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Posts Tagged ‘Life Lesson’

Having recently turned 30, I came across this article about the 13 money lies you should stop telling yourself by 30. Naturally, the article piqued my interest. These are the 13 questions that it tackles, so rather than copy and paste, I just thought I’d share. Some good insight and life lessons to be learned.

 

1. So long as my job pays well, it’s OK if I hate it.

2. If I turn a blind eye, somehow my finances will figure themselves out.

3. I should get married because it’s the ‘next step.’

4. Banks and bill collectors will get their way no matter what I do.

5. I should buy a home because that’s what grown-ups do.

6. If I start dipping into my savings now, I’ll have plenty of time to make up for it later.

7. I’m too inexperienced to start investing.

8. I’m a failure because I’m not getting paid as much as other people my age.

9. I can still afford to eat like I’m 16.

10. I can still pull off the outfits I wore in college.

11. If I get approved for new credit, obviously I can handle it.

12. I should have kids now because I want them.

13. I’m pretty much invincible.

 

 

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I just finished the fifth of the Emily Giffin book series, Heart of the Matter, and like the others I couldn’t put it down. The other thing this book has in common with the others are little nuggets that I find interesting, compelling or thought-provoking.

The book series seems to focus on relationships and the ebbs and flows that occur in our lives.

The books are entertaining, easy reads, but still if one can glean little nuggets from fiction stories that can apply in the real world, than a-okay.

 

I think of how each person in a marriage owes it to the other to find individual happiness, even in a shared life. That this is the only real way to grow together, instead of apart.”

 

Heart of the Matter book cover

Heart of the Matter book cover

It’s funny how as you get older, you learn how important knowing yourself is. I believe it’s important to find your own happiness, find the person that accepts you for who you are including your individual happiness, and then bring that happiness into the relationship. I appreciate how this book says it eloquently. Something I plan to remember.

 

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Sept. 15, 2009 and May 2, 2011. Two times where I reviewed, edited, and updated my list of 35 Things To Do Before I’m 35. Having turned 30 a few months ago, I had a little realization…I have less than 5 years until this list expires. The funny part is that when I first created it, it was the end all, be all. It was a life list that I had to achieve or accept the idea that I failed myself.

 

The funny part is how in creating this list and growing up a bit from 27, I’ve developed a truer sense of what achievement means to me. Failing is just one more part of the adventure. (Honestly, I still struggle with this, but just because I’ve failed at something doesn’t make me a failure. It means I was going out of my comfort zone and challenging myself, and it didn’t work out this time.) Sometimes things work and other times they simply don’t.

I recently talked to my best friend about failure, achievement and setting goals. Goals that are not based entirely on known reality, but instead are more than challenging and as a result, help push you to continue to work harder for it. He said something that struck me, as I was arguing the side for setting realistic goals that could be achieved (which is what I’ve always been taught – can anyone relate?):

 

“If you shoot for the moon and miss, you’ll still be among the stars.”

 

Good point. Even setting a challenging big life goal and ultimately not reaching it, means you’ve still achieved amazing things by aiming for the lofty goal over settling for a ‘more realistic’ goal that’s easily achieved. Never to be one to settle, I’m going to shoot for the moon for this year’s resolutions/goals (more to come on those) and update my 35 things list once more. But this time, I know some of these things may not be achieved and that’s okay. Striving for them may unlock other things that I hadn’t even thought of, plus I’m going to keep working at bettering myself and LIVING in the moment.

 

35 Things To Do Before I’m 35

1. Buy my own place – completed June 2009

2. Go skydiving – planned for March 2013

3. One big international trip a year –

  • Ireland in 2009;
  • No international trip in 2010, but did travel to: San Antonio, Hollywood/Los Angeles, 2 trips to Washington, D.C., Austin, Madison, Indianapolis, Aspen, Pittsburgh, Columbia, MO and 2 trips to St. Louis);
  • Australia in 2011;
  • No international trip in 2012, but did travel to: Nashville, 4 trips to Chicago, 3 trips to Seattle, Los Angeles, College Station, TX, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Telluride/Mesa Verde/Great Sand Dunes, Oahu, Los Angeles/Anaheim/San Diego, St. Louis, Baltimore, Yountville/Napa Valley, New York City;
  • Iceland in 2013;

4. Go to South by Southwest to mingle with bloggers and social media addicts – completed March 2010

5. Start my own social media marketing company – completed March 2012

6. Hike at least one Colorado 14er (that’s a mountain above 14,000 feet elevation!) – completed Quandary Peak August 2011 and Mt. Bierstadt September 2011

