Life Lessons at age 31

I haven’t posted anything on here in quite a well, just because I haven’t. No good excuse really. My free time is spent doing other things, but I am going to try and blog more, it really is quite therapeutic. I found something on StumbleUpon today that got me to thinking. I may not have all of life’s answers, but I have found a few on my first 31 years on this earth. So I spent a little time today writing down 31 Life Lessons I have learned thus far. I know people stress about getting older, but I for one cannot wait to get older. Imagine all the things you will know when you are 80?!

31 Life lessons I have learned

1. Surround yourself with positive people who contribute to your happiness
2. Smile more
3. Listen More- Give More- Do More
4. Work hard and have a good attitude and good things will happen for you
5. Not everyone has to like you
6. Don’t be afraid to say something, even if it makes other people uncomfortable
7. Don’t live your life with regrets, just do it!
8. Get a pet
9. Spend time with your elders. They have so much wisdom and advice to give
10. Never spend less than $10 on a bottle of wine. It’s just not worth it
11. Sleep under the stars whenever you can
12. Spend time outside and in nature whenever you get the chance
13. Wash your sheets at least once a week. Clean sheets day is the best!
14. Get to know your family members, especially your grandparents
15. Eggrolls are best when grilled
16. Never stop trying, never give up and never stop learning
17. If you are going to do something, do it right
18. “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” –Unknown
19. BE HAPPY- regardless of what job you have, or how much money you make, or what size dress you wear, or your marital status. You are the only one who can make yourself happy, so choose to be happy
20. Exercise-Fill your lungs with oxygen, sweat and get your heart pumping
21. Take the stairs every chance you get
22. Don’t drink too much
23. Roll the windows down, turn up the music and take the long way home
24. Always order the cheese fries, with all the fixins!
25. Ask for help if you need it
26. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize
27. Get 8 hours of sleep most nights of the week
28. Quit worrying. It does little to no good, ever!
29. HATE is the worst 4 letter word
30. Take care of yourself first, then you can take care of others
31. You must have a work/life balance. Making the most money or having a title are not the most important things


Another year

To me, New Year’s shouldn’t be about some big party, which is never as great as our expectations, or starting a new diet so you can lose 10 pounds. It is a new beginning, a new year, but now I feel that it is more of a new chance for happiness.  I for one resolve to spend more of my day doing things that make me truly happy. To do the things that feel right to me, that bring me joy.  For me this includes exercise, food, laughing, travel, writing and giving.

My tinybuddha puts it really well

Resolutions fail because they don’t emerge from true breakthroughs—they’re calendar-driven obligations; and they often address the symptoms, not the cause of our unhappiness.

You can read the rest of this article here, I just love them

Anwyay, minimize those negative parts of your life- Not talking to your downer friend every week-She will still have her problems in 7 days. Not having enough time to work out or read a book-Make time. Not spending enough time with people you truly care about. Skype J

I am starting this year with a fresh perspective. No old nail polish, fresh haircut and contacts and looking forward to more chances for happiness.  Happy New Year!


What a Ride!

Too good not to repost. Especially the quote at the end.
Holiday Eating Tips:

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door where they’re serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It’s rare… You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Cherry, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry: January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:

“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

Have a great holiday

How to Love your Authentic Self

I got this blog post from Tiny Buddha today and it was just too good not to repost. I don’t have a lot of time today to add my own 2 cents, but this does a pretty good job for how I feel. (I tried to BOLD those thoughts that I agree with)  Love and accept yourself, faults and all. Try and live your best life possible, learn from your mistakes and treat others kindly. But you will always be searching for happiness if you do not love and accept who you really are, anf if you are not honest with your emotions. Be happy, be healthy, Merry Christmas all!

How to Love your Authentic Self

by Lori Deschene

“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha

In our personal development-focused, life-coach dependent world, it’s all too easy to think you need to change. Not just the things you do, but who you are.

It’s one thing to invite transformation for the sake of growth, improvement, and new possibilities. It’s another thing to feel so dissatisfied with yourself that no amount of change could possibly convince you that you’re worthy and lovable.

This type of intrinsic self loathing formed the basis of my adolescence and some of my 20s. It was like I was constantly trying to gut myself so I could replace myself with someone better.

