Another trip around the sun…another birthday…and some wisdom I would tell my younger self. I tend to get a little melancholy on my birthday and reflect on the last year and where I want to be headed. Some people take their inventory on January 1st – not me, I wait for my birthday. For me, it’s a great time to reflect and set intentions for the next year. This year I decided to think about what I would tell my much younger self – the self that was worried about looking cool, dating the cool guy, being skinny, worried about the future and upset about past mistakes. Stop. Be present. Read this.
Buy the good bottle of wine. Buy food that isn’t on the dollar menu. Get a pair of jeans that fits your butt right. Get a great haircut. Buy the foundation that makes your skin sparkle. Spend the money on yourself – take care of you.
Fill up your own love bucket. Don’t go looking for someone or something else to make you feel loved and worthy. Find people and find within yourself the love that fills up your ‘love bucket’. You don’t want to so needy that you’ll take whatever someone calls ‘love’. You also don’t want to be responsible for having to keep someone else’s bucket filled.
LOVE YOUR DOGS with crazy abandon and don’t be embarrassed. When you’re driving your convertible listening to Pearl Jam and watching your black lab’s ears blow in the breeze – savor it. This is the stuff that makes life awesome. Take your dogs on car rides. Let them get on the couch, bed or wherever you are sitting. They are love in a body and that’s all they feel for you. Enjoy every little moment. Even the poop walks in the bad weather.
Wear the bikini. There will be a time you think you shouldn’t. You can’t. You’ll think tankinis are your friend. You will come to learn that more fabric is just more fabric. You are just hiding you and that’s not good. Get a good bikini with good support and rock it. No, you won’t look like you did at 18 and that’s okay. Neither do the guys your age.
Take ALL OF YOUR vacation days Don’t worry that you’re replaceable. To some extent we’re all replaceable. Work hard and vacation hard. Don’t ever, ever leave vacation days on the table. Vacation days are just memories ready to be made. Also, your employer will not be giving out any gold stars for skipping your vacations. Take the trip.
Live close to family when you can. Marriage and career choices won’t allow you to always live near family, but when given the chance go back home. Family dinners, birthday celebrations and watching your child with their cousins will mean more as you get older than you can ever know. Take a chance – your career will be fine.
Let your light shine brightly. Don’t dim your light for anyone or anything. Be you. Do you. Shine your light brightly and help others to shine brightly too. Don’t dim anyone else’s light either – it just dims your own. Shine brightly and encourage everyone you know to do the same.
Lead with love. This is the biggie. The world may seem ugly and divided at time, don’t get sucked into the hate and discord. Love. Lead with love all the time in all that you do. When you screw up (and you will) go back, make amends and lead with love. Always love.
Here’s to another trip around the sun…..Xoxo Melissa