomplished. I don’t feel any of those things. But I’ve learned some important things in life. Here’s a list of 35 of them, in no particular order. (I was inspired by this post earlier this year.)

  1. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. And sometimes there’s no good explanation.
  2. Even if you’re almost 30 and married to your best friend, motherhood will still scare the crap out of you. (And by “you” I mean “me.”)
  3. I don’t have to like or believe all the same things as my friends to still be friends.
  4. It’s better to hear the truth than believe a lie.
  5. You can do everything right and follow all the rules and still be wrong.
  6. Housework is an inescapable necessity, and it improves my mood.
  7. I didn’t know how selfish I was until I got married and had children.
  8. God will make you eat your words when you tell Him something is impossible.
  9. Conflict is unavoidable. And sometimes it’s healthy. And helpful.
  10. Control is an illusion. Just when I think I have something “under control,” my son rolls around in the aisle at church or my daughter throws a doll across the room when I ask her to put her pajamas on.

    His Easter finest

    His Easter finest

  11. Apathy is just as (and maybe more) dangerous as hate.
  12. I can’t save the world, but I can make better choices that have an impact on the world and the people who live in it.
  13. Life moves fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. (Okay, I stole that one from Ferris Bueller. Still …) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  14. I’ll do just about anything for a full night of sleep. (Especially after having kids.)
  15. Just because I think I have something to say doesn’t mean I should say it.
  16. One toilet for four people is not enough, especially if two of those people are recently potty-trained. Inevitably, they have to go potty at the EXACT SAME TIME and RIGHT NOW. Same holds true if anyone else dares to enter the bathroom to do “business.”
  17. Life is always a good choice. Not just when it comes to the unborn.
  18. The number of laundry baskets in your house should match the number of people in your house.
  19. It’s better to ask a question, even if I think it makes me look stupid, than to assume I know something.
  20. An introvert (I am one) needs extroverts for friends. I am blessed to have several who push me out of my introverted tendencies (in a good way).
  21. Failing at something doesn’t make me a failure.
  22. I still blush when I talk to the opposite sex, even if they’re teenage boys. And I fear I might become one of those old ladies who flirts with guys of all ages just to be embarrassing.
  23. When you set out to write a list of 35 things you’ve learned in your lifetime, the list starts to read like a confessional.
  24. Drinking coffee with my dad and talking to my mom while we wash dishes or take a walk are two of my favorite activities. (And I don’t do either nearly enough because of an 800-mile separation.)
  25. I’m more task-oriented than people-oriented and learning to love people when they get “in the way” of my tasks is hard. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  26. I’m likely to say something awkward when making small-talk because I think better with written words than spoken ones.
  27. I’d rather take a risk and fail than not try at all.
  28. What I think we needed for marriage (the stuff we registered for) is not what we really needed. My registry list would look completely different now after six years of marriage.
  29. I am a writer. (Profound, right?) And no amount (big or small) of money, publication credits or blog followers will change that. It’s part of who I am. And it’s what I was made to do.
  30. Whining and giving constructive criticism are not the same. I have a low tolerance for the former, which accomplished almost nothing, and a growing tolerance for the latter, which can make a difference for the better. And I appreciate even more those teachers from grade school who had a “no whining” policy in their classrooms. (P.S. If you’re an adult, I tolerate your whining even less than I do my children’s.)
  31. Cooking a turkey is not as scary as I once thought it would be. I am now comfortable with all aspects of preparing and cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving or other meals. Ditto for a whole chicken. I have not, however, attempted to cook a live lobster or prepare anything that still has a head (fish, crawfish, etc.). Something to shoot for in the next 35 years.
  32. It’s okay to cry. But I’ll still probably apologize for doing it, even it’s an appropriate response.
  33. I take life and myself too seriously, but I love laugh-till-you-cry moments.
  34. I love my husband more now than I did when we first started dating, and I can’t imagine how my love will deepen and change in the coming years.
  35. I am an unfinished work.
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One thought on “35 things I’ve learned by 35

  1. Pingback: How I’m celebrating my 37th birthday | Living Echoes

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