Monday 8 December 2014

35 important lessons learnt in 35 years

Last Saturday was my birthday. The number above is it: that's me. 35 years old. Contrary to what we are supposed to believe about aging, I love it. No, seriously! I feel that the older I get, the more I have life figured out - finally. It's about time! I have struggled with lots of different things throughout my life, just like all of us, and still do, of course. But over the last 3+ decades I have picked up a few lessons here and there, and I want to share them with you. There are also a few party pics scattered throughout. I had a theme, and the theme was: sparkle!

Here they are, in absolutely no order:

Find something you are passionate about. Whatever it may be - cooking, knitting, running, stamp collecting, blogging - having a hobby that relaxes you and makes you happy is such a life enhancer. It can make even the shittiest day better!

♥ Cut negativity out of your life. Negativity can come in many shapes and forms: In the form of work, friends, family, relationships, or even focusing on the terrible aspects of the news. I have learnt that negativity is bad for my health, and try to stay away from it as much as I can.

You can't please everybody. It's impossible, and it's easiest to simply accept it and move on. 

♥ Find your tribe. Human beings are social animals, even introverts like myself. While being with the "wrong" people is incredibly draining, being with the right ones is wonderful! Finding friends who just get you is one of the best gifts in life. 

 ♥ Don't overplug your eyebrows. Just don't. I can guarantee that you will regret it, and they are a bitch to grow back.

♥ Every person you meet can teach you something. Big or small, it doesn't matter: don't dismiss the wisdom age or experiences will give a person. 

Stop worrying so much about your body. I have wasted years being consumed with my body image. I wanted to weigh 5 pounds less (no matter what my current weight was), have a sixpack, a smaller butt - until one day, I didn't. It stopped being so important to me, and then the most surprising thing happened: I started to love my body. It is not perfect if you believe the media, but who cares? They change their mind all the time anyway. It is perfect to me and my man, and that's all that matters.  

 Be kind to yourself. This is sort of a continuation of the previous point: Stop with the negative self talk. Treat yourself with the same respect that you expect from others. Why would you want to beat yourself up all the time?

♥ Be kind to others.  No explanation necessary.

♥ Karma is real. What goes around, comes around. If you spread positivity, good things will happen to you.

Thoughts are powerful. Our thoughts are what we become, and they are the most powerful tool. We can either become the best version of ourselves, or put ourselves down so much that we start believing we are worthless. It is our choice.

If you get a speeding ticket, pay it and forget about it. Out of sight, out of mind. Chances are, you did speed, so it's not unjustified, and anyway: Think of all the times you got away with it! Why contest it and have this issue hanging around in your life for months to come?

♥ Let go of the idea of perfection. Perfection is an illusion, and boring to boot. Embrace the imperfections, they are what makes life interesting!

 Don't believe everything people tell you. People embellish, lie, pretty up the ugly truth to look better to the outside world. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Back pain is real. You may not believe it in your teens and twenties, but all that slouching and bending over will bite you in the ass later! Believe a girl who had to learn the hard way.

Live with animals. They are therapy, relaxation, fun, workout, and happiness all rolled into one furry, smelly package. I can't imagine life without them.

♥ You will get hurt, more than once. And you will get over it and be stronger in the end.

Life goes on. When tragedy strikes (not if - we all have difficult times in our lives), it may seem like you will never be happy again. It may not be the same as it was before, but there is one thing I have learnt: Life goes on. It has a way of nudging you on, and time helps with the healing process.

Never turn down free food.

Love with reckless abandon. If you are in love, commit to it. No matter what other people say, or if it looks wrong to the outside world: If it feels right, go for it! The heart knows what the heart wants. 

Forgive. Holding grudges won't hurt the person you hold it against, just yourself. Letting go of them will be the best thing you ever did!

Be thankful. Appreciate everything you have, instead of focusing on the things you don't have.

Laugh. Do it often, loud, until tears run down your cheeks and your belly hurts. It's good for your health!

Don't make your happiness dependent on other people. I have touched on this subject in this post. Basically, I'm learning not to be influenced so much by what other people are doing/not doing. 

If you feel down, watch Gilmore Girls. This fast-talking and upbeat mother-daughter duo will make you feel better, guaranteed.

