Today is my birthday! Not my blog’s birthday (that was last month) but my actual birthday and my favorite day of the year! Two jobs ago I worked at a company where you got your birthday as a day off but today is the opposite as I will spend a good chunk of the day on a plane to Seattle for work but hey, you have to keep busy! And as an added bonus for someone who really likes their birthday with the time change I will have 27 hours of birthday instead of 24 so there we go.
(This photo doesn’t have anything to do with my birthday but my Mom took it on Friday night at our family dinner and I really like how it came out! and no blog post is complete without a photo!)
And it is a bit cliche, i know, but I wanted to write myself a birthday letter today to reflect on not only the past year but the past five and jot some things down I want to remember moving forward, a list of do’s and don’ts:
Do stay in touch. As friends get married, move away, have babies, or travel the globe it becomes harder and harder to stay in touch. I have realized over the past few years its okay to not have dozens of friends you are in constant contact with, which college and swimming made so easy, but those true, close friends it is going to take time and effort to stay in touch with them but in the end, it’s usually always worth it.
Don’t take you health for granted. You may remember I had one of the only guest posts ever a few years ago, my friend Kathryn who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 25 shared her story and throughout this past year people very close to me and those i am only tangentially attached to have gotten sick without warning. It is scary, heart-wrenching, expensive, and very sad to watch but with each year that passes I want to stay committed to healthy and wellness, all in moderation of course.
Do explore. Explore your neighborhood, your city, your state, your country, your world. If you have only read a handful of posts on Sparkles and Shoes you will know I am a big fan of travel and not because it is in-style or chic but because I am drawn to new countries, new experiences, and seeing things I have never seen before. My travels have caused me to open my eyes and expand my horizons and even makes my time when I am home more enjoyable – and even walking around New York City now, I make sure to look up.
Don’t worry about everything being perfect. It is no way to go through life. There are something that are okay to be “good” and this allows you to move on and do other things. One interview question I always like to ask candidates is, “is it better to be good and on time or late and perfect?” and to that there is no correct answer – I want to hear their thought process and have them talk through it because there are certain things that should be perfect but other things, like wrapping a present for instance or folding a fitted sheet, that are totally fine to be “good.
Do Constantly Strive to Be Better. People often misquote the words attributed to Albert Enstien that read, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” switching insanity for stupidity but even so , it is a quote that I like a lot. IF you do not do anything different, how can you expect to change? And I am a firm believe change is a very positive thing because without it, how could you improve? Earlier this year when someone started working for me I told him his goal was to learn something new every day. I said it in a half joking manner but over the last few months have tried to apply that to my day to day life.
Don’t be afraid to be alone. Within the last two years I have been on three solo trips and visited eight countries by myself for the first time and it was a truly eye-opening experience. And in those same last two years, something I don’t talk about that frequently, I have not had an truly serious relationships and I am just coming to terms with the fact that I am okay with that – I am waiting for someone who blows my socks off and I will not settle.
Do admit when you’re wrong. It is humbling, it is something people appreciate it, and it will get you far in life. That said, don’t speak before you know the answer, don’t jump to conclusions but if you are wrong, own up to it. And when you are wrong, learn from it.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, and its mostly all small stuff. My dad had a book with this title in his office when I was growing up and I would always laugh at the title and think nothing of it . But the older I become and the more I advance in my career the more it rings true – it is easy to get caught up in the day to day and blow things out of proportion but in the end, most of it really is small stuff.
Do any of these birthday thoughts resonate with you?