7. Learn to snow shoe and go during the winter season – completed March 19, 2011

8. Run a race at least once every year –

  • Bolder Boulder 10K May 2008;
  • Fans on the Field 10K September 2009;
  • Platte River Half Marathon 13.1 miles March 2010;
  • None in 2011;
  • Girls on the Run 5K May 2012;

9. Get married and have a family

10. Go on an annual trip with my girls from college –

  • Chicago August 2007;
  • Lake of the Ozarks September 2008;
  • St. Louis/Kansas City June and September 2009;
  • Columbia/St. Louis October and December 2010;
  • New Orleans July 2011;
  • Memphis June 2012;

11. Complete my family tree with as many pictures as possible – have started this

12. Visit the seven Wonders of the World

13. Vacation in a place like Bora Bora where you stay in a hut above the crystal blue water

14. Paint my own piece – completed January 2011

15. Take on a more minimalist lifestyle decreasing the number of possessions I have, and focus more on relationships and experiences – cleaned out closet December 2012, next up: pantry, linen closet, bookcase

16. Visit the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore

17. Throw a spooky Halloween party

18. Start a personal blog – completed Sept. 13, 2009

19. Get a dog

20. Go backpacking in the Rocky Mountains

21. Learn how to make sushi – completed winter 2010

22. Take a photography class

23. Save $50,000 in savings

24. Read the autobiographies/biographies of key figures in our nation’s history including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King and Thomas Edison

25. Make a Thanksgiving dinner all on my own

26. Read Jane Austen classics including Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion.

27. Tour the Napa Valley wine country with my family – completed September 2012

28. Plant and grow a vegetable garden

29. Make my own pottery

30. Go with a group of friends on a house boat trip to Lake Powell

31. Volunteer at the Denver Art Museum or Denver Museum of Nature & Science

32. Learn about different forms of art by visiting local art galleries and determine what art style I prefer – completed Santa Fe Art Walk Fall 2011 (I’m a huge fan of Impressionism and contemporary pieces, life-like artwork, paintings where gobs of paint color create a work of art)

33. Cut and donate my hair to Locks of Love – still growing :)

34. Write a poem

35. Host a wine, chocolate and cheese tasting party

 

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Friendship can be a tricky thing. It’s like any relationship really. Sometimes it’s a two-way relationship, other times it’s more complicated, and then even more unique, you find those who just “get” you while at the same time, find those who, while you put 100% into the friendship, they just take and rarely reciprocate.

The latter is the one that has me frustrated. I usually think I can pick out people with the kind of character I like to surround myself with. But I can honestly say I’ve been duped. One particular friend, I’ve known for almost five years. We traveled together, even internationally. I was the only one to visit her in a new city when she moved across the country. And I thought we both appreciated each other for our differences, similarities and dreams.

Well, 2011 was quite the telling year. It started slowly, but time did seem to reveal quite a lot. First, it was little things like her distancing herself from our group of friends, but not in the way you might think. She still came to various events and get togethers, but often would come late or not join us when talking together at a party. Through the course of our friendship, she also made certain comments to me that were odd, even cruel, and made me think she was jealous or had reason to not wish me the best in my various endeavors.

Then at my birthday, she acted so odd that it made me question what kind of friend she really was. She had forgotten to wish me a “happy birthday” entirely, and in this day and age with Facebook, birthday reminders and with friends who are important in your life, to not remember at all, when I go out of my way to try and help make her birthdays as special as possible, it was truly eye-opening. Then on the night of my birthday, she made the evening all about her! The following day, she proceeded to text me, asking me if I was mad at her. Keep in mind, she hadn’t even apologized for forgetting my birthday in the first place, then via text, told me how I made her feel left out… on my birthday?!?! Pretty sure that’s the one day I shouldn’t have to worry about anyone else and can just have fun.

After making me feel guilty, I actually apologized to her…for my birthday and not paying as much attention to her as she thought I should have. I was flabbergasted. We then didn’t talk, text, email, or see one another for almost six months. A long time for someone I considered a great, close friend.

But I was so amazed at how she had behaved, that I decided I wasn’t going to make the first move. Over the course of the last six months, I realized our friendship wasn’t two-sided, it was always me making the effort. So once I stopped, our friendship ceased to continue.

Until one day last week, she asked me to go to dinner. The dinner ultimately proved once more that it was all about her. She only asked me one question about my life the entire evening, after I asked her about everything and everyone in her life. Then as we walked back to our cars, she thanked me for meeting her for dinner “since we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in a bit.” In a bit?!?! Almost six months, and she has yet to ask me about my life, my work, my family, and what’s been going on for the last six months. No apology for putting the guilt trip on me on my birthday. She was completely oblivious to her impact on me and our friendship.