Don't have other people rent space in your head. You know those people in your life that annoy you on a regular basis? They might be co-workers, in-laws,  relatives - we all have them. They are an unavoidable part of our life, and they bug the hell out of us. But here is the thing: Having them occupy a large portion of our head will only irritate us, not them. By letting them have this power over us, we hurt our own peace and well-being. They might not even know that we feel that way, and probably don't even do it on purpose - there simply are people we don't get along with.
Ever since I have realized that I try consciously to let go of the negative thoughts, and not think about them if I don't have to. It's a work in progress, but it is working! Give it a try, it's worth it.

Don't take yourself too seriously. Life is a lot easier that way.

Don't take life too seriously. Life is a lot easier that way.

All the life advice you need can be found in Harry Potter. 

Be proud of your laugh lines. They are proof of a happy life with lots of laughter in it.

Expect good things to happen. I believe in the goodness of people and the world, despite all the ugliness that also happens. I find by focusing on the positive, a lot of the times it will be returned to you - if you treat other nicely, they reciprocate.

Appreciate everything. The person who offers you their parking ticket that still has an hour left on it; the co-worker who shares their chocolate; a helping hand with the groceries; a beautiful sunny day; every kind word you hear. Once you start paying attention, you will find there is a lot of goodness in the world!

Selective hearing is the secret to a happy marriage. Men have been using that technique for centuries, and now I know why. It's great! As much as I love my guy, there is only so much attention I can pay to chicken stories. So I do what he does so well - I nod along, make encouraging noises, and compile my shopping list in my head. Everybody wins!

March to the beat of your own drum. Don't follow the crowd. Decide what makes you happy, and then go for it. Embrace your uniqueness, quirks and all! To quote John Mason: "You were born an original. Don't die a copy."

Never mix vodka and champagne. You will suffer for an entire day after!

Thank you all so very much for the birthday wishes via social media, on the phone, or in person. I appreciate it more than I can put into words!!

Lots of love, Miriam



  1. I LOVE this list! Have you read The Happiness Project? I think you'd like it :)
    P.S. Did you learn the last one on your birthday? ;)

  2. ohh i'm sorry i didn't congratulate you on your actual birthday! but still, happy birthday! these are beautiful lessons to learn, i'm sure i will come back to this post many times. cheers to 35!

    1. by the way, your birthday outfit is the best!

  3. I absolutely love this list, Miriam! Coming from a 21-year-old, I have to say THANKS! I'm definitely finding that a lot of these address issues I'm currently struggling with (body image, perfection, being kind to yourself...) and I really do take comfort in your words. Especially because I agree 100% percent on Gilmore Girls and the magical powers it possesses for a bad day (pretty sure I watch it about every 28 days LOL). And Harry Potter....except I also get lots of great life advice from my German-Canadian blog sister :)
    I hope you had an awesome birthday! Thanks for all of your advice! :)
    ~ Samantha
    PS: I love the black and white pic where you're holding the pup...its just so you its perfect lol

  4. Such an amazing list! Also yes to the selective hearing in marriage!

  5. I love that dress, you look fantastic! Looks like you had a great time, all the pictures are great! What good Birthday memories. As always great advice!! Why aren't we given this list at 15 :)

  6. Happy belated birthday Miriam! You look amazing, and of course are full of so much positivity and encouragement! You are an inspiration to us all!

  7. Happy belated birthday!!! I love this list, I love your dress. You look fantastic!

    Also, I'd like to make a special request for a blog post about life advice from Harry Potter!! I'd love to read your thoughts on that!

  8. You've got a fascinating set of milestones laid out there. Indeed, one shouldn't take things in stride. The stuff we let pass now can impact us tomorrow, such as your back pain, so might as well keep the proper posture. However, there is always going to be a remedy for that at some point. You just have to seek and consult the right specialist for you. I hope your faring better. Take care!

    Derek Sparks @ Forgey Chiropractic

    1. Thanks so much for the advice! I'm getting regular massage therapy, which is a tremendous help. But I wish I would have taken better care of my back in the past, definitely took my health for granted. Not any more!
      Thanks for stopping by!


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