38 Lessons in 38 Years

baby picture

Today, I turn 38 years old.

I wasn’t planning on telling you my real age because, well, for no good reason other than I’m clearly planted in my late 30s and on my way to being 40. But I had a conversation with Jasper the other day that changed my mind.

He asked me how old I was going to be on my birthday. I told him 38. I also added, “Mommy’s getting old!” In response, he rolled his eyes at me and said, “Mommy, you’re not old. Old is like 100.”

It’s nice to have kids to help put things in perspective for you.

I typically don’t like to make a big deal about my birthday, but it does put me in a reflective mood so I’m sharing with you 38 lessons that I’ve learned over the years. They are in no particular order – just how they popped into my mind. 

38 lessons in 38 years

1. Naps are essential.

2. Lists are your best friend, especially as you get older.

3. Foam roller and a lacrosse ball are also your best friend, especially as you get older.

4. Pie cures all.

5. Try as I may, I am turning into my mother. I guess there is something to be said about genetics (and admitting that my mom usually is right).

6. One of the greatest gifts to give someone is the gift of being heard. Listen. Truly listen to people in your life.

7. Gratitude really does have the power to shift your perspective.

8. Family is family, and those are the ties that bind.

9. Sometimes, those ties do get pulled and stretched. Sometimes they break, and sometimes they don’t. You never know which will happen when.

10. It’s incredible to learn something new at an older age. It’s also humbling. That’s why you should do it.

11. The beauty of watching kids run (and move) for the sheer joy of it, not because they have to or need to or need to change their body. OK, that’s not a lesson but just a beautiful thing to appreciate.

terri st. cloud quote

12. Marriage is hard work (and humbling and rewarding)

13. Parenting is hard work (and humbling and rewarding and full of surprises)

14. Get in the picture, especially with your kids. No one really cares what you look like but they do care that you were present in their lives.

15. Communication is key. Without it, it’s easy to superimpose our own stories onto someone else. Hello resentment.

16. Good friends are priceless. When you find them, hold on to them.

17. Usually, when you think or say, “I don’t know what to do”, chances are that you have a pretty good idea of what you should do. Chances are that either: 1) you don’t like the answer, or 2) you’re scared of following through with the answer.

18. The Universe wants to be noticed (yes, I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars) but if you listen carefully, the Universe will share some amazing secrets.

19. You can’t control everything. The sooner you realize this (and loosen your grip on your Type-A personality), the better.

20. Yoga.Every.Damn.Day.

21. Most lower body injures come back to your hip stability and glute strength. Seriously it does.

22. The resistance band looks like the most unassuming workout tool but it’s evil.

23, Worry about the things that you have the power to change. Everything else? Let it go. It takes up too much space emotionally and mentally.

24. You’re never going to be able to please everyone. You’re not. It’s impossible.

25. Learn how to breathe – to breathe fully from your abdomen all the way up to your collarbones.


26. The first step is always the hardest, whether it’s going out for a run or getting started with fitness or taking a step towards a new career. But once you take that step (and the next and the next), it gets easier.

27. You’re stronger than you think. I know that this is cliche but it never ceases to amaze me what we are capable to accomplishing once we put our minds to it and once we believe in ourselves.

28. Ego can be the cause of so much trouble in our lives. It can hinder us from seeing clearly, from saying “I’m sorry,” from asking for help, from saying “I love you.” Learn to recognize it and to set it aside.

29. Stop being Mom or Dad for a moment and just be silly with your kids. There’s something magical about sharing belly laughs with your kids.

30. You will never know everything. You will never be completely prepared. It’s much better to act and be in the game and enjoy what you do experience rather than waiting, waiting and waiting for the perfect moment.

31. Learn to have compassion and to be compassionate to others and, most importantly, to yourself.

32. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s hard to take care of others when you aren’t taking care of yourself. It’s hard to accomplish things if you aren’t taking care of yourself.

33. Stay inspired, whether with regard to your job, parenting, teaching, etc. It’s easy to fall into a rut or a routine and operate on automatic. Instead, continue to seek out inspiration and keep learning.

34. Move.Every.Damn.Day

35. Choose to lift people up. It’s easy to be negative. It’s easy to think of other people as the “competition.” But imagine what we could accomplish if we chose to lift each other up?

36. No coffee. No workee.

live love laugh

37. Live. Love. Laugh. Sing. Dance. Dream. Play. Give. Smile. Cherish.

38. More of #37

What else would you add?



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  1. says

    Happy Birthday my friend!!! I’m right up there with you and I will turn 40 next year. I love your son’s response to that and I love your list. No coffee, no workee for SURE and I also need to work on my listening skills. I’m actively trying to not think about what I have to say when someone else is talking, and instead just listen.
    Allie recently posted..VITA AdVentures in Portugal – Sit and RockMy Profile

  2. says

    loved all this advice! awesome post! Happy Birthday! Also your son is right, 100 is old! I remember when I was a kind I thought being 10 was old, then when I turned 21, then again when I turned 30. When I look back now, I have achieved so much more than 10 yr old me would have thought I could – none of what I thought I needed or wanted but still so much! 23, 24, 25 are so apt for me! X
    Megan recently posted..Goals for JulyMy Profile

  3. says

    I don’t even know how to comment on this amazing wisdom above except to say that you are one wise 38 year old. I love this list – from yoga every damn day to learning to breathe to letting go of ego and the list goes on and on and on. Although I personally think it’s granola that cures all and not pie. Sorry. I had to.

    I love you – so glad you are a friend – and happy birthday! xxxxooooo

  4. says

    So many great tips, I am not sure where to start…so instead I will start with what I should have said HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTINE! Hope you have a wonderful day, filled with lots of love and happiness! Now I am off to use that foam roller and softball….thanks….but not thanks for reminding me 😛 ouchie!
    Tina Muir recently posted..Meatless Monday: Spiralized Pizza on the GrillMy Profile

  5. says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I don’t know if you have any idea how much impact your life has, but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, when I grow up, I want to be just like you. You are so inspirational to me always through your words and your giant, kind heart. So I just wanted to say, I’m so freaking glad you were born and I can’t wait til the day we get to play in real life! xoxo
    Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Roasted Jalapeno & Garlic Bacon GuacamoleMy Profile

  6. says

    I love #2. I love #14!
    I’m all about learning to breathe fully too. And I’m realizing that the first step is the hardest.
    I think I’d add that to truly meet with a new friend, you need to go out for NYC pizza with them.
    True story.
    Tamara recently posted..Are We For Real?My Profile

  7. says

    Happiest of birthdays Christine! I love Jasper’s comment. I will have to remember that on my next birthday. This is my favorite of your points, although I think they all have value… “One of the greatest gifts to give someone is the gift of being heard. Listen. Truly listen to people in your life.” So true.
    Devon recently posted..4th of July CoveMy Profile

  8. says

    Huge Happy Birthday wishes coming your way!! I hope your day has been awesome!!!
    And, I’m thinking that I might have to start drinking coffee – that might be my problem these days:)
    Kim recently posted..3 Recent ScaresMy Profile


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