When I turned 45 my then ten year old son said, “Great news mom! Now you can round up!”
Clearly they had worked on rounding numbers at school. And clearly, rounding up is much more exciting when you’re in those lower digits of age. It made me a bit nervous back then, almost as if my aging was put in my face. Well, friends, time doesn’t slow and now I’m actually just weeks from turning 47.
Today, as I was running I started thinking about all the life lessons I’ve gotten to learn in these years. Would I consider myself wise yet? Not really. I honestly think that the older I get the more I realize that wisdom is still just a bit out there and to respect those with longer journeys than my own.
That being said, I decided on today’s very cold January run to write a list of 47 things/lessons/truths that I have learned. Some are representative of the number and my age, but clearly, the only lesson I probably learned when I was one was that crying brought attention. Most are a story, a stream of thought as I let my brain run with the lessons I’ve learned. Maybe they’ll resonate with you. Maybe they’ll inspire you. And just maybe, they might let you look at yourself with eyes a bit more proud of your story.
- You are uniquely you.
- Others might try to put you in a box. That box makes them more comfortable with you and you will be uncomfortable in it. Challenge the boxes in your life.
- It can be easy to conform and hard to realize you are conforming.
- There are many stuck places in life.
- Stuck places aren’t necessarily bad. Typically they are like lights indicating a need to change.
- Change isn’t a goal written on paper. Change is willing to adopt micro habits every single day. Change also involves many times falling but then standing up and starting again.
- But more than habits, change happens when one allows themselves to value their contribution to this world.
- You bring value to the world. Let me tell you that again -> You are valuable. You are enough. You are worthy.
- Comparison can dilute your perception of worth.
- Fixing each other’s crowns is beautiful, but make sure you are aligning yourself with those who would fix yours as well. Find friends who love you for you.
- Bullies exist. They only win if their words become truth.
- Take time to deal with your heart.
- Healing is important.
- Forgiveness is equally important.
- You are the only one who can decide to fight for the extra tenth.
- You will never regret pushing yourself just a bit more. Just make sure it is in the right direction. Sometimes that push is taking a break, sometimes it is in fighting for change.
- Sometimes the greatest risk is the risk of waiting for tomorrow.
- Today is worth fighting for the dreams of your tomorrow.
- Love is confusing, wonderful and a beautiful part of one’s story. Love isn’t about hiding one’s true self, it’s about finding someone who loves your true you and you theirs.
- Love yourself. See your gift. Take care of yourself. Others can’t fill the void in your heart – you must value you.
- What you have planned when you are young rarely looks like the story you are living.
- Even after the fiercest storm there is always the rainbow of hope in tomorrow.
- Tell those you love that you love them. Don’t think they just know. Speak it.
- Showing up looks differently depending on the season of life you are in.
- It is good to ask for help. And it’s just as good to show up and help.
- Denying self, being a martyr – it only hurts yourself.
- Yes and No are powerful boundary words. Know your boundaries and don’t feel like you have to apologize for them.
- Fear is limiting. Often on the other side of fear is opportunity.
- Laughter is truly the best medicine. Take care of your health too.
- Challenge your busy. Sometimes being busy might mean you are hiding from what you need to be doing.
- Watch the sunrise and sunsets. Read that book. Learn to dance. Play the piano. Paint. Write. In other words take the time to do things that simply make you happy.
- Kids go through phases. It’s not your job to like the phases, but to be there. Same with friends.
- Forgive yourself too. Don’t hold onto past mistakes, learn from them.
- Start new things. Try. But put it on the schedule. You are the only one who can add it to the list.
- Nothing is easy in the beginning. You can’t run a marathon until you can run a mile. And if it is super easy – maybe the challenge isn’t enough.
- The unexpected happens in life.
- Say the hard things. But listen too. Listening creates community. Be kind with your words.
- Bitterness only grows. Find ways to let it go.
- Sometimes you need to close a chapter and start a new one.
- When others question you, doubt you, just continue to be you. You just might be changing the world.
- You are not alone. But don’t be afraid of having moments of alone. It is often in those moments of stillness where one comes face to face with one’s heart. In that silence, that stillness, the heart speaks.
- When we share our real we create community.
- When we share our dreams we give them oxygen to grow.
- Don’t ever stop learning. Let your uniqueness, your quirkiness, shine.
- Even if the first chapters of life were hard, or you are in a challenging one, there is always opportunity in what is to come.
- Give yourself grace. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll stumble. You won’t have answers. Find the lesson, let the rest go.
- And, finally, stop waiting. You have now.
Thanks for being my friend. So many of you have watched my last ten years unfold – divorce, my business thriving, estranged kids, my book being published, Covid, getting remarried, etc…. and it hasn’t been this straight and easy path. There have been so many lessons, so many truths, and I’m so grateful to share just a bit of my story with you.
I almost titled this post “The Pressure of 47” because I do feel this pressure right now to do, to accomplish, to do. But then I also realized that maybe it’s not so much pressure but rather perspective.
I’d like to think of it more as a life lived.
ps…. the fighting for the extra tenth came to me on my run today. This year I have a goal to run 899 miles – the distance from my driveway in Nashville to my parent’s driveway in Minneapolis. Well, it is quite a few miles to run each month and I’ve realized how each tenth of a mile matters. So many times when I’m tired I’ll ask myself, “Can you do a tenth more?” And then I’ll push myself to do it. You know why? Because I know that after ten of those days I’ll have an extra mile. All of those times when we decide to do that little bit more – especially when it feels unseen – those are the moments that can create a life change. Getting up early, setting boundaries, doing just one more thing – even if it means taking a moment of needed rest – that tenth is life-changing.
I’m also a 1975 edition (my Birthday is in September)… I really related to these life lessons. Thank you for sharing 💗
Wishing you a Happy Birthday for 10th Feb! May you continue to know peace and bring joy to those around you x
I am so grateful to have found your blog, book and words of encouragement at a very challenging time in my life.
Thank you for being you and for choosing to share your heart and gift of encouragement with us. It is valued, as are You!
Thank you so much. I appreciate you.
(and Happy September Birthday to you too)
Thank you Rachel for all of your Real heartfelt posts of truth and reality of life, and that of being a single parent. My spouse turns 47 also on Feb 10. I cant wait to buy your book ‘Finding Joy’!
Thank you! Happy early birthday to your spouse as well.
And thank you about my book – It’s actually called “The Brave Art of Motherhood” – it’s on Amazon.