As I turned 30 years old this weekend I realized that it might be a good idea to think about the culmination of these years. What does it mean to begin living in my thirties? Does it mean anything? What I came up with is pretty simple. Thirty things that I know, think, feel and love...right here for the world to see. It may be interesting to you, it may not be...but I thought I would share with anyone willing to read.
Thirty Things for Thirty Years
1. I am so grateful for finding my soul mate. If you know me, you know my story...and it is truly magical.
2. Grandparents are a treasure I wish all people were able to enjoy. I have learned so much from my beloved grand-generation. Without their love, support and wisdom I would not be where I am today. I am truly grateful for every moment I am able to share with them. And, even though I do not spend nearly enough time with each of them, I feel them close to my heart at all times.
3. Siblings are Spectacular. I never knew being a sibling could be so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have such amazing sisters and brothers. They have taught me so much about compassion, love, growth and connectedness. I have learned that while I may be drastically different in many respects...it doesn't matter. What holds us together is stronger than our beliefs, behaviors and idiosyncrasies.
4. Being kind to myself is harder than I thought it would be. It might sound funny, but I can be nicer to other people than I can be to myself. I'm still learning the art of kindness and love when directed inward. The nice thing about learning this art is that when I am able to act loving toward myself it creates a more authentic connection with those that I know and love.
5. I have to live with myself. Advice comes from every direction...but I get to wake up to this fair headed mug every morning, so what I do needs to count for me and no one else.
6. Forcing and manipulating people into doing what you want are two sides to the same coin. I see many people flipping back and forth...using scare tactics, guilt and worry to manipulate people into acting certain ways. If that doesn't work, they'll often try brute force. Either method is useless for creating a better world, and noticing that I was guilty of this behavior was the first step in stopping the cycle.
7. Killing is complex. Period. No matter what your belief system is, there are no clear answers on the life-death cycle. I've learned to listen to my conscious, (see #5).
8. Solitude is golden.
9. Everyone likes to communicate differently. If you want to get in touch with me, it probably won’t be by phone. As I learn more and more about who I am, it becomes increasingly clear that I am most easily reached by electronic communication. I find it easier to communicate, respond and interact through the ethers of the interweb.
10. Snoozing during the day is the best! And I love doing it with those I love the most. Come on over any day and plop down to a relaxing show on the Tele and some popcorn, you won’t hear me complain.
11. I love to bake! Actually, I love the product of delicious baked goods, and baking them is how I get from point A to point B. Vegan baking has become somewhat of a hobby of mine, and I love surprising folks who don’t believe that vegan treats can be yummy.
12. Time is relative. Some “times” seem fast, other “times” seem slow. It’s all perspective, and having control over my reality can be a lot of fun, when I remember to use it.
13. Sometimes I have this nagging feeling that I’m getting too old for ‘this’ or ‘that’. But then I remember all of those amazing individuals who accomplished great things in the later years of their lives and I am encouraged to follow my dreams.
14. My best friends in the world are those that I need not say anything to. We can sit and enjoy each other’s presence without words, without small talk and without insincere emotions. We are real, honest and if time passes between our meetings we pick up right where we left off.
15. Coffee is delicious.
16. When I retire, I’d like to own and run Churro cart.. I have so many fond memories of eating Churros with my Grandpa, and I want to be able to contribute to those great memories for someone else. (and...they’re super yummy)
17. In my darkest moments, I still know everything will be alright. I can thank my Grandmother Carol for this belief. She taught me that no matter what, everything and everyone will be alright and taken care of.
18. I enjoy being a little eccentric. And, I think everyone IS a little eccentric when they’re allowed to fully express themselves. My Nana taught me this. She is brilliant, strong, determined, sweet, sensitive, funny and unique. She does things because of her convictions and not because someone else told her to do it. I can only hope to inherit some of these qualities.
19. Learning never ends. Formal schooling aside, I will never cease learning. Everyday I am fortunate enough to have a spark of realization, a download of new knowledge or a moment of insight. I look forward to these.
20. Never underestimate the power of Listening. I still find myself wanting to add my input to most everything. However, when I can just listen to the other person and soak it in…this is when the best moments develop.
21. My life did not end when I turned 21. I had a mini-breakdown when I reached the age of 21, realizing that I hadn’t accomplished all that I had hoped to by that age. I understand now that I was exactly where I was supposed to be at the perfect time. Just like every other moment in my life.
22. If I don’t like something another person is doing and if I find their behavior annoying, irritating, or bothersome. I can almost guarantee you that I am guilty of EXACTLY what they are doing. It’s a great reminder that my work here is not complete, and we are all doing the best we can.
23. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. But I do know that if I keep chugging along, doing things that bring something positive to my life, other’s lives, and the world, then I’m on the right path. It’s not about ‘doing’ something with my life…it’s about ‘being’ in my life and spreading the goodness.
24. Pets, and the animals in our lives, are a direct reflection of us and what is happening within our lives, internally and externally. They offer us a mirror to our souls with their gifts of unconditional love. If you do not have pets, your environment will act similarly as a reflection. All you need to do is take a look around to get a good idea of what is happening with you, your spirit and your life.
25. Everyone is psychic, everyone is intuitive and we are all connected. I have no doubts or qualms about this, at all.
26. The soul never dies. This point has been made obvious and apparent to me again recently, and it is such a great reminder during any difficult times. Our souls are everlasting, always alive and inextinguishable.27. Without my Mom I would never have learned the following
a. One should be cautious of those who do not like animals or who mistreat their pets.
b. One should always add a bit of pickle juice when preparing potato salad.
c. Don’t fill up on snacks before dinner.
d. Diversity is beautiful. People (and probably aliens) come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, religious, sexual orientations and ethnicities. Love and treat everyone equally.
28. Humor is essential in daily life. Without laughing my life would be dull, boring and unmoving. If you can make me laugh, we’ll be good friends...
29. Music speaks to my heart and soul. A good piece of music will lift my spirits, give me goose bumps and make me weep. It is so important for a balanced life.
30. God is all there is. Love is all there is. Is, is all there is.
And of course, there are more than thirty things to write about. But, these are the things that came to me when I asked. Maybe one day when I turn 60 I can look back at this list and say to myself, “Wow, you were so young and knew nothing.” or perhaps I say “Wow, you were so wise beyond your years.” Haha! I think I like the second one better. I’ll stick with that.
Happy October 2010 Everyone!