So many emotions bubbled to the surface for me the week of my 32nd birthday while celebrating with the people who I love most.
My birthday week is always filled with tons of fun and celebratory gatherings because it coincides with my wedding anniversary and Memorial Day. This year was extra special because my best friend from childhood got married at the Magnolia Plantation in Charleston. It was magical.
I got to thinking about a post I wrote three years ago on my 29th birthday and wanted to add a few things to the list. Without further ado, in no particular order, here are 32 things I know are true on my 32nd birthday:
The original still-very-true 29 with a few 2014 updates...
1. "Let go of what does not serve you" is a motto to live by. Relationships, careers, habits, ideas, etc. As hard as it is to let go, there's something better waiting, and you'll never find it if you don't let go of what's holding you back.
2. Judgement is an inner reflection. People that judge you are really just judging themselves. Same goes for you, too. If you're judging someone, look inwards.
3. Your real friends know everything about you and still love you. And most importantly, they love you and want you to live an amazing, abundant life.
4. Karma is real. Treat people well. It will always come back to you.
5. Marriage is a wild ride. And so, so worth it if you're with the right person. (2014 Update: This is more true every year!)
5b. I'll ask more of my husband than he'll ever ask of me. I actually think this is a truth in most relationships.
5c. We're really excited to have kids someday.
6. Women turn into their mothers and men turn into their fathers. It's just true. (In my case I think this is a 99-percent good thing -- love you, Mom!)
7. Ladies, a professional-quality hair dryer is really worth the cost. Super random but I had to throw this in. (2014 Update: Still true. I'm in love with my "Buttercup" from DryBar.)
8. Football is religion in some families.
9. Surround yourself with people who love you and want you to be happy. Not the ones that are miserable and want you to be miserable, too. (See #1)
(2014 Update: Have compassion for people who have a negative outlook on life. Approach them with love and don't let them trigger you -- your kindness and compassion might just turn them around.)
10. Fear must be conquered. You'll always be afraid of something, so you might as well get over it and move onto the next thing. Putting myself out on the internet/blogosphere has been incredibly terrifying and rewarding at the same time. (2014 Update: SO true. If you learn one thing from me this should be it.)
11. Phenomenal business aren't built on ideas and visions. They're built on action and good old-fashion hard work. Don't get me wrong, stellar ideas and visions are important, but lots of people have them. Executing them is the challenge.
12. The differences in people's thoughts, opinions and ideas is what drives innovation and makes the world go round.
13. Competition drives the market, plain and simple. Embrace it. The world is abundant and there is enough to go around.
14. Don't "what-if" yourself to death. Our minds can make up stories and "what-if" us into never taking action. Give your choices careful consideration, but let life play itself out. If a venture doesn't work out, who cares? At least you tried.
15. Money truly does not buy happiness, but it can make your life a little more comfortable.
16. Wealth is dependent on the point of view of the person that has it.
17. There's nothing wrong with wanting to make a great income and have nice things. There is something wrong with not being grateful for what you have and the luxuries you can afford. Be grateful.
18. Men and women think differently. Learning to communicate in the opposite sex's language is essential for relationship success. It goes both ways.
19. Family time should be cherished and held near and dear to your heart. The time I spend at Flathead Lake with my family is one of my most treasured possessions.
20. Good manners are one of your best assets.
20b. It's rude to accept calls, texts or let passers-by interrupt and/or intrude on your conversation. (Family emergencies not withstanding, of course.)
21. World travel is amazing and necessary, but there really is no place like home.
22. Pets make people happier -- it's scientifically proven.
23. Women and men are equal but different beings. I can be traditional and a feminist at the same time.
24. Success isn't age dependent. We can learn from people of all ages. Don't discredit people that you might think are too young or too old to "get" you.
25. Living in gratitude for the things you already have is the first step to happiness. This goes for physical, spiritual and relationship matters.
26. Catty women have deep issues. Don't let their misery bring you down. Bless and release them.
27. Education goes so far beyond academia. Find topics you're passionate about and immerse yourself in them. Never stop learning.
28. Know your strengths and weaknesses. I'm very athletic (yoga, dance, Pilates, etc.) but I'm not good at group sports (e.g., basketball, volleyball, soccer). My friends from high school and college know this well.
29. Women get better in their 30s (and beyond). I'm going to make 29 an exceptional year and send off my 20s in happiness and health. (2014 Update: Glad I was right about this one.)
And the latest and greatest...
30. Relationships translate to connection and connection is the meaning of life.
Not to get too deep on you, but I really think I've found the meaning of life (drops the mic, exits stage left). Your happiness equates in direct proportion to the health of your relationships. Work on them constantly.
31. It's actually possible to turn your big dreams into actionable goals and create the life you want on your own terms.
We really do get exactly what we ask (God and the universe) for. It might just come in a different form than expected. Embrace all of it. When life doesn't go your way, take a step back and ask, "Is this even better?" It probably is.
When I was 27 I said to myself, "I'm going to hit Diamond status with USANA and never have to work for anyone ever again." (Diamond status meaning hitting a high-dollar residual mark, for inquiring minds.) It was a lofty goal. I started at $0 and I achieved that goal last week.
I had no idea how I was going to get there, and never thought it would be through health coaching and my blog. It didn't happen exactly how I expected it to, or on the time frame I wanted (I had Veruca from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory syndrome -- "I want it now!"), but it did happen. And life is even better than I ever expected. I love the women on my team more than I can put into words, and the connection they've given me to a higher purpose vibrates in my soul. (See #30)
32. I feel younger in spirit at 32 than I did at 29, which is really freaking exciting.
I recently ran into a high school acquaintance while sitting at dinner and we got to chatting. She's a few years younger than me and the topic of age came up.
"I think I feel younger at 31 than I did at 25," I mused.
She said, "Really?! I'm 28 and feel so old. But I've heard women in their 30s say that, what do you think it is?"
"Hmm," I thought. "Maybe it's confidence. Yes, confidence is a big piece of it. Maybe it's just more life experience and learning not to take things so seriously. Or realizing that there is still so much life to live. Or feeling established. Or having great relationships that have had time to grow. I'm not exactly sure. I just feel it and it's AWESOME."
It makes me laugh. I felt so adult in my mid 20s, which I'm grateful for because I'm sure it propelled me to where I am today. But at 32, I can wholeheartedly say I feel much freer and younger in mind, body and spirit.
I hope this post made you think, smile, and remember all of the things you'd like to tell yourself on your birthday. Use the comments section below to let me know what you think.
Elizabeth Rider is a leading nutrition and whole living expert helping women around the world become even more successful by teaching them not just how to live well, but how to become the absolute BEST version of themselves. As a Board Certified Health Counselor (AADP), founder of the 21-Day Clean Up Your Diet™ Program, and successful entrepreneur, Elizabeth's philosophy isn't just about eating well; it's about all of the other aspects of life that makes us human, too. From personal relationships to career, spirituality to finances--and more--consciously cultivating the ideal lifestyle is her religion. And ready or not, she's here to spread the word.
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