In a few weeks I’ll be closer to my forties than my thirties. Part of me is thinking that a third of my life is already over, while another part thinks I have a long way to go.
But the reality is that time is running out for me to fulfill the dreams I’ve placed on the back burner. While I’ve gotten more seasoned and comfortable in my own skin, I need to keep challenging myself so I can grow into the best version of myself.
It would be a shame to stop learning, to close my mind to curiosity; for wonder and new ideas to be choked off by the weeds of complacency.
I see this in older (and younger) folks that have given up on their dreams and passions. They’re lost in the regrets of the past or spinning their wheels due to one reason or another. While what you do may change with the seasons, your passion and purpose remain true.
It took me much too long to realize this truth. I thought that I had to pour everything into being a wife and mother, while neglecting the other things I wanted to do with my life.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore my husband and children–they are the priceless gifts I never thought I’d ever have. However, I can tell you this. No reasonable husband wants his spouse to lose her identity because that wouldn’t make anyone happy. He wants her to stand firm and follow her dreams, while he stands beside her as her biggest cheerleader. Any partner who prefers you to stand behind him or to ride his coattails is a weak one. You are too amazing, full of too much potential, to languish and waste the gifts and talents you were given.
And on that note, here’s my list of thirty lessons I always want to remind myself so that I never forget who I am:
- Don’t settle. Just don’t. This will only lead to regret later down the road.
- Be woman enough for your man. Don’t shy away from uncomfortable subjects or close your eyes and ears to what’s important to him.
- Have the courage to stick to your convictions and help your spouse understand where you’re coming from. He’s not a mind reader, and he’s not perfect. It’s okay to agree to disagree as long as you’re both committed to furthering the relationship.
- Sometimes resolutions require compromise. Remember the big picture. Pick and choose your battles carefully.
- Know your worth and act worthy. Worrying if someone will be unfaithful is a waste of brain cells. Invading his privacy without just cause due to insecurity is immature and beneath you. Be an adult. If you have a concern, discuss it with him and give him the trust you’d want to be given to you.
- Don’t be afraid to figure out what pleases you sexually. A committed relationship is the one place you can explore your likes and dislikes safely, so take advantage of that.
- Take trips with your girlfriends. Go out with them, come home a bit tipsy, and show your man how much you missed him.
- Remain sexy and fit. Practice self-care by exercising and eating healthy. Your body is a temple. You wouldn’t dump garbage in your home, so why would you do that to your body? Getting pampered and maintaining our nails and hair is great, but feeling healthy and strong provides longer lasting benefits.
- Don’t get too comfortable; try new things; cultivate friendships with people in your tribe; be okay with being alone.
- Don’t let anything stand in the way of what needs to be done, especially your own fears and insecurities. Be nervous and fearful, but do it anyway.
- It’s okay to fail as long as you get back up and keep trying. Assess what went wrong, decide if it’s worth continuing, adapt, and move on.
- Actions count more than words. The higher you go, the more people will want something from you. Trust, but verify, as the saying goes.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. Everything in life is a game with rules and winners and losers. You don’t have to play any game.
- Practice humility and seek wisdom. Remember that feelings aren’t always true, and be prepared to make amends whenever you’ve wronged another.
- Expect nothing from no one, be grateful, and accept others for who they are.
- Your identity is not tied to other’s actions. You are not responsible for the choices others make.
- Eradicate and/or limit the toxic, energy sucking people in your life. There are those who’d love to see you fail, so beware.
- Face your fears head on. Remember, it’s not real.
- Your mind is a beautiful thing. Don’t let it go to waste. Keep learning and asking questions.
- Time is not on your side, so don’t waste it on people and things that don’t add to your purpose in life.
- Trust your instincts. They won’t steer you wrong if you’ve remained true to yourself.
- You are not “just” anything. Speak only life to yourself.
- Unplug and unwind. Recharge. Regroup. Reaffirm.
- Let nothing have control over you, whether it’s a bad habit or people.
- Love with all you’ve got in words, actions, and essence. Just remember that who you are is enough.
- Use the past as a springboard for the future, and remember that pain is temporary.
- There’s more than enough room at the top. If others can do it, so can you.
- You are unique, fearfully and wonderfully made. There’s no one else in the world like you, no one else who can do what you do, so don’t shortchange yourself.
- You are stronger than you think. Even if a setback knocks you down, view it as an opportunity to come back stronger than ever.
- Live your life as the gift that it is. Stop denying yourself and seek the experiences that will enrich your life.
- Your children are not qualified to run your life. One day they’ll live their own lives, so don’t live vicariously through them.
So that’s my list so far. I’m sure it will grow as I gain more life experience. Which ones were your favorites? Would you like a pretty printable so you can keep it to remind you? If there’s enough interest I’ll make it available.
Until next time,