A few weeks ago I turned 40. That sounds so young, yet I look back on 40 years at all the adventures I've been on and all I've accomplished and I feel proud of myself. I've seen many posts entitled, What I'd Tell My 20 Year Old Self. And I've thought about what I'd tell that carefree, spunky, headstrong girl. But when I think about what I would change, I realize I wouldn't change a thing. I'm where I am today because of the amazing road I've traveled with all of its detours, up and downs.
I've been thinking more about the many lessons I've learned in 40 years, specifically the last 20. And then I realize, these are the things I'd tell that 20 Year Old Self. Here are some of my thoughts:
~Travel and see not just the world, but this incredible country that we live in. I've had the privilege to visit 40 of the 50 states, most more than once. There are so many beautiful places that I have been able to view with these brown eyes of mine. My favorites include the South, New England in the Fall and or course Hawaii. I still need to make a trip to Alaska...
~Exercise. I feel so much better when I get out and exercise. I love lifting weights, swimming, cycling and hiking. I've learned that even a little exercise is better than no exercise.
~Endure, Endure, Endure. Throughout my life I've had times like grad school when I had to endure. I think those times have definitely prepared me for this time in my life to keep enduring when times are tough. The last 3 1/2 years have been all about endurance. And the last 2 1/2 I have daily told myself to keep enduring.
~Fall in Love and Kiss A Lot. I'm serious. I was so afraid to let myself do this in my early 20's for fear of rejection or hurt, not that I didn't do this, but I wish I would have done it more.
~Dress up. I think of a time in college when we dressed in 70's clothes and went on a date with cute guys. Another time I wore a fun hat for the Kentucky Derby party that Pam and I threw. I have always looked forward to Sunday's because they give me the opportunity to wear my Sunday best. Dressing well makes me feel well. My mom taught me to always get up and put myself together. I've never been one to hang out in my pj's all day. I'd never get anything done if I did.
~Laugh, A LOT. In my family we laugh a lot when we are together. Mom and I were just together and found something to laugh about. Dad just looked at us like we were crazy. One time my sisters, mom and I were in Hannibal, MO. A bird pooped on my shoe. We laughed and still laugh about it.
~Have fun with and learn lots of makeup techniques. I must say, at least through this cancer thing people are always saying I look good. What they don't realize is that it's my makeup that looks good. I am always trying new products and ways to make me look better. It's amazing what a little lip color will do for your self esteem and your face. When I was growing up my mom always refreshed her hair and makeup before my dad got home. I must have gotten this from her.
~Eat delicious food. You know me, I'm all about a good recipe, restaurant and not drinking calories. But sometimes you just have to go off of the food soap box and enjoy life, especially at Disneyland! It really bums me out when I eat something and it's not worth the calories. Its even more of a bummer the last few weeks that I can't eat much without feeling sick. My favorite restaurants are still The Glitz in Kentucky, Flatbread in Meridian, Wasabi Cafe in Concord, NC, Lobster Rolls in MVY, NYC has amazing restaurants, Pizza is out of this world in Chicago and of course a home cooked meal at my Momma's
Home is always delicious. I've discovered an amazing Greek salad at Cafe Mix in Mesa.
~Daily pray and read scriptures. I've had so many answers to prayers from following these daily activities.
~Friends can become your family. I truly have been blessed with the most incredible friends. My mom always talks about how I have so many friends. I love them and am so grateful for the advice they've given me along the years, their love and support. Oh the memories I have with each of them.
~Don't be afraid to take a leap of faith. There are some scary decisions that I've had to make in my life. But because of those decisions I've become the person that I am today.
~Listen to good music. Music can change your attitude in moments. I love Christmas music and listen to it often. Sometimes after a crazy work day or even in traffic I turn it to the classical station and it immediately relaxes. Of course I love music with a good beat when I work out.
~Family, that's were it is folks. We have made some wonderful memories over the past 40 years. I'm so grateful for their support and love.