life

Twenty Eight

Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeee!

I LOVE BIRTHDAYS. My own or anyone else’s. It’s just kind of fun to have one day a year where you can make someone else feel special, for no reason other than being born.

Kind of like saying, “Hey – glad you’re alive!” How could that not make you feel good?

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Well, yesterday, I turned 28. And with every coming year, I find that I really do learn something new – whether it’s something actually new or something I’ve been told my whole life that I now believe.So here it is, guys. My top five life lessons from 28 years.

1. To have friends, you’ve got to be a friend.

After college, maintaining friendships doesn’t just naturally happen by running into each other at the library, sharing a class or toasting together during a night out. Busy schedules and dayjobs require more effort and forethought than before. It takes work – reaching out for plans, remembering special days, attending get-togethers. You’ve got to be a good friend to others in order to have friends, and that’s something I think a lot of girls forget as we get older.

2. The happiest relationships include two people with their own lives.

So many couples find happiness together and then block everyone else out. For some reason, I think this is true for girls in particular. But for even the best relationships, there will be bad days – days you need time away from that person, a distraction, your own thing. For me, I find that in friends, this blog and my job. For others, it might be another hobby. I’m no relationship expert, but I think it only makes you more desirable when you have your own thing going for you.

3. Waking up happy is a conscious decision.

Sometimes life can be so. stressful. For me, it recently got to the point where I woke up angry, came home angry and went to bed angry. But that wasn’t fair to Dan, and it certainly wasn’t fair to myself. I’ve realized that I need to make a conscious decision to start each day with a grateful heart and a smile on my face. Doing so, and being nice to those around you, can really make a difference in the day ahead of you.

4. Sometimes, peace is better than being right.

Naturally, I’m really stubborn. Like SUUUPER stubborn. And I love being right. But something we learned in premarital counseling (that I think applies across the board – friendships, family and even work) is that not everything is worth fighting over. Sometimes, it truly is easier to let the other person win, or even comprimise. That doesn’t make you weak – in fact, it takes great strength! And in the end, it makes you happier.

5. Saying ‘no’ is a skill.

And finally, know when to say no – to an extra assignment at work, plans and other commitments. Your sanity is IMPORTANT, and that includes your “me” time. Some work projects are worth accepting for the kudos, and some will just break you. Being self aware and knowing your limits will only improve your happiness. This is something I still totally struggle with, but I’m trying!

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