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39 Reflections

This week, I will celebrate my birthday again.  Most years, I don't find my birthday to be an incredibly big deal.  As far as I'm concerned, my last major milestone birthday was 30. Ever since then, I have sometimes even found myself stumbling to even remember my own age. "I think I turn 34 this year.  Wait! No! How can I be 36 already?"

Thirty nine feels a little bit different. I'm not going to say old. I don't really feel old. Most days. But 39 feels like something more significant. It's the eve of 40.  On my last major birthday (yes, we're still talking about 30), I had just become a mother for the first time. I was engaging in what I felt was truly "a career" (rather than "a job"), and I still felt like I had barely left college.  What a difference nine years makes in so many ways. 

So to celebrate this personal milestone, I wanted to share some wisdom gleaned from 39 laps around the sun. Many of these thoughts aren't even that profound or original. As you will see, I crib heavily from those wiser and more eloquent than myself. But these are my musings at this point in my life.   

Here are my thoughts in no particular order:
  1. There is very little in life that wine, chocolate, or talk with an old friend won't fix.
  2. Marry someone because they make you laugh.
  3. Pajama days are restorative.
  4. Working with kids keeps you young.
  5. When you are in need, the hardest thing to do is ask for help. It is also the most important thing to do.
  6. "I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." --EB White
  7. Cheese is one of the greatest foods ever made.
  8. A double sink vanity will save your marriage.
  9. Most people don't understand the proper usage of the words "ironic", "whom", and "literally".
  10. One of the best things about being an adult is eating whipped cream straight out of the can.
  11. Tragedy changes your world but it doesn't have to define it.
  12. Some of the sweetest pleasures in life don't cost a thing.
  13. Your parents are right. Mostly. You won't realize it until you are older.
  14. "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1
  15. Right now, someone wishes they had your life.
  16. Extremism in all its forms can be dangerous.
  17. I don't fear much. Except escalators. They are from the devil.
  18. The people on my freebie list must have lost my number.  Otherwise, I'm sure they would have called by now. Clooney? Do you hear me? I'm talking to you!
  19. Some songs will always make me cry: Amazing Grace, Silent Night, Baby Mine from Dumbo, and Nanci Griffith's Trouble in the Fields.
  20. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  21. "The good old days weren't always good. Tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems." -Billy Joel
  22. There's nothing like a crisis to show you who your true friends are.
  23. You're never too old to watch a Disney cartoon by yourself.
  24. There is nothing more profound than watching your child take her first breath. Except maybe watching her take her last.
  25. I never feel old until I start talking to people in their 20s. What do you mean you have never seen Goonies???
  26. There are many things that are wonderful and amazing about the Internet.  I still can't figure out why people continue to feed the trolls, though.
  27. Plant flowers every spring, even if it's only in a window box.
  28. "It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities." --Albus Dumbledore
  29. Some things I will never understand:
    1. Caffeine free diet soda (really? what's the point?)
    2. The overwhelming allure of frozen yogurt
    3. Why everyone obsesses about Pumpkin Spice (anything) in the fall
  30. There is always room in your heart for more love. Sometimes you have to patch a few holes first, though.
  31. My favorite quote about grammar: "Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college." -- Kurt Vonnegut
  32. I'm really good at a lot of things. I suck at loading the dishwasher.
  33. "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk while it's still snowing." --Phyllis Diller
  34. Everyone is dealing with something. Be kind.
  35. "Do one thing every day that scares you." --Eleanor Roosevelt. The corollary to this is: "Well behaved women rarely make history." -- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  36. A nugget of wisdom by that sage, Louis CK: "The only reason you should ever look into your neighbor's bowl is to make sure they have enough."
  37. My dream interviewers are Terry Gross and Ira Glass. My dream celebrities to hang out with for a day would be Jon Stewart and Tina Fey.  
  38. "Oh, if life were made of moments...even now and then a bad one. But then if life were only moments, then you'd never know you had one."--Baker's Wife, Into the Woods
  39. No matter how you're feeling right now, this video will brighten your day.

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