It’s sad because what I thought was a great, close friendship – was in fact, a relationship where it was all about her. And after some hard realizations, it’s clear this isn’t the kind of friendship I’m looking for. I’ll be civil and maybe she can be an acquaintance, but I understand now the type of friendship that means the most to me, and it’s someone who cares about me just as much as I care about them. A true, balanced relationship.

A hard lesson in the meaning of friendship, but one that is necessary. Also, one that I felt compelled to share because I’ve been at a loss trying to make sense of it all.

Have you learned anything through your friendships…any lessons? Is it “normal” to have friendships fade over time? I know people change, but it’s been a hard reality to see a friendship disintegrate. But maybe that’s just what happens some times.

{Photo is my own – sun setting in Denver.}
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I recently took a trip to New Orleans. First time I’ve been there and I had my eyes open to anything and everything the city would show me. One sign that I couldn’t help but see and take in…

 

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I’m not married. But will still listen to advice from someone who’s learned a life lesson.

I was forwarded this email from a married friend, who was sent it from a married friend, who was sent it… okay, you get the picture. Regardless, the married person who sent it to me considered it a good reminder and a bit eye-opening, so I requested it because who doesn’t want good insight!

Here you go, hope it’s helpful or at the very least, gives you a new perspective to consider, I know it did for me.

“Hello married friend…
Tonight is my last night as a married woman as I go before the judge tomorrow to finalize the end of my marriage.  Obviously, it’s been a long time coming for me and I am mostly relieved to put my broken marriage behind me and move forward, but the occasion has me thinking of my many friends out there who like me, have been married for a long time.  I know that it’s not always easy and I wanted to reach out with a few thoughts in hopes that maybe there’s some wisdom here that could benefit you.  (And please don’t think I’m sending you this b/c I think your marriage is in trouble!  I just know that even the best of relationships have to survive a lot of ups and downs and hope my experience can help you in some way.)
 
I have very complicated feelings about the end of my marriage.  I think I’ve done a remarkable job (in my humble opinion :-)) of putting my best foot forward and believe divorce is the best option for me and my kids.  But my heart is just broken to see the break up of my family.  When things were good, I loved being married.  And as I’ve met more divorced people, I’ve learned how easy it is for cracks in the foundation to appear that can ultimately lead to the breakdown of marriage.  You ignore them cause you’re tired, busy, or maybe you just hope they’ll go away.  But I hope you’ll work to solve your issues and protect your marriage.
 
Although the circumstances surrounding my break are extraordinary, I’ve never ignored my part in it’s demise.  I’ve done a lot of soul searching for what I would have done differently if given the chance – and what I hope to do differently if any guy is lucky enough to get me down the aisle again!  So for what it’s worth, here are a few thoughts that I hope may help some of the people I love stay together and appreciate and safeguard what they have.
 
If I could do it over again…
–       I would have carved out more time for ME.  As important as “date night” is to a marriage, I think a “ME” night should be just as big of a priority.  I wish I would have figured out one regular night a week that I either met a girlfriend, took a class, hiked or perhaps even went to a coffee shop by myself with a good book.  May seem selfish, but everyone in your family will benefit from this.  Don’t be flexible on this — stick to it.  (And I would support my spouse doing this too.) –       I would have worked harder to figure out a better division of labor with kids and home chores.  These domestic issues are crucial because feeling unappreciated can eat at your marriage.  Sometimes you don’t know what the other person expects so you unintentionally let them down but if you’re both working towards the same thing, it can really help you feel like a team.  And if you can afford it, hire help.  A cleaning service or lawn worker can be a great investment in the health of your marriage.

–       I wish we would have had “an annual meeting” on our finances and our goals.  Again, being on the same team and working towards the same goals is key.  (Plus, if the shit ever does hit the fan and you separate at least you’ll know what the hell is going on.)

–       More blow jobs and brazilian waxes and weekends away!  So important to keep the physical connection strong.  Do it more often.  Be more confident and playful.  If you think you feel a bit shy because of your “I’ve birthed three children” body, just wait until the man you’re getting naked with isn’t the father of those kids!  And your kids will be JUST FINE without you for a weekend.  If your marriage fails, they’ll be without you a lot anyway.

–       More appreciation.  Little notes, hugs, holding hands, really listening, a sexy text,  and asking about one another’s day.  Small gestures like these can make your relationship stronger.  They take effort but I think it’s well worth it.

–       Surround yourself with happily married people.  (That doesn’t mean I want you all to quit hanging out with me!)  There’s room for singles here and being supportive of friends in crisis is important, but I would try to make sure you regularly connect with others who enjoy being a couple.  It’ll help you appreciate what you have.

