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What 36 years has taught me…

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November 19, 2013 by vlittle528

Thirty-six. I am officially closer to forty than thirty. I remember, not so long ago, dreading this age. Not because I was afraid I would feel old or life would be passing me by or any of that. Simply because there is this “golden” time to have children, and 35 is pretty much the end of that time. And 36 means I am PAST that time. I have been starting to feel settled in my life and am leaning more towards no more kids than more kids. I have even decided what I want to be when I grow up. But even though my mind has decided my family is perfect the way it is, my heart still lurches a bit when I realize I have passed the prime time to have any more kids. With all of that said, though, there are some things that I have learned in this past year!

  1. People CAN change. I know this for a fact because I am one of them. I have changed significantly. I like who I am now. I can be proud of myself. I still make mistakes, but I am a better person than I used to be.
  2. Though people CAN change, this doesn’t mean they will. No matter how much you want them to, you can’t change them. And really, if they choose not to better themselves and their choice hurts you, it is better to learn that now rather than later.
  3. You can’t make someone love you. A significant other, a friend, a child, even your parents. You can’t make someone love you, and the harder you try, the more you will lose yourself in the process.
  4. There are some people worth fighting for. Like sisters….you have hurt the hell out of each other, you have saved each other, you have hidden in toy boxes while your parents fought. And through it all, you survived it, including people who tried to pit you against one another.
  5. Some people will be there for you forever, no matter what. Treasure them and treat them with care.
  6. It is never too late to decide what you want to do later. You can change your mind. You can learn new things. You can follow your childhood dream or a new adult dream. Your life is what you make it.
  7. Don’t sacrifice your happiness for someone who doesn’t appreciate you. You shouldn’t have to try to make someone appreciate you. If they don’t realize your value that is their loss, not yours.
  8. There is inside and there is outside. The outside world doesn’t matter. You don’t have to make it right with them…especially until you make it right with inside yourself.
  9. Let those that love you…love you. Don’t push them away.
  10. Let your past mistakes go. What is done is done. You can learn from it and move on, and apologize if needed, but dwelling on it won’t change it.
  11. Give yourself to others, unselfishly. But don’t do it for the recognition. It feels amazing.
  12. Love your life, love your family and appreciate what you have. Wallowing in self pity is a horrible patch of quicksand. A little bit is okay, but eventually it sucks you in and you can’t find your way out of it’s suffocating grasp.
  13. Don’t compare your spouse to romance books and movies. It is an impossible role to live up to. Plus, they don’t mention the nitty gritty details (like pooping on the delivery room table, dutch ovens, and the reality of PMS), and they also don’t accentuate the positive of real marriage (like remembering 9 years later that your favorite “pre-kids” drink was an extra dirty martini and that sometimes a kiss on your forehead when you have a migraine can be more intimate than sex).
  14. Let your kids be kids. Be a kid with them. Dance crazy, giggle loudly, run in circles, play imaginative games and cuddle up. Your kids have just as much to teach you as you have to teach them.
  15. And finally, after 36 years, it is time to relax, and stop caring what people think about you. Life is too short to give your attention to negativity. Improve what you can, learn from your mistakes, and let the rest go.
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