Ironically, I won a karaoke contest in the early 90s for singing The Greatest Love of All—yet I hadn’t learned to love myself. I didn’t know the greatest love of all, or any love, really, being about as closed off as a scab.

On most days, I kept a running mental tally of all the ways I messed up—all the dumb things I said, the stupid ideas I suggested, and the inevitably unsuccessful attempts I made to make people like me. How could they when I wasn’t willing to lead the way?

I tell you this not as an after picture who can’t even remember that girl from before, but as someone who has lived this past decade taking two steps forward and one step back. For my willingness to give you this honesty, I am proud.

People are more apt to share their struggles once they feel like they’re on the other side. It’s a lot less scary so say “This is who I used to be” than “This is what I struggle with sometimes.” –word from Jamelyn – It is okay to ask for help, and don’t let pride or stubbornness get in the way. I could’ve made so many less mistakes if I was willing to ask for advice from others every once in a while. Those old people really do have a lot of wisdom to share!

But this is my truth, and I give it to you, wholeheartedly and uncensored. On a primal level, I really want to be loved and accepted, but I learn a little more every day that my own self respect is the foundation of lasting joy.

I know that I am not so different from most people. Who doesn’t want to feel that people understand them, get them, and at the end of it all love them anyways? I think we all want to believe it’s perfectly OK—and maybe even wonderful—to be exactly who we are.

Of course, that has to start with us. People can only love us if we believe we’re lovable. You may not fully believe it if you:

  • Constantly compensate for who you are with apologies, hedging words, or clarifications for your actions—like you always owe other people explanations.–word from Jamelyn -I do this. I feel like I constantly have to apologize to people who are put off by the way I am. For being too outspoken, for being honest, for being authoritative, for having opinions. But that is who I am, and I am a good person. If you don’t like me, well, your loss but I love who I am
  • Beat yourself up when you make even the slightest mistake.
  • Think about your flaws and feel overwhelming disgust or anger.
  • Cling to people who see the best in you and find it hard to maintain those positive feelings when they walk away.
  • Tell yourself that you’re being selfish whenever you consider meeting your own needs.
  • Repeatedly do self-destructive things, or make choices that show you don’t respect or value yourself.
  • Don’t consider your needs a priority.
  • Always find a reason to talk yourself out of your dreams as if perhaps you don’t deserve to have them.

I have done every last one of these things at some point. I suspect we all have. Sometimes it’s challenging to love ourselves—particularly in a world where change generates a substantial amount of revenue.

There are always going to be products and ideas for us to get better; and it’s a beautiful thing to embrace life-long growth. Life is transformation; staying static is a kind of death. But it’s important that we all realize we are beautiful and wonderful just as we are—light and dark, in our complete authentic selves.

1. Know That You Are Not Your Worst Mistakes

Our past actions shaped today. But we are not what we’ve been. We don’t need to carry around labels or mistakes from yesterday as if they define us. Whatever you’ve done, it’s over. It doesn’t have to brand you, particularly not if you’re making the conscious choice to do things differently now.

We can judge ourselves by the weakest moments or the strongest—that’s our choice. Choose to focus on the strongest, and then leverage that pride for more of those moments. Every time you feel good about what you do it’s one more reminder to love who you are.

2. Know You Have Nothing to Prove

I don’t care how esteemed or successful someone is. There are things they’re proud of and things they’re ashamed of; and inside they wish people would see more of the former and less of the latter.

We all want validation. It’s an intrinsic human need to feel connected to other people; and oftentimes when we feel alone, it’s because we believe we haven’t proven how good we are or can be.

You don’t have to show the world you’re good. You don’t have to try to hide the things you’ve done that might not seem flattering. You just need to forgive and accept yourself and trust that other people will, as well.

Being authentic means being vulnerable–letting people see all your different facets, trusting they won’t judge you, and knowing that if they do that’s completely on them.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be real with people and know the ones who accept me accept me fully, than pretend and then have to maintain the illusion that I am something I’m not. –AMEN SISTER!

3. Know the Dark is Valuable

So you’ve made mistakes—who hasn’t? The beauty of having faltered is that you can help the world with your experiences.

Because we err and hurt, we can empathize when other people are hurting. We can reach out of ourselves, forget our own pains, and hold other people up when they need it.

That we have strengths and weaknesses is intrinsically human. If I didn’t have less flattering traits and stories, this site would likely not exist.

