what my 40's taught me...so far :)

Life and its experiences proves to be a unending source of opportunities to learn and grow. I sometimes reflect on the mistakes, assumptions, beliefs, etc that I held so passionately to in my 20's and cringe a little at how green I really was....but what is life if not a learning curve. While none of us look forward to growing older and all of those physical signs of maturing (hello little lines framing my eyes!) I have arrived in a space where I am comfortably settled into who I am and I am grateful for the wisdom that comes with getting older and all of life's experiences. To honor that I thought I'd share a list of things I have learned now that I am solidly in my 40's :-)

1. the only person I really want to be anymore is me
2. I am finally comfortable in my own skin (goodbye comparing myself to others!)
3. any changes that I want to make to myself, physical or otherwise are based on internal desires, screw external pressures to conform
4. I am grounded in my religious beliefs and feel no need to justify, explain or defend those beliefs
5. people are not weekend home depot projects for me to "fix up" - it is not my responsibility to fix anyone
6. live and let live - no really, it's important to let others be who they are and where they are without passing them through the filter of "shoulds" and "coulds" - this rule applies particularly to self
7. nostalgia is a lying bitch- don't lose precious time in the present by getting lost in the glorified memories of a "better time" in the past
8. I used to focus on the big events in life as my defining moments, squandering the space between them, I now know that the narrative of my life is not in the big events but the simple, sacred parts of my daily living (helping with homework, conversations at bed time and over meals, cheering on at games and beaming with pride at recitals)
9. gratitude is transformative
10. forgiveness of self and others is the next right thing to do
11. the deepening lines on my face, around my eyes are not a sign of getting old but tell the story of how much I have laughed and smiled
12. listen more, talk less
13. if what I have to say does not improve upon the silence, don't say it- become comfortable with silence - silence is beautiful
14. the key to raising happy children is unconditional love- this foundation must be present and unwavering before anything else can be accomplished
15. how I define an exciting life has broadened to include a 9pm bedtime
16. at the risk of sounding all "woo woo" be the change you wish to see in the world (Ghandi) no really - after years of wishing others would be different I have learned that if I want to see a change, then let it begin with me
17. I no longer apologize for my opinions and ideas - as long as I  share them respectfully they are a reflection of who I am
18. my attitude is my choice - people can't "make me feel" if I don't allow it
19. how people treat you is more about them than you
20. I'm so glad I never got breast implants or I would surely suffocate in many of my favorite yoga poses (should stands :-))

No doubt this list will grow as I look to the second half of this amazing time in my life .... and I look forward to it!