Just got back from Sisterfest, my annual get-together with my three sisters. Usually we go to a day spa, but this year we went out for dinner at Saucy's in Streetsville. We invited my Dad to join us. (Yes, he has been granted honorary sister status in recognition of the fact that he turned 75 earlier this year.)
This year, Sisterfest roughly co-incided with my birthday, which falls today. Since I'm 41 today, I thought I'd make a list of 41 life lessons I've learned to date in honor of the occasion.
1. Life isn't fair. (I hate this one, by the way.)
3. Everything about business is personal
4. Work can be fun.
5. You have to invest in your friendships if you want those friendships to thrive. Friendships can only be backburnered for so long.
6. Parenting is physically exhausting when you have little kids and emotionally exhausting when you have big kids.
7. Parenting conflicts can put a bigger strain on a relationship than any of the other relationship hot-buttons.
8. It's hard to have time and money at the same time.
9. Your path is obvious if you allow yourself to listen to your intuition.
10. The more money you paid for a small appliance, the less likely it is to work. The same thing applies to the age of the appliance in question. (Older appliances work better than newer appliances.)
11. If you are open to new opportunities, new people will enter your life and doors will start swinging open for you.
12. You have unique gifts and experiences to share with the world. Dare to be you
13. Friday the 13th
doesn't have to be unlucky. Heck, I was born on a Friday the 13th!
14. It gets easier to rock the boat as you get a little older. You no longer worry about being thrown overboard by the captain of the ship for daring to speak your mind.
15. Standing up for what you believe in isn't optional. It's a necessary, soul-preserving activity.
16. Some of the problems that seem to be insurmountable at the time are all but forgotten a few weeks, months, or years later.
17. People will surprise you -- for better and for worse.
18. Becoming a parent means signing up for the ultimate rollercoaster ride. The highs are incredible, but the lows can be devastating.
19. The creative process is unpredictable. That's what makes it so exciting and (at times) so infuriating.
20. You don't have to know someone for a long-time to know that you and that person are soulmates. Sometimes there can be an instant meeting of the minds that tells you that you and this person are going to form a deep and lasting friendship.
21. It's important to do work that matters
. If you're an author who writes a book that you feel less than passionate about, you're shortchanging the universe. Not only did you give the world a less-than-inspired book: you deprived the world of the book that you should have written instead.
22. Computer programmes are becoming more sophisticated and less intuitive. What's wrong with this picture?
23. You can go on living when someone you love dies.
24. Speed can be addictive. Sometimes slow is better.
25. Sometimes you don't realize how fast you're moving or how hard you're working until you slow down or stop.
26. Parenting in real life is a lot tougher than parenting on TV.
27. You don't have to be perfect.
28. A lot of what passes for "reality" on TV is anything but real. We can all be grateful for this.
29. If life gives you lemons
, it's because the universe wants you to set up a lemonade stand, write a how-to book about lemonade making, or otherwise use your newly acquired lemonade-making skills to help other people.
30. While there was only one definition of cool back in high school, there are infinite definitions of coolness by the time you reach adulthood. This is why it's a lot easier to feel good about yourself when you're an adult than when you're a teenager. There are so many more places you can fall on the coolness spectrum -- including right off the edge.
31. Sometimes it's worth taking a day off to do something fun, frivolous, and non-urgent.
32. Self-explanatory is frequently an oxymoron.
33. There are too many books
published each year.
34. The pregnancy world is big on euphemisms. "You can expect to experience a slight burning sensation when your baby's head crowns." Give me a break!
35. One size doesn't always fit all (including those ridiculously small things that pass for towels in some hotels).
36. Your mileage may vary.
37. There is a Santa Claus.
38. The longevity of a TV show isn't always an indication of its quality.
39. Loyalty isn't always a two-way street.
40. Forty doesn't seem that old once you reach it.
41. It's important to make every day count. Dream big
, spend your time with people you like and respect, and work on projects that you truly believe in. If you're committed to making a difference on this planet, there's no time like the present to start living out that mission.