Just like everyone else, I am getting older.  I try and fool myself into thinking I will be/look young forever, but the evidence is all over our bathroom floor after each shower, in the mirror as I watch lines appear year after year, and in the minor aches and pains every morning when I roll out of bed.  It's no big deal, I "just keep swimming" as they say.  I still work out everyday but Sunday, still drink chardonnay at 9:30 each night, still clean the house top to bottom once a week (including changing all the bed sheets).

And while I definitely feel wiser as I age, I am also becoming more forgetful.  Just ask my husband who recently let me know I'd left the hose on overnight, for twelve hours, trying to make sure the front bushes got a good drink of water.  Whoops!  Guess they did.

Other things I've noticed...I often visually check to be sure I am fully dressed as I walk into our neighborhood fitness center, and I regularly catch myself mentally counting my kids and where they are/need to be at any given moment.  I won't go into why I've decided these tasks are necessary, but let's just say I have been known to leave people where they no longer wanted to be, and I sometimes forget important items when leaving the house in a hurry.

My mom keeps telling me "it's normal, it's menopause".  I like to think it's because I've had five kids and somewhere along the line I heard babies kill brain cells. Either way, years of sleep deprivation and multi-tasking have taken it's toll on my memory function.

Yet, despite these imperfections, I have indeed learned a great deal in my nearly five decades and, as I celebrate my birthday later this month, I decided I would share some of my wisdom with you (lest I forget....which I am sure will happen at some point).

This is my truth:

  1. We are all on our own journey, this includes my husband, my parents, my siblings, and the kids I birthed.  What path they take, the choices they make, are ultimately their own and not within my control. 
  2. I am not responsible for anyone else's happiness and this is not a selfish statement.
  3. I am worthy of love and belonging, so are you.
  4. Even if you live to be 100 years old, life is short.  So, we should try our best to treat each day and every interaction as if it is our last....that way you end up with no regrets.
  5. What you put in, you get out.  This includes the books/movies/television/music and people that you spend time with.  It also includes food, which is something I will always need to work on, and I accept this about myself.
  6. In wine there is truth (I didn't make this up myself, I saw it on a plaque at a Cracker Barrel), but it is a fact.
  7. You do not need a million friends, only a handful you can truly count on to let you be completely yourself and they continue to love you despite your imperfections.  You should love them "as is" in return.
  8. Some days marriage is harder than parenting, other days the opposite is true.  
  9. If you don't put time and energy into growing your relationships, they will dry up.
  10. There is no substitute for the way it feels to begin each day with gratitude.
  11. You do not ever need to set foot in a church to gain eternal life.  Faith and religion are two totally different animals.  You can indeed have one without the other.  I am comfortable consuming a main dish of faith with a side of religion.
  12. If you have ever given birth or attended one you understand the gravity of the miracle of life.
  13. I was born to be a wife, a mother, and a writer who inspires people to love and accept themselves for who they are.  I didn't know the last part until I turned forty-three.
  14. It's never been about the size of the house, it's always about the quality of the relationships built inside the walls.
  15. Everyone has a different routine that keeps them sane.  Daily burpees, chardonnay and Super Soul Sunday are the crux of my physical and mental health.
  16. Our children need us to love them unconditionally, to accept them "as is" and to feel important enough that we share as much time as we can in their presence.  Without a phone in our hands.
  17. God is good, all the time.
  18. My greatest growth came from my darkest hours.  For this I am incredibly grateful.
  19. My children will always be selective listeners, as it should be.
  20. My parents loved me and did the best they could in raising me. I have tried to take my knowledge and practice of child rearing a step further.  And while parenting and perfect could never be in the same sentence, when we look back to see where ours fell short we'll know exactly where we can improve.
  21. Grounding and taking away privileges doesn't work, it just leads to sneakiness and lies.
  22. While I hate to speak in front of a group of people, I know I could do so for something I am deeply passionate about because my faith and my truth are greater than any fear I have cultivated over the years.
  23. 95% of what I tell myself is bullshit, I am working on increasing the 5% that is accurate.
  24. Sedona, Arizona is Heaven on earth.
  25. Everyday I wake up is an opportunity to cultivate compassion in myself and in my fellow man.
  26. Life is about balance...work vs play, social media vs face-to-face connection with others, healthy food vs junk food...it's the ultimate tight-rope walk.  Practice everyday, don't beat yourself up when you fall over.
  27. You have to take good care of yourself if you want to be effective in other people's lives.
  28. We may not agree on everything, but we can still get along and respect one another.
  29. Our kids watch us, listen to us, model us so we need to be the adults we want our kids to become.  It's that simple.
  30. Nobody owes you a gift, even on your birthday.  So, sincerely written thank you notes are always in order when a gift or kind gesture has been received. 
  31. The most challenging parenting years are not birth to age three.  As children age the challenges are different, but continue until...
  32. Tattoos, while painful in process, can have great significance and meaning.
  33. We will have all the answers on the other side.
  34. Roller coasters and Kim Muench will never, ever mix.
  35. Doing something for someone else when you're feeling down is the best way to cheer yourself up.
  36. Our children are our greatest teachers.
  37. Life without prayer is empty.
  38. Death is a part of life, don't dwell on what you'll miss, concentrate on the what a blessing it was to be given the opportunity to share some time together.
  39. Expectations cause frustration, therefore keep them low and you'll always be pleasantly surprised.
  40. Do what you love and the money will come (my dad's best advice).
  41. Always say "I Love You" to your kids, even (and especially) those who are taller than you.
  42. I cannot write something and then not live by it.  Who you read is who I am.
  43. It's a gift to be able to listen to someone else's story.
  44. Do what you can to make the world a better place, model it for your family.
  45. Labeling our kids make them feel defined, it also adds undo pressure.  I have worked hard lately to keep labels to a minimum for myself and others.
  46. When we know better, we do better.
  47. It is what it is.

You're gonna laugh, but I was driving in the car yesterday and came up with what I thought was the perfect #47...I thought, "Yes, I think this all the time and it's the PERFECT ending."

 For the love of God, as I sit here trying to finish this post,  I cannot frick'n remember what I wanted to put as #47.  

So, "it is what it is" people.  

I am grateful for another day.  Go out into the world and help it become a healthier, more compassionate place...God knows we need it!

 

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