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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME – 35 LESSONS I LEARNED IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS

Today is my 35th birthday but I am having a COVID birthday which means I’m not doing much.

In the past 12 months, I’ve gotten divorced, travelled for six months, been caught in bushfires, been caught in COVID, pivoted in my business and now living in isolation…. So, as my gift to you on my 35th year on this planet – I’ve made a list of the Top 35 Life Lessons I Have Learned (in the past 12 months)

Also, this stopped me eating another 3 pieces of cake so it’s a win-win.

1.     Getting divorced is not the worst thing in the world. Staying in a marriage that isn’t working is by far worse. While it is incredibly lonely and isolating… but it does get better. For those who are going through it – I promise you one day you won’t feel like punching happy people in the faces anymore. You might even want to be one of those happy people again. One day you will feel 51% happy and molecule by molecule – you will feel happy again.

2. Pay close attention to who you’re with when you are feeling your best. This is a measure for who you need to spend more time with!
Remember – the better the quality of the person in your life, the better your life will be.

3. Check in with yourself more than you check your Instagram. Check if you’re happy.  Check in you are on the right path. Check in with how you are feeling – emotionally and physically.

4. You need to learn to choose actions that are in your own best interest. Every day we are choosing things that are completely against what is best for us. The world is already a difficult hard place. Do not cut yourself down and make it harder on yourself.

5. Only take someone’s unsolicited opinion on-board if you would go to them for advice.

Read that again.

6. Travel every single opportunity you get (when its safe and the borders are open and all of those things)
I spent 6 months travelling and living out of a suitcase and I will never EVER take that time and those opportunities for granted. It changed my life and changed the way I see the world. 

7. 10,000 steps a day is more than you think but you need to do them. 3L of water is the minimum you should be drinking. Take vitamins, stretch and get a massage once a week.

8.  COVID-19 and isolation has been a challenging time. I’m an extrovert so being at home in my apartment for months on end has been an interesting experience. Here are the things that helped.
Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime
Learning new skills – I’ve learned some card magic tricks and attempted baking.
Changing my language:  You aren’t STUCK at home. You’re SAFE at home.
Remembering it wasn’t about me.
And…wash your hands, wear a mask and stay at home.

9. Fuck other people’s expectations of you. This has gotten me into a lot of trouble. You know what is best for you even if it seems counterintuitive. Trust your gut and NEVER allow what you ‘should do’ dictate your plans.

10. Water heals almost everything.
Tired? Have some water.
Feeling sore? Go for a swim.
Angry? Have a cry.
Need some perspective? Look at the ocean.
Someone being a nightmare? Drown them.  

11. Fun is underrated.
I told someone one of my core values was ‘Fun’ and they said
‘So …you don’t take things seriously?’
What? Of course I do. When did serious and fun become completely separate? Both can exist together. And I promise you the serious things we are doing will be more palatable and more implementable because it’s not work.

12. We tend to base our self-esteem on what other people think. It should be about how we feel about ourselves. It is dangerous to allow other people to tell us how we think about ourselves.

13. Understand how your money works and make it work for you. Never put all your money in the hands of your partner, don’t own a credit card and save 10% of every cent you make into a savings account. Every woman should have a F*** Off Fund.

14. Embrace the idea of 10 seconds of insane courage to change your life.
Tell the person how you feel.
Start the dance floor. Agree to that last minute trip.
Getting that tattoo with your friends.
You only regret the things you didn’t do. 

15. REGISTER TO VOTE.  

16. Must watches:
“Be A Lady, They Said” – Cynthia Nixon – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvgvaFFZlZ0
Derry Girls – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrgAqEmbbMY&t
Grace and Frankie – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDv6PRi1SgQ
Good Girls – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbjIaPzODs0
Hamilton – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSCKfXpAGHc
Last One Laughing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI7xizuAZYc

17. Saying ‘sorry’ isn’t the same as apologising.

18. Understand your privilege and understand how to use it to help other people. Money, time, ethnicity, race… these are privilege.
This is likely going to make you extremely uncomfortable but education is the only way forward. Understanding and learning.

19. You don’t need to tell everyone everything that you are up to. You don’t always need to tell social media everything. Sometimes you can just fall back, do the work and let the results speak for themselves. 

20. People tell you every single day who they are, you just have to listen.

21. Appreciate people who help you and care about you and want of nothing in return. Do you know how rare that it is that someone only wants good things for you?! Embrace that.

22. Self-care is mandatory.  When you are exhausted and need to do nothing, remember you aren’t wasting a day – you are recovering.

23. Don’t speak negatively about yourself or your life, even as a joke. Your soul doesn’t know the difference.

24. Don’t underestimate the importance of the old friends in your life. A lot of people will come and go from your life – so you will need to work to bridge the gaps between geography and lifestyle.

25. Rest if you are tired. Sleep, nap, get a massage, close your eyes and just give your brain and body a rest.

26. Learn to love your own company.

27. You really should know at least 1 magic trick.

28. Writing a book isn’t difficult. What it is – a large time commitment, takes perseverance and takes dedication. This also happens to be the recipe for success.

29. Ladies, you never apologise for the following things:
Having your period
Your sexual preference
Putting work first
Not wanting children
Wanting children but also wanting a career
Your Bra size
Wearing makeup
Not wearing make-up
Making money
Making more money than your partner
The number of people you’ve slept with
Eating whatever the fuck you want

30. Once single day can change everything or it could change very little. What it will not be is a repeat of today. Don’t take time for granted. You can only have this second.  

31. Don’t fucking settle. Don’t finish bad books. Leave the restaurant if you don’t like the menu. Quit a TV series if you aren’t into the story line. Stop wasting your time on mediocre shit.

32. Your entire life can change in a split second.
And those big things are completely blind siding and you will never see them coming.
Learn to be adaptable but also love the moment you are in.

33. Get a pet. Having a little best friend that you hang out with all the time that doesn’t speak the same language as you – is the best thing in the world.

34. Affection to your non-romantic partners are underrated. Tell people you love them. Your family and friends, when you hug your friends goodbye, when you hang the phone up. Hug them. Hold their hands. Show affection.

35. A lot can change in 12 months. Think about where you were this time last year. Now imagine where you can be in 12 months from today. Everything can be different. Use your time well.  

JA  x

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  1. Hannah says:

    Thanks, yours is by far the best list