What I have learned in my 40 years…

May 4th, 2009

Today is my 40th birthday. Where on earth did the years go, by the way? Seriously? One minute I was graduating high school…today there is grey hair in my brush and my son is approaching the teen years!

The funny thing is that when you are younger, you think that people that are older “have it all together”. Umm…that isn’t necessarily true. I think that you can be one of those people that is always learning about yourself and the world. I think I am one of those people.

I thought I would post some “Shan’s words of wisdom” in celebration of my 40th birthday. These are just little things that I think younger (and older that want to throw in some extra ideas) people could use.

“I have learned in 40 years that….”

1) God/Faith, family, friends, the rest of the world. In that order, love them all.

2) What others think of you REALLY doesn’t matter. Be true to your heart and faith always. If they don’t like you after that, they don’t deserve you.

3) Everything in moderation. That means you can have that hot-fudged sundae every now and then. Just realize that you need to have a side of cardio with it.

4) DO NOT put off your dreams. You never know when you will get to them. If you have a dream, work on it NOW.

5) Have a strong work ethic. Have pride in your work. If you don’t know something, learn it.

6) Stop worrying! It will only give you wrinkles, loss of sleep, and a bigger waist line. If you can’t change the situation, have faith that someone else can.

7) Travel. Enjoy the world and nature. Get to know different cultures. You have more in common with them then you think.

(8) Read and learn. Never stop. You are never too old to feed your mind.

9) Giving back to family, friends, and your community are priceless. Do it as much as you can.

10) Forgive and move on. If someone has caused you harm, find room in your heart to forgive them. If you have caused harm, make amends and ask for forgiveness.  Grudges will only age you faster and make you bitter.

11) Enjoy more music, art, and laughter. There is so much beauty in the world. See, feel, hear, touch, and taste it.

12) Less Internet, phones, and television. More hand-written letters, picnics in the park, family game night, and home-town plays.

13) Be kind to all, no matter their religion, skin color, or age.

14) Stop talking – start listening.

15) Accept yourself for who you are. You were given this body for a reason. Revel in YOU. If you are unhappy with your weight, start today to fix it.

16) Happiness comes from within. It doesn’t come from a size 2 pair of jeans.

17) Pamper yourself often. You can deal with the world MUCH BETTER if you treat yourself like a beloved friend.

18) If you are in a dead-end job on a dead-end road, take a cab to a new location.

19) Gossip and lying are poison for the giver and receiver. The antidote is to stop dishing it out.

20) Wear good shoes. Get a good mattress.

21) Enjoy right now. Forget about yesterday. Don’t worry about tomorrow.

22) Listen to that voice in the back of your mind. 99.9% of the time it is right.

23) Don’t do things because you expect something in return. Even if it is a thank you. You set yourself up for disappointment. Do it because you know it is right.

24) If you don’t like the way things are, stop complaining. Find a way to make things better. Anyone can complain. It takes bravery to DO something about it.

25) Surround yourself with people you love and care about. Life is too precious and short to be around negative people.

26) Send hand-written thank you notes. People appreciate you taking the time to send them.

27) Before you lose your temper and say something you will regret, think. You just might save yourself some heartache and a relationship or two.

28) If you say you are going to do something, DO IT. Making empty promises will assure that others don’t trust you or your words.

29) Eat more veggies & whole grains. Eat less sugar and Little Debbie’s.

30) Tell those that you care about how special they are to you EVERY CHANCE YOU GET. Acts of kindness say “I love you” too.

If you are reading this and have any others that you have learned over the years, feel free to share them. I will be happy to add them.

Take care and have a great day!

3 Responses to “What I have learned in my 40 years…”

  1. Wendi Says:

    Happy belated birthday, Shannon! I love this list and will be writing my own in December for my 40th. High school graduation does feel like it was just yesterday sometimes.

    PS-We went to Orange Glen together way back in the day. My name back then was Wendi Ferry. It’s good to ‘see’ you!

  2. Shan Says:

    Hey Wendi! How how life treated you these last 20+ yrs.? How wonderful it is to hear from you! Let me know your webpage and I will be sure to subscribe to it. Have you been in contact with anyone from O.G? I married an O.G. Alum (just celebrated our 19th anniversary). Yup, I’m crazy about him 😀

    Give yourself a HUGE hug for me and write when you get a chance!

    Shan

  3. Wendi Says:

    OK. I’m going to try this one more time. Blog comment boxes are not my friend. If you click on my name it takes you directly to my blog. It’s all about me playing full-contact football in the Independent Women’s Football League at almost 40 years old. I still can’t give up the sports. (o:

    So glad to see you’re doing so well!

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