As I approach a birthday, another year older, I find myself reflecting and wondering if I've learned anything new this past year. Sure, I reached some personal milestones with this website and brand. Sure, Patrick & I got engaged. Sure, I worked my booty off. But what did I learn?
I learned I can't, for the life of me, walk in high heels. I officially give up. Carrie Bradshaw...Rachel Zoe...Victoria Beckham, you are a mystery! I look like Bambi learning how to walk. My ankles give out, my toes kill, I hobble. Lower heels and wedges are my friends now and I've learned to give up on anything resembling stilettos for any occasion that requires me to walk more than 20 steps. This means I am still able to walk to our favorite wine bar across the street in those dreaded stilts if I'm feeling particularly daring.
I learned that sometimes it's better to say nothing at all.
I learned that good friends are even more important as you get older. Life gets tricky, and messy at times. A support system outside your family and significant other is imperative.
I learned that, as Stephen Covey said, "most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply." Let's all try to avoid being the person that brings every conversation back to themselves. Seek the people who want to actually understand how you're feeling about anything going on in your life, and strive to be that person in return.
I learned that health is everything. For the first time in my adult life, a person very close to me is suffering from a serious condition. It is obviously very difficult, but also humbling to remember how none of us are in control. The only thing we can do to help is to prioritize our health and take care of ourselves as best we can. Exercise, eat your vegetables, sleep enough, drink tons of water, do whatever you need to do to be healthy emotionally and spiritually as well, and try to help your loved ones do the same.
I learned that when someone is trying to cheer me up, I should let them. If Patrick and I have an argument about something, humor is sometimes the best fix especially when it's over something silly. I have a tendency to be stubborn (ahem!), not wanting to let my guard down :) And I've learned that's a total waste of time! If he cracks a joke I shouldn't sit there, biting my cheeks, trying to stay mad. No small battle is worth it.
I learned it's impossible to make everyone happy. Planning a wedding forces you to think of a bunch of situations from a multitude of perspectives. Will she be offended? Is that would they would prefer? Is he going to like that? It's a hard balance I'm still trying to strike, but I think the goal is to be mindful of everyone, but know it's okay to do what YOU want sometimes, without justifying it or wondering if it's pleasing everyone - because you'll never feel confident in any decision if you do.
I learned to schedule time for nothing. There are so many activities and to-dos we're all trying to cram into a week. While it sounds so silly to actually carve out time for nothing, it can be the best thing you can do to help yourself.
I learned that certain things are worth investing in because higher quality makes the world of difference -- beds, bedding, suitcases, rain gear, outerwear, bras (whatever, I said it), and anything you put on your face every single day.
And I learned this.
Maybe by the following year, I'll learn how to roast a chicken? Or drive again? Or ride a bike? I should make a list of things I still need to learn in life. Or just summarize with one bullet point: everything.