When you realize your flaws can help the world and bring us closer together, suddenly they seem less like liabilities and more like assets.

4. Know That You Matter

When I was a child, an authority figure in my life told me, “If I was your age, I wouldn’t be your friend.”

I held onto this for years—that given the choice, most people wouldn’t like me. As I got older, a lot of people appeared to feel uncomfortable around me, and for good reason. I was like a leech on them, desperately hoping they’d un-say that one horribly undermining comment someone else spoke years ago.

I couldn’t believe I mattered until someone said it to me. Well now I know differently—I know I do matter, and that how my life matters is dependent on what I do from day to day.

Know that you touch countless people’s lives every day, even if someone isn’t blogging or tweeting about it. Just like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, you do kind things that have a ripple effect you can’t possibly measure.

Even if not everyone has recognized it, you make a positive difference in the world. Your positive self regard may feel stronger at some times than others, but even the smallest seed of love is valuable because it can grow.

5. Know That Positive Feelings and Actions Breed More

All these warm fuzzy feelings mean very little if you sit alone, wishing you could experience the world differently. Once we accept that we’re worthy of love and our dreams, the natural next step is to actually create those things–not what we think we should do; what we really want to do.

Get out into the world. Do that thing that scares and excites you. Recognize you’re awesome for doing it, even if in just one small step. Give yourself permission to not be perfect, and instead focus on progress.

Love in action every day. Do something kind for you. Do something kind for others. Do something kind for the world.

Acknowledge your weaknesses, work to improve them, but say loud and proud that they will not define you. If you start worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, remember you deserve to enjoy the present–but only you can make it happen.

I haven’t always done this. I’ve let a lot of moments slip away while I curled up in my head, wishing I was someone better. But those moments have passed, and in this moment, I am happy with me. I may not know you, but I know I want that love for you, too. I know you deserve it.

This has been a little uncomfortable for me, to be honest. I’ve yet again split myself open. But this time I’m not trying to change what’s inside. I’m just here telling you I am flawed, like we all are, and that’s not only OK but beautiful.

Much love and light to you from someone ever learning what love really means.

Who are you really?

I would like to think I have a pretty good idea of who I am, who I want to be and what makes me happy. People have described me as bossy, assertive, motivated and passionate. Which I think runs the gamut of how I am perceived. I have grown tremendously as a person over the past few years, mostly due to the death of my mother, the loss of my job and the loss of relationships. I want all of those people I care about to truly discover who they are and what makes them happy. To be a whole person. Not just a spouse, or a parent or a grandmother or an HR manager. So, if you have a second, read this article from Tiny Buddha, it’s not very long. It explores grief, relationships and most importantly finding yourself. Be happy, be healthy!


Fostering the Right Attitude: Know Who You Are

by Christine Pondelli


What is your purpose?

It has been a while since I posted anything. No real reason, just haven’t felt inspired. Same excuses, I have been busy and I have been stressed about finances. That’s life, or is the life my prior choices have led me to.  But I am happy, and I think that is because I am searching to become the best person I can be, and live my life, not just exist.  I recently came across a website called the  It makes me want to cherish all of life moments, and the people that I care about, which is a path I have been on for quite some time. There are hundreds of good jewels at this site, and I encourage everyone to read some of the blogs and ponder your purpose and what makes you happy. What is most important to you above all else? It is easy to start your own path to discovery, just list your life’s passionate moments. I hope this blog finds you well. Be happy, be healthy. J


by Scott Dinsmore

“The person who lives life fully, glowing with life’s energy, is the person who lives a successful life.” ~Daisaku Ikeda

In everything we do, we seek happiness. Or at least what we think will bring happiness.

But this goal can often get us into trouble. It’s how you find yourself in a career that doesn’t represent you, consuming things lacking real value, and living a life that misses its impact on the world.

Most of the things we think create happiness, don’t.

We get caught in a spiral and life suddenly becomes a race to be won instead of a game to be played and enjoyed. Our focus on ‘success’ as society calls it, blurs our more important intangibles of life–our relationships and experiences.

The fear (and sad reality for many) is that we wake up 30 years from now, stressed, unhealthy and unfulfilled, wondering what on earth happened to those wonderful dreams we once dared to dream.

I’ll tell you what happened. We fell into the trap of being what others felt we should be as opposed to who we were meant to be. Other’s dreams became ours, only to realize they never mattered to us in the first place. We adopted the world’s definition of success instead of understanding and pursing our own.

