Twenty-Six and Counting

in the swiss alps

It’s my birthday today! It has been a busy year, to the say the least. In the last couple of years, Jon and I moved states, I started a new job, and he started law school. I also started teaching a dance cardio class, and I started blogging (again.)

There are times I’ve come home so tired that all I’ve wanted to do is sit on the couch, eat popcorn and (re)watch Grey’s Anatomy. (I’m sucked in… I’m on Season 4.) But there have also been some really great times. I’ve made some great friends, and I’ve had a lot of fun times with Jon too. We’ve been kayaking, gone to fun concerts, gone on mini vacations, played with our dog, gone on lots of runs, and had more dance parties in our kitchen than I can count.

In the midst of the craziness, I’ve learned a few things in this last year.

26 Life Lessons

  1. It gets better. When you feel overwhelmed, (as I am wont to in new life seasons) take a deep breath, and realize that it’s not forever.
  2. You’ll feel better in the morning. If you’re like me, you probably won’t feel better right when you wake up, because waking up is hard, but a good night of sleep does the body good.
  3. Take epsom salt baths! This is an easy, cheap way to soothe your achy soreness. I am definitely not a doctor, but espsom salt baths work for me when I’m sore from teaching dance.
  4. Buy yourself a nespresso machine, then thank me later. They make waaay better drinks than Keurigs, in my opinion. I like the drinks as much as Starbucks. And really, I think the Starbucks thing is mostly psychological. Going to Starbucks when I’m especially tired is an ingraned habit, but now that they’re raising the prices, it might be time to cut back.
  5. Get yourself a nice pillow. Jon got me one for my birthday, and I already love it. I’ve been stealing his tempurpedic pillow for a couple weeks now, and I’m so excited to have my own!
  6. Carry a water bottle around with you. Hydration is important and if you have water with you, you’re more likely to drink it. It seems obvious, but I didn’t start doing it until this year.
  7. Don’t stop learning. After some really busy days, you might just want to turn your brain off and watch Grey’s Anatomy, which is totally fine, but don’t become a couch potato. Start a new hobby! Pick something to learn. I am currently learning the Adobe Suite, which means I am constantly watching Youtube tutorial videos.
  8. Keep reading. Even if you’re no longer in school, keep reading. Even if you only want to read romance novels, that’s okay! Read what you like. Just keep reading.
  9. Don’t wear out your running shoes, like I did. You’ll wreck you knees, and it will take the joy out of running. Just spring for the shoes.
  10. Go for a run, or don’t. If you don’t like running, don’t do it, but find something else you like to do. Being active is not just important for looking good in jeans, it’s also important for your long term health.
  11. Keep olive oil and salt handy. If you’re still working on your cooking skills (like me) a little bit of olive and salt go a long way. Roasted veggies for the win!
  12. Going on a vacation? Use Airbnb, Hotwire, or Hotel Tonight for your hotel. 
  13. In terms of quality, you (typically) get what you pay for. Jon and I bought chairs from Target and while they were in our budget, they’re not the most stable. Hm. Lesson learned.
  14. Have a tall significant other? Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, and j.crew have tall shops. Jon is 6’4″ and they’re my go-to. And they often have good holiday sales!
  15. 2-4-2. It’s a great way to pray. Two minutes of writing everything on your mind, four minutes of praying and reflecting, and then two more minutes of writing.
  16. Go get a library card. You can check out books (duh) but also magazines and movies.
  17. Don’t be afraid of trying something new, that’s how you grow. 
  18. Have fun where you are. Yes, traveling is a wonderful adventure, but as fun as leaving to go somewhere is, staying and taking the time to discover new places in your city is pretty great too.
  19. Rest when you need to. Life is tiring sometimes, but take care of yourself. Recharging is necessary.
  20. Take the time to become a regular. Introduce yourself to the person who makes your coffee or your sandwich. First off, because it’s important to acknowledge people who do things for you, but secondly, because there’s perks to being a regular.
  21. If you don’t like something, figure out a way to change it, or change your attitude about it. This may take an act of God, but do it. If you find yourself grumbling all of the time, figure out a way to be a part of the solution, instead of the one droning on and on (or posting on Facebook) about the problem.
  22. Find somewhere to serve in your city. The people in your city have needs. They have problems. You can be the answer to someone else’s need. Whether that’s reading to an elementary student once a month, or serving breakfast at your local shelter.
  23. Make a budget. Money matters. It can be one of the biggest stressors in life, but it’s less stressful when you know where it’s going.
  24. Work is work. Huh? What I mean by that is every job has a part of it that’s just plain work. Even if it’s your dream job, there will be parts you have to work at and parts that aren’t so dreamy. But that’s okay.
  25. Start investing now. Even you don’t have a lot of extra cash, you can at least get started. Make sure you are taking advantage of your company matching for your 401K. Look into ScottTrade, Robinhood, or ShareBuilder. Don’t get so caught up in the now that you screw yourself over in the future.
  26. You can do the hard things. Sometimes I shy away from something because I know it will be hard, or I might mess up. But you won’t be able to turn dreams into reality if you’re not willing to do something difficult.

And a bonus life lesson: Take care of yourself. You are worth loving and taking of.