This is a post I started a few years ago, and each birthday I am adding a new insight that I learned that year or some idea that helped carry me through.
A random assortment of things that I’ve picked up over
38 39 40 41 42 43 years, from people, books, and my own experience. These are my rules to live by.
- You can’t choose who you love; you either do or you don’t, and you are free to love whomever even if they don’t love you back. And you can be OK with being loved back or not being loved back.
- It is never too late to stop, turn around, and go in the other direction.
- Where you live doesn’t matter, and where you live doesn’t bring happiness. You can be just as happy in a little house in nowheresville as you can be in a big house in a happening place.
- How other people treat you has little to do with you. They are dealing with their stories about you. Likewise, when you have a problem with someone else, it is really a problem within yourself. You are projecting your own baggage onto other people.
- Eat less. Eat unadulterated food as much as possible. Plants. You’ll just feel better.
- Try to never make decisions rooted in fear, guilt, or shame. Choose what you want in your heart and stand by your decision.
- God isn’t angry. He/she was never angry.
- You don’t have any problems right now. Your “problems” are either in the future or the past, and those are just illusions.
- Do whatever necessary to protect your sleep rhythms. It heals you.
- Don’t forgive people to make them feel better. Do it simply to liberate yourself.
- Cut yourself some slack when parenting. The things that scarred you are not the same things that will scar your children. Stop trying to extrapolate how every one of your mistakes will ruin your kids’ lives.
- Two glasses of wine in one sitting is enough.
- Sometimes radical self-care looks like complete irresponsibility in the eyes of others. Just carry on. You know what you need.
- Pay attention to your dreams; they can tell you alot about yourself, and sometimes offer glimpses into the future.
- Let your children be your teachers: they reflect back to you who you are.
- Welcome whoever life brings your way, but intentionally choose who you do relationship with.
- Give away most of your stuff. Only keep what brings you joy.
- Don’t wait for the perfect temperature; go outside and play anyway.
- You can do more than you think you can; it’s all really just a mind game.
- Your parents did the best they could with what they knew at the time. Generally.
- Family is not always biological. They are sometimes found in the most unexpected people.
- Find what you’re really passionate about and pursue it with abandon.
- It is possible to find at least one commonality with every single person you meet.
- Jesus was totally right when he said to find yourself you must first lose yourself.
- Working in the hospital can freak you out. Healthy people get sick. Get the flu shot. 2021 Addendum: AND the COVID vaccine.
- Cheese and corn syrup are in literally everything. Read the labels.
- Sometimes you need to plan diligently, deliberately. And sometimes you need to be bat-shit crazy impulsive.
- Community is important, whatever that looks like for you.
- Sometimes the scariest option is the absolute best option.
- Just buy the hammock.
- Don’t avoid doing what you really want to do just because no one is there to do it with you.
- Live your questions; don’t demand answers for everything.
- Surround yourself with people of all ages. Babies and the very old usually have the most sense.
- Don’t hit. Ever. It won’t bring the results you want.
- Don’t punish yourself for making a bad mistake by living with that mistake forever.
- People will exploit you only as far as you will tolerate their behavior.
- There is enough.
- Everything belongs.
- Sit with a dying person, and really SEE them. It might be the most meaningful thing you ever do, and it might be the only time they’ve ever really been seen for who they are and not what they do.
- The obstacle is the path, and the Gospel is not the ability to avoid pain; it is the grace and mercy we are given to be able to hold pain, both in ourselves and for others, without being destroyed by it.
- Pursue your authentic self with relentless abandon and don’t be afraid of the unknowingness.
- Stop putting other people on pedestals above you. Climb up on your own pedestal and be damn proud of it.
- The pain is there to show you something, to teach you something. It is a gift to save you from endless suffering if you can be brave enough to let it be your teacher.
2 thoughts on “To Myself on My 43rd Birthday…”
Great ideas, you have got within 43 years. Even after 66 days of life, I did not attain this amount of maturity.
66 years of life * corrected