Today welcomes my 39th year. That’s right – THIRTY NINE. Early this morning, I reminisced with an old friend about Benetton rugby shirts — remember those? It was like my uniform back then in the prehistoric age…
… When I was in middle school, which is ironically the stage my kids are in right now. Which brings me full circle to a conversation I had last night. Basically, the gist was: middle school sucks and we wish our kids knew what we know now as adults. This is more than likely true of every stage in life —high school, college, 20’s—it is easy to wish we had more wisdom back then, after the fact.
Monday Morning Quarterback (to borrow an expression from my kids)
I continue to ponder this as I sit in my home office with no real exciting plans for today on my birthday, I actually find myself feeling very settled. Almost at ease with the non-event of my birthday. (Please do not share this with Henry because I can’t stop joking with him over our lack of a romantic lunch for two today.)
Ponder, ponder some more, and I decide some of the most simple lessons of the last few decades are what I would share with a younger self.
FIVE Life Lessons (which took me to almost 40 to learn….)
Happiness is a cup o’noodles or a pb&j sandwich. I went through a stage back in my mid-twenties, feeling an insatiable urge to always go out, to see and be seen in Pittsburgh’s hotspots, to travel near and far. Essentially, being home was boring. Only heightened with little babies at home, when I had a chance to escape I took it. Somewhere in my mid-30’s, I realized being home is the best. The absolute best made even better when I am home on my couch, hearing my family, not eating fancy takeout or doing anything in particular. Just being home. Content with chunky apple jelly.
The person who you are assigned to sit next to on the airplane ride to your summer abroad (when you were 15 years old), just might turn out to be your lifelong friend…The person who shares in all of life’s milestones with you from your sweet sixteen to the birth of your first-born straight to his Bar-Mitzvah. We meet people in the craziest ways…even before the internet. When you least expect it, you may meet someone who looks different, acts differently than you, and they may turn out to be the missing ingredient in your life. Think out of the box when you make friends. It is overused and cliche’ but there is a reason why—don’t judge a book by its cover.
Have an eye exam, mammogram, flu shot. Basically, take care of ME. This is something I often failed at when I was younger and continue to have trouble making a priority with kids. It was abundantly clear when I went for my first eye doctor appointment in TWENTY years, I needed to take charge with my own heatlh. Yes, the last time I went I was 19 years old, and this time when I went….I could not read a damn thing. Now, I have glasses. Breast cancer is an epidemic, so we have to keep an eye on our tata’s, and as a mom—you are NOT allowed to get the flu. Period.
Carbs are fine in moderation. I can’t even count how many times I have given up carbs over the last decade, only to gorge myself on them the second I let them back into the fold. This is probably true for anything. The minute you eliminate something totally, it comes back in spades to haunt you. Like when you wanted a baby, and it seemed as though everyone you came into contact with was prego. I commit to get rid of carbs, and I cannot stop having visions of french baguettes, donuts, bagels, and bowls of pasta. Moderate. Moderate. Moderate.
Whatever your kid likes, learn it, ingest it, love it for them (The mom in me cannot help sharing this one). Legos, music, basketball, soccer, theater, ballet—get to know their interests, passion, the stuff that makes their heart beat faster whether you like it, get it, or not. We all have our own unique footprint, as do our children. Allowing them to grow wings in their passion is what will keep you close. You don’t have to do it yourself—just understand it, be able to chat about it.
Ok, enough of this WISDOM. Back to work at my desk and reading all my Facebook notifications — THANKS!! (it is the best-right?)
If you see me out today – I snuck out for a donut and coffee…RB