Sitting here, typing this, it seems almost surreal that I am about to turn 41. After all,there was a time in my life when I had made some very different decisions, but thankfully, those days are behind me and I lived to tell the tale. With mental health being brought to the forefront in recent days by the untimely departure of an amazing man, Robin Williams, it really made me even more aware of this gift we have called life and how it is up to us to embrace it.
Turning 40 was emotional for many reasons, and as I look back now, I can say that the first year of my 40’s has definitely been one of the BIGGEST years of my life. So much has happened in such a short period of time and so many dreams and life long ambitions have been realised this year that there are times when I find it a little overwhelming. I mean, it isn’t every day that you get to open your own Health Retreat with your best friend – something you have both been working towards for many years. And it is not every year that your son comes to live with you after being away for so many years – in fact, this will be the first birthday I have had with him in a decade !!
So, as a tribute to this amazing 40th year of my life, I spent some time reflecting on the journey and what I have re-learned this year. I say re-learned because many of them are obvious but for some reason, we can learn something and not actually apply it. Relearning, for me, means that maybe the lessons have sunk in at a different level. Before I turned 40, I found myself saying “I know that” a lot and then moving on, whereas now I find myself acknowledging that maybe I don’t know as much as I thought I did when I was 30.
But the greatest thing for me is that, internally, I have never felt younger and more alive than I do now. I have never looked forward to life as much as I do now and even as I sit here, recovering from a bit of a “crash” recently, I still embrace everything I am feeling, knowing that it is OK and not a bad thing like I used to think it was. Will it ever go away ? Who knows ? Even though, in moments like now when I want it to be very far away, it feels painful, I no longer let my depression and challenges control me – I am the boss of them as my daughter would say !
Anyway…. I am waffling on. Here’s my Top 41 Lessons I relearned before the age of 41. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed reviewing them and I hope that we get to see you out here at D-Toxd one day soon.
- Letting go of the past is as easy or difficult as you make it
- There are people that care about you – you just don’t know all of them yet. You would be overwhelmed by how many cheer leaders you have out there when you just be yourself
- Fennel is not one of my favourite vegetables
- I may be biased but my children are simply outstanding and amazing and such a tribute to their beautiful mom – I am very proud of all of them and they all contribute to who I am today
- Being myself has been the scariest and most fulfilling thing I have ever done
- Having and loving a pet will teach you more about yourself than any movie, book or course
- Not everybody has to like you – and that is OK
- Having a best friend and acting like a little kid every now and then is a vital necessity in life
- True friendship isn’t always easy and it requires a lot of truly rewarding time and work
- Keeping your house tidy isn’t that difficult – neither is it that easy
- Wanting nice things for yourself isn’t greedy or selfish
- Just because you aren’t with anyone anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t still love them dearly
- Being healthy is a lot more fun and rewarding than having to find excuses and reasons all the time not to do things
- Physical scars are nothing to be ashamed of and nobody notices them more than you
- It really is OK to make mistakes – the only person you get in trouble from is yourself
- Asking for help is one of the best ways to allow other people to share their skills and knowledge with you
- You don’t have to say sorry for everything and everyone
- Gratitude really is the most powerful tool we have in life to help us keep going
- Pears do make me fart really badly
- Living with mental health challenges doesn’t make you any less credible
- My perception of myself changes on a daily basis – and that is OK
- How other people react to you has nothing to do with you at all
- You don’t have to have lots of friends to make you feel complete
- Falling in love with who you have become is nothing to be ashamed of
- Being open and honest is the easiest way to live your life
- Every single person you meet is here to teach you something about yourself
- Letting go of expectations is very rewarding because then everything is a true surprise
- I am not a bad cook and quite enjoy it actually
- As hard as I try, I am not very good at cleaning, neither am I very tidy when I cook
- There is nothing wrong with not liking someone as long as you treat them with love, kindness and respect if you choose to have them in your life
- Following your dreams take hard work, commitment and dedication – and also days where you feel like you could just give up
- Letting go and trusting God is scary and exciting and rewarding – and gives you the courage to do the “big” things, knowing you are NOT alone
- Some of your teachers can become your greatest friends and not all teachers do what they teach either – become your own greatest teacher in life, live your message and great things can happen – if you allow them to
- I can be extremely untidy despite my best efforts but I still know where everything is
- Your fears never go away, they just get easier to deal with
- Everything in life makes perfect sense, even when it doesn’t
- I waste WAY too much time worrying about silly things I have no control over
- It’s such a relief realizing that you don’t have to know all the answers
- There is nothing wrong with having regrets in life as long as they move you forward to a brighter place and if you don’t want to move forward, you have nobody to blame but yourself
- Excuses are just little fears in disguise
- When you can be there for yourself, everyone appears to be there for you too
- Life truly is what you make it and every day can be a bright, new and amazing adventure – God throws the dice and He gives you the courage to make whatever move you choose to make. Sometimes it is up and sometimes it is down but it only ends when you have learned what you need to learn and when you decide that it ends.