–       Watch out for the “divide and conquer” philosophy.  Especially when you have kids, it’s natural for Dad to handle one kid and you take the other.  He’ll handle the bills, you’ll take the cooking, etc.  All of this is necessary, but walk in one another’s shoes more often and try to do more things together to help support the “team” that you two are.  Also, if you pitch in w/”his” chores, you may better appreciate him and vice versa.  Send him to King Soopers w/a grocery list every now and then, and mow the yard yourself.  (And then think how glad you are that you aren’t doing ALL of it by yourself!)

    –      Go easy on yourself and your spouse — be nurturing and good  to each other.  It’s not okay to be snappy or gruff with him or most importantly with yourself.  Tell that little bitchy voice in your head to “suck it!”, do the best you can and celebrate yourself and each other.

–       Realize that God is in your marriage. I fully believe there is such a spirituality to being married.  Don’t ever take for granted what you have.  I know, it doesn’t feel like a gift from God when you are exhausted, overworked and your spouse can’t seem to clear his plate, but connecting with someone and building a life together is something to be so thankful for and it can disappear very quickly. No reason to email me back.  I’m in a really, really good place, but I think the best place to be is happily married and that it takes a lot of work.  I wish you all the happiness in the world and I’m pulling for you to successfully weather the ups and downs of marriage together.”

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BettyConfidential.com wrote a summary of an interview The Huffington Post did with Dan Savage (sex advice columnist, gay activist and founder of the It Gets Better Project). In it, Dan gives some amazing relationship advice. Advice I think is only learned from a perspective earned.

Here are the key points I want to share, but you can read the full article if you’d like.

In Dan’s own words…

“I think the best thing for you to do is just live your life. Live a life that’s worth living, one where you do what you want to do, pursue your passions. That way, if you meet someone, they’ll be joining a life that’s already really good. And if you don’t meet anyone, you can still look back at the end and say, ‘You know what: I lived a really great life…

Life doesn’t owe you anything, and I think it’s up to all of us to go out and create a fulfilling life for ourselves. Like, my husband Terry, he left the house an hour ago. We have a life together. But if he never comes back, I still need to have something here, a life of my own, one that’s fulfilling in itself.”

And here in BettyConfidential’s own words. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

We must not allow ourselves to be completely defined by our relationships, by our point in space and time only relative to someone else’s point in space and time…

When I think of all the time I spent pursuing or worrying about being pursued or flirting with guys into pursuing me so I could immediately lose interest or having my heart broken or agonizing over relationships or wishing I was single when I wasn’t and wishing I was part of a “whole” when I wasn’t … aughhh!

That’s all I can say: Aughh.

And now, when I see my single friends, or my younger friends and sisters, and how much TIME and ENERGY they devote to their boyfriends, girlfriends or lack thereof … how many Facebook status updates have to do with their boyfriends, girlfriends or lack thereof … I want to tell them the same thing. Yes, of course relationships are important. Yes, of course you want to find love and happiness, yes, of course you want your boyfriend to fulfill some part of you and your girlfriend to call you back … BUT WHAT ELSE?

What else is important and meaningful in your life? What else fulfills you? How much do you love and respect yourself, as is, through only your eyes and no one else’s?…

And find a mate I eventually did – for life (I hope). I’ve grown up a lot, of course, as we tend to do. But when I became a mother and got married, I was still figuring out who I was. I never made time for myself to just BE. And it’s been a long, long road to finding some kind of comfortable place of being together with someone without completely merging into an identity of “us.” I’m happily married (though it’s not like a 24/7 state of peaceful bliss, right honey?)… but there’s more to me than my marriage; there’s more to my husband than our marriage – and that’s how it should be. It keeps our relationship stronger.

And if we ever did get divorced, which I don’t think we will, but if we did – I really hope that my whole sense of self would not disappear with that loss. I’m taking a good look at my life right now to make sure of it.”

I love this! I’ve learned this type of perspective/advice the hard way through heartache and serious inner reflection, which was both painful and eye-opening to experience. To value yourself is hard to remember and even more difficult to actually believe and live.

Let’s see it’s taken me 28 years to learn this lesson, but to be honest, it’s only been within the last year that I’ve truly learned it. To figure out what makes me happy, fulfills who I am as a person with or without anyone else in my life. A hard lesson, no doubt, but a very important one.

It’s also one of the reasons why if you’ve been following my blog, you saw a large gap of time where I wasn’t writing anything. I couldn’t. I did write in journals to try and process what I was going through, and I realized how much I enjoy writing. It’s a creative outlet. It’s a way to share my experiences with others.

And hopefully, we can all help each other learn and navigate our crazy lives because whatever we’re feeling, we’re not alone in feeling it.

True story.

Photo taken by me on the open road in Colorado

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