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37 years ago I came into this big world. The first of what would be 3 kids. The eldest. The role model. The leader.

If my siblings were to read this, which I know they will not, this is what I would want them to know about 37 years of life.

Pam and Robby, this is what I have come to realize so far, I am…(let the rambling begin!)

Attending more funerals than weddings. Forcing me to find a way to accept and live with sorrow, loss, and hurt in my heart.

Accepting who I have become and stop defending it.

Knowing how much worse it can always be. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, and people who love me.

Facing that retirement is around the corner and you don’t have enough money. Wishing someone had told me at 16 yrs. old – save for retirement NOW!

Having faith. There is something bigger than this.

Going to happy hour and going to bed by 9p because I know how shitty I will feel tomorrow.

Being ok with my body. Knowing I can change it, but it will take a whole lot more work now. Differentiating ‘diet’ vs. ‘life style change’.

Waking before 6am daily…no alarm needed.

Days off are lists of house work, cooking, shopping, then crashing on the couch remembering how exiting Saturday night used to be.

Smiling because it is Saturday night and I are on the couch and I know I wont have a headache in the morning.

Just a few really close friends means more that 15 casual friends.

Going to dinner or a movie alone and actually enjoying yourself.

Finding short cuts to make the house ‘appear’ clean when someone pops over.

Reminiscing about the past 37 years and planning the next 37 years.

Knowing I have to tell people I love them today, not tomorrow.

Accepting the fact no matter how hard you try or what you offer people will not change without their own will. Stop beating yourself up over it.

Changing the way you view your childhood. Forgiving parents for missing a play, not letting go on a trip, not buying you those shoes. You know how hard marriage can be and how it it always takes 2 to make or break a family.

Looking forward to clean sheets on Sunday night – how did I not realize how good these felt years ago!?

Trading the nightstand Gatorade and Advil for hot tea and melatonin.

Knowing life is what you make it and praying for those you love who do not realize this.

Turning past regrets into lessons you now know you needed to learn.

Taking responsibility for your words and actions.

Still struggling to accept that people do not make me feel a certain way – I control my feelings and reactions.

Throwing away wrinkle creams after a week. If it doesn’t get rid of the crow’s feet in 7 days, it must be crap!

Wishing I had known about the dangers of the sun and the importance of sunscreen.

Not leaving the house without sunscreen – God knows I don’t need age spots yet!

Not speaking to a friend of family member in months, even years, and being confident we can pick up like we have been together every day.

Being in awe of every gorgeous sunset.

Accepting that people I love will choose to be with people you don’t.

A memorable trip/experience is more important than diamonds.

Truly starting to not give shit what others think – I will be true to who I am.

Knowing 40 is around the corner…knowing it and not wanting to jump off a bridge.

Looking through old photos and realizing the people in these photos that I have not heard from in decades, came in and went out of my life for a reason.

No longer watching the news before I fall asleep. It is too depressing and I have enough to worry about.

Never drinking cheap wine or vodka. Life is too short.

Overhearing teenagers talking and not understanding half the words they now use.

Being at a restaurant and annoyed at all the people looking down at their phones. Don’t people look at each other and talk?!?

Appreciating the differences in my friends and loving each of them.

Learning to LET IT GO.

Discovering gratitude. I am grateful for all I have, all I have endured, and all that is yet to come.

Loving that this is my life, my scars, my pains, my joys and I will make the next 37 years better than the first!

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