There’s something about thirty-five that seems… daunting.

To be perfectly honest, I was dreading hitting thirty-five for weeks leading up to my birthday. It’s the first birthday I’ve ever felt this way about. It’s definitely the first milestone birthday I didn’t look forward to.

When it was all said and done, though, my thirty-fifth birthday came and went much like every other day does. The baby woke me early. The dog needed a walk. F had hockey (which we admittedly didn’t attend because we had a conflict in our schedule). In fact, the day of my actual birthday was probably the day I had the least rest and relaxation in a week!

With the day I officially turned “old” squarely behind me and me now in the new age bracket for surveys, I feel as though all of the uneasiness I had about being thirty-five has washed away and instead, I’m filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned, the gifts I’ve received, and the life I’ve built so far.

Here’s 35 things I wish I’d known sooner:

  1. You’re never too old to laugh at a fart.
  2. If you don’t love it enough to wear it right now, leave it at the store.
  3. It’s exponentially better to have comfortable shoes than pretty ones (though props if you can combine the two).
  4. I’m not the mom I thought I would be and I’m glad for it.
  5. The kitchen never really stays clean and tidy for more than five minutes.
  6. Laughter isn’t always the best medicine but it’s usually an OK bandaid.
  7. It’s OK to cry.
  8. I would rather have a bubble bath every night than go to a fancy spa.
  9. Sleep should always be the number one priority.
  10. Exercise is not required for permission to eat food.
  11. Exercise is not a punishment for eating food.
  12. Clothing sizes make absolutely zero sense.
  13. Don’t get constipated.
  14. I probably need another glass of water.
  15. Try something that scares you a little as often as possible.
  16. A good hug can heal a lot.
  17. Always keep a stash of cards for every occasion handy.
  18. I love watching someone open a gift I’ve given them more than opening gifts myself.
  19. I don’t have to be everything to everyone. In fact, I cannot be.
  20. It’s OK to ask for help.
  21. No one has a fucking clue what they’re doing.
  22. Being a grown up is much less cool than anticipated at age seven.
  23. You’re never done vacuuming.
  24. Adulthood is basically just laundry.
  25. I am immensely privileged and have an obligation to recognize it and learn from others’ perspectives.
  26. One dog is enough dogs. (Don’t @ me)
  27. The best friends don’t keep receipts.
  28. Just get in the damn picture.
  29. No one is a tougher critic than we are of ourselves.
  30. One should absolutely always take advantage of the opportunity to be ridiculous at every turn.
  31. Hugs are very underrated.
  32. Tell everyone you love that you love them, often.
  33. Be yourself, unapologetically.
  34. Don’t say you’re sorry unless you mean it. Don’t say anything unless you mean it, actually.
  35. We could all be a little nicer to ourselves.

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