Lessons Learned

on 11 January 2010

Can I just tell you all how fantastic my birthday was?  It was just perfect.  The celebration started Friday morning with a play date with some of my lovely friends down here.  There were bagels and cream cheese and muffins and CAKE and it was all fantastic.  And the best part?  The kids played and I got to have lovely conversation with some really great women.

The festivities continued with an afternoon NAP.  I haven't had a nap in months and it was gorgeous.

And then Chris came home and we had dinner together and he promised I could sleep in on my Birthday morning.  And you know what?  He was bang on the money!  Usually when I ask to sleep in, it means that I'll wake up when the Boy wakes up and then I wake up Chris and he's the one who actually gets out of bed to address the Boy who is done sleeping.  On my birthday?  Chris woke up BEFORE the Boy woke up and crept out to the living room to listen for the Boy so that I wouldn't even wake up with the Boy!  I slept until 8:45!  Absolutely unheard of 'round these parts for many, many, MANY moons.

My birthday included some of my favorite things:

  1. Chris!
  2. Hugs from my Boy.
  3. Bagels for breakfast
  4. CAKE!  Brett made lemon poppy-seed cake and it was SO good.
  5. Good conversation with lovely women.
  6. Chocolate.  Mmmmm.  
  7. Exploration of a local book shop.
  8. PRESENTS!  I already told you what Chris bought me, my mom gave me a gift card to Michaels and I gave myself a Get Out of Your 2010 Reading List Free Card.  As in, I shelved the book I was reading (sans guilt) and picked up a new book I bought with money from my Grandma.  Review is forthcoming.
  9. Cream puffs!  Chris made them for me and then he made me a SECOND BATCH the next day because they were so good.
  10. Fancy dinner out!  Ok.  So I don't really care about fancy dinners, but the hospital gave us a gift certificate to this fancy restaurant so we had to use it.  My friend Celeste came and sat with the Boy and we trekked out to St. Simon's Island for pan seared yellow fin tuna on a bed of wasabi mashed potatoes and oh man it was GOOD.  Not how we normally eat, but delicious for a treat we didn't have to PAY for.
  11. Birthday wishes from tons of people!  Thank you all!  You are marvelous and I'm most grateful to have you in my life.
I just couldn't get over how fantastic it all was.  I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting but I'm exhausted from all the happiness.

I have been thinking about things that I've learned from my 3+ decades of life on this Earth.  The following list is really for my own reference, you don't have to keep reading, I just needed to write this down somewhere so that I could come back to it as necessary.  Total Skimmers, you're off the hook.

Things I've Learned So Far...
  1. You can do hard things.
  2. You have had a very good education.  You should never take that for granted, you should never hide it, you should share it in whatever way and in whatever place you may be in.
  3. Everyone has their own gifts.  Some are fun and creative and flirty and beautiful and others are quieter and more subtle.  You can't trade gifts with others so stop wasting time wishing you were like someone else.  You are who you are.  Your gifts are your own.  Appreciate the gifts of others, and use the ones God gave YOU.
  4. Never dumb yourself down for others.  People will rise to the level around them.  It's not a bad thing to be smart.  It's only a bad thing if you don't use it to help others.
  5. Life isn't fair.  It's a recognized fact, now let's move on.
  6. There will likely, always be something that chafes you about your life.  Something you don't like, something you would wish away if you could.  You can't.  Enjoy everything else and you'll be just fine.
  7. Travel.  It's good for you.  You hate it most of the time.  Planes go against nature and it's too many people and too many germs and too much too much too much.  But it's good to leave your comfort zone.  It's good to see new places, to meet new people and please remember Lesson #1.
  8. All communication is essentially miscommunication.  We can't be on the inside of someone else's head so we can never fully understand what they "mean" when they speak.  Does this mean we should try?  NO.  Keep trying.  If speaking doesn't work, write, if writing doesn't work, paint, if painting doesn't work, touch.  And keep on trying until you find some way to communicate with the people in your life.  Which leads us to #9.
  9. People are in your life for a reason.  Don't waste time feeling awkward or admiring them from afar.  Call them.  Go see them.  Sit and talk with them.  Learn all you can from them.  Be of service to them.  Love them.  Sure, sometimes they'll break your heart but that just leads us to #10.
  10. It's not fun and it's not pleasant, but don't let fear of having your heart broken keep you from loving people.  We're made to be broken and put back together again.  It'll hurt for a while but we get better.
  11. Never miss an opportunity to tell people you love them.  Feel silly?  Sentimental?  Weird?  Yeah.  But so what?  Nothing is garaunteed so tell them you love them and walk the silly/sentimental/weirdness off.

Not that this list is complete but I've got to publish this sooner or later, so you tell me, what are some lessons you've learned?


    Sibley Saga .... said...


    I am so sorry I didn't call you on your Birthday! The only reason I have is that our Princes Poopsalot was sick. We are just now emerging from that hazy fog of screaming, crying, unwillingness to eat, pooping, and unbelievable amounts of boogers.

    I only mention this because I am not sure I have fully learned number one on your list of lessons learned. AND I mention it to apologize for missing the birthday in public. I am "evil and must be destroyed." ;-)

    Whimsy said...

    Happy birthday again, duder.

    I really like 8-10. I like them all, but **really** like 8-10.

    I've learned some of these same lessons in the last while... I guess one that I'd add is that it's good to be ready to be surprised. That sounds stupid, but I'm tired and it's early and that's the first way it came to me to say it.

    Another way to say it: things never stay the same for long; you'd be surprised how they change, sometimes for the better sometimes not, but if you remember that they won't stay that way for long it makes it easier (and harder) to take; keep your eyes open and hold on tight: life is a bumpy ride but boy is it worth it.

    And with that - #10: I love you.

    Katrina said...

    So happy you had a great birthday!

    Bird said...

    I think I read your last post and got all caught up in thinking about what kind of bag you got and never wished you a Happy Birthday.

    Happy Birthday, M!

    I like number 4 and 8. I feel like I have to re-learn 8 every day.

    Glad you had a great birthday, hope you have a wonderful year!