Thirty-four. That's the number of years that are now under my belt. And it's also the first time that I've actually felt ...old. Let me explain.
You know how when you were a kid, each birthday felt like an enormous event that required celebrating? How every passing year meant that you were that much closer to being allowed to do certain things that only grown-ups could do? How it felt monumental and colossal and above all else, it was the most important day of the year? As I get older, birthdays have evolved. Sure, there are still those milestone years -- 18, 21, 25, 30 -- and parties are planned with copious amounts of both friends and cocktails. And perhaps for some, every birthday is meant to be celebrated in that grand way. But for me, they've become more subdued, intimate. They're simpler and, to be honest, I'm embracing the whole less-is-more thing.
Wellllll...last week was my birthday and after a celebratory dinner of cheap tacos and boozy margaritas from the no-frills neighborhood family-run Mexican restaurant next door, I'm feeling all the feels as I embark on another year, another trip around the sun. And here are 34 things I've learned along the way.
- Try as you might, time stops for no one. The best thing to do is to keep up with it.
- Friends come and go and when they do, it's ok to say good-bye. In fact, it's sometimes necessary.
- I really hate doing laundry. Loading, washing, drying, folding, putting it away. All of it. I. Really. Hate. It.
- Listening to your kids laugh through a closed door is one of the best sounds in the world.
- There is an art to fighting fair. I am still trying to master it.
- Sometimes, parents disappoint you.
- One day, I will be the parent that disappoints my children.
- A glass (or, let's be real, two or three) of wine at the end of the day can do wonders.
- Cooking alone while the kids are napping and really throwing myself into a meal is my moment of zen.
- I shamelessly enjoy watching 'The Bachelor' / 'The Bachelorette' no matter how many unrealistic helicopter rides and tropical getaways they have.
- I feel incredibly lucky to love and to be in love with my husband.
- My children have tested my patience more than I ever thought possible. There are days when I literally feel like I'm losing my mind.
- After growing up in Florida, I thought it would be impossible not to live near a beach. It's not.
- I can sometimes be an anti-social extrovert, if that makes sense.
- I abhor traffic. Like, really really can't stand it. You guys have no idea.
- Coffee is far superior to tea. Always.
- I still don't think I could ever live in the suburbs.
- I crave living in the city.
- Politics have turned into an enormous shit show that I become more and more invested in the older I get.
- Exercise is actually so important.
- Carbs are NOT the devil.
- Everything in moderation; balance is key.
- Time alone is crucial for personal reflection and growth.
- I'm learning how to bake despite the fact that I'm not a desserts/sweets person.
- Lying down on a picnic blanket in the grass on a sunny breezy day is truly one of life's simplest and best pleasures.
- I believe in cosmic energy, spirits and otherworldly beings.
- ...but I'm not sure about one god and that one god being a man.
- Sometimes, building a blanket fort and hiding in it with your kids is all you want to do all day. And then you actually do it and it feels pretty amazing.
- I'm pretty sure (and by "pretty sure" I mean 99.99999999999% certain( that we are done having children; we already have a boy and a girl and two is great. (In all honesty, we just don't want to be outnumbered.)
- We are a fearless foursome.
- I have dreams of my family spending a summer in a sleepy Italian beachside town. One day, I believe it will happen.
- Music can completely change your mood.
- I'm braver than I thought I was.
- I'm more ready now for whatever happens in life than I've ever been before.
That might've been a little TL;DR, but there it is. It might just be my best year yet.