I turned 45 this year. In honor of this big birthday, here are 45 ideas, thoughts, musings that I’ve gained over the years. In my lifelong quest for learning, I am always on the lookout for data that will help make me a better person, or (hopefully) contribute to making the world a better place. I let some friends and family know I was doing this, and some of their comments and ideas are scattered throughout the list. Enjoy!
1. Kindness, to self and others really makes a difference.
2. There’s something magical about the beach, and being in the water.
3. True bravery is having a thoughtful, direct conversation.
4. This aging thing is not that easy.
5. Sometimes chocolate cupcakes and a glass of milk makes a yummy breakfast.
6. If you resist starting to smoke when you’re young, your adult self will thank you.
7. A great philosophy to have is, “Why not ask?” You’d be amazed what people will say yes to if you only ask. (My Dad)
8. When you’re feeling bored with life, mix it up by trying something new.
9. It seems silly, but if you talk to your pets (and very young children), they will understand your tone and general intention even if they don’t understand the words exactly.
10. My favorite formula: Pretty good = Perfect.
11. A cup of hot water and lemon is very soothing, and can help alleviate the late night munchies.
12. Experiences create longer lasting memories than buying a material object.
13. You never know what you are doing for someone just by being there. (My Mom)
14. Meditation, even only 2 minutes a day, can improve your mood and relax your brain.
15. My friend Rachel reminds us: babysitters and housekeepers are little miracles for busy Moms.
16. The three building blocks to mental health are surprisingly physical: sleep, exercise and good nutrition.
17. I got conflicting reports from my friends about whether a glass of nice Scotch or being in recovery are better soothers, my guess is that either one can be awesome, you just need to know which one is best for you!
18. Inclining your mind to the positive is very helpful but takes consistent practice.
19. Denver traffic has become quite a challenge; stress less by leaving more time than you used to need to get to places.
20. My friend Laura and I were talking about raising daughters and she has decided we just need to stop it! Passing along body image issues to our daughters is optional, especially if we just decide we no longer need to have body image issues and love our bodies instead.
21. There is something incredibly restorative about hiking.
22. Cats and horses are my favorite animals; I’m still growing into being a dog person.
23. Selectively choosing to binge watch television can be very therapeutic.
24. Most people are wonderful and interesting, even if they are very different from you. A few people are very unsafe. Listen to your gut to tell who is who.
25. Challenge yourself to be playful as an adult. Your inner child will thank you!
26. I know it’s old school, but I’m convinced that pen and paper is actually quicker, easier and less stressful than using electronic devices.
27. The best romantic relationships balance fit, attraction and timing.
28. Take a risk, try swimming in the rain when you get a chance. It’s wonderful!
29. It is really fun being the woman lifting heavy in the weight room.
30. My friend Heather teaches: Don’t ask, “Why me?” Instead, ask “Why not me” and learn from everything you go through.
31. Complaining is contagious. So is smiling. Please, smile more!
32. When you’re clear about your values, life choices are easier to navigate.
33. Trying your hardest means more in the long run than getting an “A.”
34. We humans work best with a combination of push and rest, not push, push, push and collapse.
35. Say yes to whipped cream on your hot chocolate.
36. 7 hours of sleep is the minimum recommended amount.
37. Shorter commutes make life better.
38. Caring less about what other people think is powerful.
39. Taking the “high road” in a conflict may initially feel hard and lonely, but almost always pays off.
40. At the core of most human conflict is the issue of “Why aren’t you me?”
41. Looking to the root of an issue is often where the cure is found. (My buddy Eric)
42. A child’s contagious laughter is an instant mood brightener. (My Friend Kristin)
43. Humans (just like most mammals) respond best to warm, clear boundaries, and rewards.
44. Strong is totally more satisfying than skinny.
45. When it rains, open up the windows and doors and enjoy the smell and sound of the weather.