On Saturday I celebrated another trip around the sun.
It involved selling a lot of flowers, love letters, puppy cuddles, my absolute favorite 5 souls on earth, freshly caught trout seasoned with panko and almond, a five spice brownie with a candle in it, really good vino & a bonfire to top it all off. Friends, you know I am passionate about telling it how it is- so even though that last sentence makes it seem absolutely perfect, I also cried on my birthday, yelled at my husband for a really selfish reason & didn't sell OUT of flowers. But still, it was a great birthday.
My 26th year was simply lovely.
I love lists, I love making them and breaking them and changing them and forgetting about them. Every year on my birthday I think a LOT about what happened in the past 365 days. All that thinking brought me here. Enjoy.
10 Things I Learned This Past Year:
10.) Self care is not selfish. --- This one has been an 18 month process for me. Self care. Saying no. Stepping away. Its hard, really hard. But my friend, it is oh so important. Get the massage. Say no to the project that doesn't 'feel right.'
9.) Dogs have human souls. --- We lost our family dog this year, and brought home a new puppy. Raising Maple since she weighed just a tiny 15 lbs has taught me a lot about the connection we share with our animals. They have this amazing ability to know what you're going through. I remember Hazel being the same way, having this sense to her that she knew what was always ten steps ahead. Dogs rule.
8.) Homeownership is a never ending project list & an awesome feeling. --- Buying our first house was definitely stressful. But there is nothing like coming home to your house each day.
7.) Getting away can give you the clarity you're searching for. --- I learned this year that sometimes you need to get on an airplane and go somewhere to really have the creative spark you've been waiting for. No, it doesn't have to be tropical or 10 days long. But something about travel seems to reset the breaker.
6.) Sorry I'm not sorry. --- I pretty much gave up apologizing for my feelings this year and it was awesome. As women we tend to fall into this "I am so sorry" category for everything. Sorry I'm crying, sorry the house isn't clean, sorry I didn't grocery shop this week and we are living on goat cheese and crackers, sorry I didn't call because I was so busy, sorry I can't fix this problem, sorry the dog doesn't walk well on a leash, Sorry I'm crazy today (what the hell does that even mean?).... then one day I realized I was only going to apologize for things I am TRULY sorry for. Sorry I hurt your feelings by not listening. Sorry I said I would help you with something and dropped the ball. Sorry I've been out of touch. The weight of your apology is carried in the ability to see what needs one.
5.) My siblings & parents are incomparable. --- This year I really watched my baby brother grow into a man I am proud to call my friend, I watched my sister learn how the real world works, and I've finally realized my mom was right. She always told us we would one day all be best friends, and every year we keep getting closer. Let's not foget my Dad, who is seriously just the best. The greatest thing my parents have ever done for me was give me Egan & Owen. We had a gas of a time all together this year. And having everyone in one spot on my birthday was the icing on the cake, literally.
4.) Girl time is a necessity. --- I don't mean walking around the mall, I mean the 'open another bottle of wine' nitty gritty late night talks, the 6-hour lunches, the weekend trips and the last minute texts asking for help. The female clans I have created in this life are so fulfilling to me. I learned this year how truly important it is to have powerful female energy in your life. Even when its a quick dinner or 20 minute phone call. I'm not one to say I have 'millions of girlfriends' but the handful I call my own are the cat's meow.
3.) You aren't stuck. --- Decide what to be and go be it.
2.) This isn't a trial run. ---- We have ONE life. One. This isn't a practice round for the next one. For the beginning half of my twenties I found myself saying 'one day' a lot. "Well one day I'll do something professionally with flowers..." "one day we are going to start really really investing and saving" "one day we are going to take that trip...." ----What are you waiting for? If you aren't happy. Change it. Watch the TED Talk about Blue Zones, read about what scientifically has been proven to make a life. Then make that happen. If you want to live in Costa Rice and work at a surf shop do it.
1.) Being married is awesome. ---- Without a doubt the biggest change in my life this year was getting married. M and I had the world's best wedding weekend and the day was an actual dream. I am so grateful for it. But what's even better than bistro lights strung around a tent on the lake is the moments when I am at my wit's end and he makes me laugh. Everyone asks us if it 'feels different' and it does. It feels really really nice to know you have someone who is unconditionally in your corner. Your co-captain. Your right hand man. It's exciting to make a life together and create a new family unit. Our little wolfpack. It isn't easy every single day but nothing ever is. I'm really sick of hearing people tell me 'oh it'll change, you're just newlyweds' or the 'yeah yeah its just a honeymoon phase.' Everything changes. People change. We ebb and flow and so will marriage. But one thing is for damn sure- I am so proud to call M my husband. Because being able to hangout with your best friend for the rest of your life is pretty awesome.
Cheers to another trip around the sun.