28 things in 28 years

Last week I celebrated my 28th birthday.

It began with my husband bringing me french toast in bed and continued on to include our weekly play gym class and a surprise Chubby’s quesadilla with my son…and lots of love from various friends and family.

Food and adoration – the keys to my heart.

It was also 80 degrees outside, which is amazing, and while C napped and I blogged a bit, the wind was blowing through the open windows and I indulged in some laziness and smutty tv. I tried to take a nap, but was unsuccessful, like most of my sleeping attempts as of late.

28 isn’t a particularly noteworthy age, with the very big exception that at 28 I will be birthing my first daughter. I’ll become a mother of 2 and life will, again, readjust and shake out into a new normal. It’s crazy to think how different things will be when I sit here and write about 29.

I think it’s going to be a great year.

I’m not afraid of the ever-looming 30’s the way some people are. Maybe it’s because I’m generally the youngest in my various “crowds” here in my hometown and I see women I admire, respect and adore living awesome lives into their 30s. Or maybe it’s because all the stupid crap I did in the first half of my 20s mean that my 30s can’t possibly be any, oh I don’t know, worse?

I look forward to more life experience, for a deeper appreciation of myself and the ones I love and the fact that another year older means I’ve made another year of priceless memories…all things of which come with age.

With some reflection, I’ve thought of 28 important lessons I’ve learned in my 28 short years. In no particular order…

1. That gut feeling you get before you’re about to make a decision is a really useful tool. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.

2. One of the greatest blessings in life is having friends who knew you when you were young and stupid.

3. Being stupid is part of growing up…and sometimes make the best stories to tell later.

4. You’ll never appreciate just how hard your mother worked until you become a mother yourself.

5. Very little beats the feeling after a long, hard workout.

6. If you are truthful to everyone but yourself, you are still a liar.

7. Nothing ever goes to plan – and sometimes that results in the greatest gifts that life can give you, like the opportunity to attend a different school…or your first child.

8. Give others a chance to change themselves for the better, but don’t expect you to be the one to change them.

9. Start taking care of and appreciating your body as young as you can. That includes what you put in it, how you work it out and taking care of your skin.

10. Don’t be afraid to try new foods. It’s fascinating how much my tastes have changed just in the last 10 years.

11. There is so much to learn  – be a sponge for knowledge of all kinds and never be afraid to ask questions.

12. You are so much stronger than you think.

13. You meet people in the strangest of places, and the ones you never imagined being important to you will be the ones you can’t live without. They will be the ones that move work commitments around to be at your wedding, the ones you end up sharing apartments with and the ones that you’ll always make the effort to stay in touch with – even if you’re closeness isn’t the same as it once was, they will always be some of the most important people in your life.

14. Cherish your family.

15. Most people deserve a second chance. Maybe even a third, but probably not.

16. Naps in a hammock are amazing. Naps in general are pretty awesome.

17. Take every opportunity you have to travel.

18. Nothing on the internet goes away…but the afternoon you spend reading blogs and celebrity gossip will fly by with a quickness.

19. White wine and sushi makes any day a little bit better.

20. Take time to appreciate all the blessings in your life. Even the ones you take for granted.

21. Realize that not everyone’s lives are going to go down the same path as yours. Appreciate that people have to make decisions (and mistakes…) for themselves.

22. Take time for yourself.  Whether it’s a workout, coffee with a girlfriend or even a long shower accompanied with some deep breaths. It’s easy, especially once children come along, to let taking time for yourself move to the back burner. Don’t let it.

23. Take lots of road trips and see a lot of concerts. As many long drives and as much live music as you can.

24. Marriage is beautiful and hard. A wedding is a super fun thing to plan and celebrate, and my wedding day is one of the happiest days of my life. But not every day is a party with all of your family and closest friends.

25. On that note, parenting is also beautiful and hard. Not always on the same day…and sometimes at the exact same time.  See #4.

26. Haters gonna hate. Not everyone’s going to like you, your ideas, what you stand for, your personality, your clothes, what you blog about, your life choices, etc etc etc. It’s ok. Keep doing your thing and let it roll off your shoulders.

27. Laugh as often as possible – so hard your belly hurts and your mascara runs.

28. The best is yet to come.

Coincidentally, today over on Babble, Ali Worthington posted the 35 lessons she’s learned at 35. Hers are great, too!

At any age, you certainly have learned some lessons worth sharing. What are some of your favorites?

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