• Adaline K

Still learning at 44

When your birthday starts to creep up there is often a mix emotions that follow. Some people are happy to celebrate, anyway they can. Celebrations can last for a single day, a weekend or the whole week. It's also a time to embrace the new age or become sad at the thought of getting older. I woke up this morning and it hit me, I can no longer refer to myself as early 40's. I'm not late 40's, now I'm just middle, or the mid 40's. To be honest, I'm Okay with that.

20 years ago I was celebrating turning 24 in Vegas. My best friend and I made a last minute decision to drive to Las Vegas. Why not, we had nothing else going on. We left San Diego with maybe $300 dollars between us, plans to share a room with another girl, and our awesome outfits from BEBE. The days when responsibilities were easily forgotten, and future goals loosely discussed.

Let's fast forward to 10 years ago, turning 34 right after my baby shower. Yup, I gave birth to our first child 10 days after my birthday. I didn't even have any experience babysitting, and felt a bit terrified. Our married life of just two was now a "family". That was the most challenging year for many reasons but it was also the most amazing time. Our strength was tested, and our future was started.

Here I am about to celebrate 44, a wife of 17 years and mother to two girls. A few wrinkles and some grey hair starting to peek through, but it's all good. Life is very different from the year of 24. The idea of Las Vegas scares me. I probably can't stay up past 10:30, I'm not hip with the new music and I'll probably have to wait in line at a club (never). Plus I have no desire to wear an outfit from BEBE.

Just for fun, I thought, "what do I know now at 44". In honor of this new age, here are 44 things I've learned over the years. Some of these things I'm still working on. Of course, in no particular order.

1. Pray often. Prayers are answered even when its not your timing

2. Always believe in your dreams, even if your the only one

3. Smile even when you don't feel like it

4. Not everyone will like you, it's Okay, you'll live

5. A good cup of coffee can help anything

6. Don't let your emotions get the best of you

7. If someone upsets you, you don't have to be around them

8. Forgive yourself, and others

9. Think before you speak

10. Always carry a bandaid in your wallet or purse. Never know when it's needed

11. It's Okay to say "sorry" first

12. Learn to be a good listener, conversations go both ways

13. It's Okay not to clean your house everyday. The mess will be there tomorrow

14. Say I love you often

15. There will always be "what ifs" thats life

16. Always be kind (from my daughter Olivia)

17. Spend time with your kids, its' what they remember most (from daughter Mila)

18. Explain yourself fully so others can understand (from my husband)

19. God is good

20. Laugh often and at yourself

21. There is no such thing as a "perfect time" to do something

22. A great hair cut can work magic on your mood

23. Don't get stuck with negative thoughts in your head

24. Never stop reading

25. Don't judge others, you don't know their story

26. Learn from your mistakes instead of beating yourself up for making them

27. Watch the words that come out of your mouth. Little Ones are always watching & listening

28. It's Okay to say NO

29. There's always going to be something you want

30. Hard work pays off so don't be afraid of doing it

31. People will make their own choices. We can still love/like them even if we don't agree

32. Your weight does not define you as a human

33. Don't compare yourself to others. It's a waste of time

34. It's better to have one, or two, "real' friends than a handful of "fake"one's

35. Don't keep score with your spouse, or anyone else

36. Slow down and enjoy the view

37. Always say thank you, even to your children

38. It's Okay to let go and move on

39. To have a friend you have to be a friend, still learning this

40. Happiness starts with you. Choose Joy

41. Arguing with a child is never worth it

42. Play your favorite jam and dance like no one is watching

43. Sometimes all we need is a good hug

44. We were all created in the image of God, we're all special and have something to offer. What can be more perfect than that

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