Well there is good news. No matter when you wake up to this reality, it is never too late to take a stand and travel down that fresh path.

In all of my experience as a friend, writer, husband, personal freedom coach and citizen of the world, there is nothing more consistent with unhappiness than spending your time in a way that doesn’t serve who you are. And to the contrary, there is no more profound source of fulfillment and happiness than knowing you are traveling your own path and making the dent in the world you know you’re capable of.

The simple answer to lasting happiness: Living Your Purpose.

While purpose is a nice concept that is often overused in the personal development space, it can be a lot to sink your teeth into. It’s one thing to believe in the idea but an entirely different one to vicerally experience and live it.

Until you find your own life path, you will forever be trying to follow someone else’s. The inauthenticity will eat you up. Without a path, your true potential will be lost. But to confidently begin the journey, you must better know the traveler–you.

3 Steps to blazing a trail and discovering your purpose:

1. Know your Values.

These are your building blocks. What’s most important to you above all else? I’m talking the zero compromise areas of who you are. Family, health, freedom, honesty, intimacy, playfulness, love, adventure, achievement. The list is infinite.

Pick your top few. Prioritize them. What events and experiences allow you to feel them? This is your foundation. Your compass.

2. Know your Super Powers.

We all have things we naturally knock out of the park. Your core strengths. Some might even call them gifts. Is it public speaking, teaching, analysis, social interaction, influencing, positivity, discipline, problem solving? Most of us have a gut feeling of what these are.

What have past experiences shown? What have people consistently complimented you on? What’s your favorite type of project to put your heart into? The book Strengths Finder 2.0 is an awesome place to start.

3. Know your Passion Moments.

We’ve all had them. A moment or time in your life when you felt invincible. It could come during a work project, caring for a child, exploring a new place or cooking a meal. Anything as long as you feel it at your core. You’ve likely had more than one.

Keep a list of these Passion Moments. And noticing this in others is just as important. What have you seen people around you do that inspire purpose? This list will never stop growing and with every addition, you gain more clarity on what lights a fire in your belly.

“Don’t be pushed by your problems; be led by your dreams.” -Unknown

Note: The above are huge topics. For a much deeper dive, I invite you to spend some time with The Beginner’s Guide to Being Congruent, where I’ve compiled the most powerful resources I’ve found on understanding your purpose and traveling your path.

Notice opportunity and do something about it.

The intersection of your true values and super powers, backed with relentless passion, is where the magic happens. It’s where adventure ultimately begins.

It takes confidence to set out on your own. No two of us are the same and no two of us will have the same path and impact on the world. Recognize this and let it serve as your inspiration. With the right tools anything is possible. Your Values, Super Powers and Passion Moments are those tools. With them you can go through life with open eyes, able to notice even the hint of when your purpose is calling.

Expect these opportunities. Be waiting for them. When you know what you’re looking for, they’ll start to appear.

It may be in the form of a new friend, career, volunteer position or random adventure. If it lays at the heart of who you are, recognize this and do something about it. These chances pass by only once. Now it’s on you to weave them into your story. You are no longer a spectator.

You are not meant to live anyone else’s life.

Why would you want to anyway when you can live your very own? This is what will impact the world in a way that no other can. Happiness is not something we finally reach one day. It’s something that becomes a part of every day or none at all. Happiness not experienced today does not mean more happiness tomorrow.

Once you’ve found your path, the superficial destination the world defaults to becomes unimportant. Comparison disappears and all of a sudden it’s the travel itself that becomes meaningful. No longer are you trying to get somewhere. You’re there. Simple as that. You’re there today and you’ll be there tomorrow.

That’s happiness.

Day Dream Believer…

Without sounding totally cheesy– I totally love my life right now. This summer day was perfect!  Was woken up by my husband, who then went and got kolaches and donuts for us.  We had perfect weather all day, did some adult chores like painting the bathroom, stopping at home depot (we are sooo that couple from Wedding Crashers:). I took a nap outside, it was just amazing. I think so many of us focus too much on the negatives in our lives, the things they still want or don’t have .Nobody’s life is perfect, but I really do love my life right now.  Despite the things that I don’t have, I am super lucky to have to things I do. Happy Labor Day and 3 day weekend to all.  Let’s BBQ J