Tag: Birthdays

30 Things I’ve Learned in 30 Years

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”
― Robert Frost

Be kind.

But…be your own first line of defense. If something is bad for you–a person, a habit, a situation, too much sugar–learn to say “no…”

Because “no” is a complete sentence.

It’s fine not to have a five year plan.

It’s okay to ask for help.

Mistakes do not a failed project, career, or life make. Messing up is inevitable and a lot less soul-destroying than anxiety often makes it appear.

It’s really nice to be liked, but not everyone is going to like you. That’s okay. Find the ones who do like you that you like back and hang out regularly.

Likewise, figure out whose good opinion truly matters to you and whose doesn’t. Prioritize accordingly.

Style matters and it’s occasionally okay to focus on the superficial. Make up is fun!

I am allowed to change my mind about desires and goals. So are other people for that matter.

Working hard is not the same thing as working smart and the former is a straight, fast shot to burnout if sustained too long…

Meaning that vacations are important. Take them. Don’t be such an puritanically-descended American. 

Ambition is not unattractive in people in general and women in particular. People who think it is have their own issues to work through.

No one is required to justify their emotions to me, nor I to anyone else. Emotions are real and true to the person experiencing them and just because I cannot see what someone else is going through, that doesn’t unmake its reality to that person.

Fear, intimidation, or lack of experience are inadequate reasons to avoid trying new things.

Being appreciated is not the same thing as being valued.

Stereotypes are useless; I like Louboutins and medieval history. Everyone else is just as fractal.

There is no “one right way” to do anything and people who claim there is generally have a lot of secondary agendas. The job, expectations, family set up, priorities, or working style of another person will not work for me and mine. If I want to demand respect and space for how I choose to live, I must in turn give the exact same courtesy to absolutely everyone else. Like unto stereotypes, judgement of how other people choose to make it work is pretty useless.

Intentions matter vitally. Where harm is not intended but caused, be generous whenever possible (again remembering rule 2).

I am not required to suck up unpleasant circumstances or experiences, particularly where there is no eventual benefit to be had.

Some circumstances require speaking up, others shutting up.

Anger is a tool to power you to and through an action, it should not be a permanent state. If it is, it’s time to change something big in your life.

In most situations, the worst thing that can happen is that someone will tell me, “No.” This, while not usually welcome, is far from the end of the world, and is also insufficient reason to give up.

Never, ever cede your will, or conscience to another person or group. Ever.

Self care is not selfish.

Relationships, whether personal or professional, are the most important things at the end of the day. Ensure the ones that matter and bring you the most value and joy are cultivated.

It’s easy to want, it’s harder but more important to establish needs.

Opportunities are not a blink-and-you’ve-missed-it phenomenon, they show up constantly. It’s learning to identify them and which ones to take that’s the challenge.

Anyone or anything that asks you to make yourself smaller, quieter, or more convenient to them does not have your best interest at heart.

And finally, my motto, life is not an either/or kind of situation. One path now does not preclude other paths later.




Unlucky Indeed!

“This is always going to be a problem for us, you know.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well in June there’s your birthday, July our anniversary.  And then November is my birthday, followed by Christmas.”
“Oh my.  We did not time that well…”
-J. and C.

birt_127J.’s birthday is tomorrow, and oh the problems!  I ordered his present weeks ago, and after much angst that it wouldn’t come in time, I happily opened the mailbox yesterday to find it snuggled inside along with my mother’s christmas present (Poverty means that you have to buy presents in conjunction with paychecks.  The more people in your life, the more paychecks you have to start thinking ahead.  I have to think very far ahead).  I got it inside, past J.’s grabbing hands and demands of, “What did you get me?!” and snuck it into its hiding place, when an Awful Realization struck.

I think J. may already have what I got him.  Uh oh…

Never mind!  He’s under orders to appear absolutely thrilled in front of my in-laws and I will quietly exchange it later if it is in fact, as I fear, a double.

Another realization that struck me this past week, though not as awfully as the first, is that I am now in charge of J.’s birthday.  His last one we celebrated at his sister’s house complete with parents and four nieces and nephews (which I have now inherited) and it was definitely his parents’ show.  This year it’s my job.  Which meant a frantic scramble to call up Darling and my sister-in-law to coordinate a family get together.  Today I ordered the cake he wanted (thereby pushing Gio and Buddy’s presents to next paycheck’s shopping list.  I’m already behind!) and am I hoping haven’t forgotten anything else.

Also unlucky?  I’ve already run through my allotted Pandora minutes for the month.  Sigh.

Gifts That I Keep On Giving

“Advice is cheap, Ms. Molloy.  It’s the things that come gift wrapped that count!”
-Hello, Dolly!

Handmade be damned!  I buy holiday presents for people.  Reason the first: I am not in the least bit crafty, I prefer forming words to paper mache.  Reason the second: I like shopping way too much.

Too many presents!

Of course, the holidays get more and more expensive every year as a result, to say nothing of it being harder to come up with ideas.  My father, J. and Venice have birthdays this month, mere days apart.  In December, Fairy, Elle, and Buddy have birthdays all orbiting Christmas.  In addition to family and god-family this year, I now have in-laws to buy presents for!  Remember the panic I endured last year when I was only J.’s girlfriend?  Multiply that times siblings, nieces, nephews, and pets.  Gah!

Last year for J.’s birthday I got him tickets to an NBA game for his favorite team, in the lower half of the stadium.  Ergo, I was Girlfriend of the Year.  In retrospect, I completely shot myself in the foot because there is nowhere to go but down from there.  And even my Christmas presents last year were pretty good! 

How am I supposed to keep doing this for the next fifty to sixty years?!