I thought it would be fun to capture my first forty years. I have accomplished a lot in forty years so I am not at all upset to be forty. I am living life as I had planned. I am grateful for each day in fact I am grateful for each moment because some do not have another day or moment. I learned how to walk, talk, jump, dance, teach, and cook. I learned how to be less selfish and to be a good friend. I learned how to work and go to school. I learned how to set a goal and accomplish it. I learned how to organize and execute plans. I learned how to create businesses and work with people who I wouldn’t associate with outside the workplace. I learned to listen more and talk less (while listening not in general). I learned how to not only be comfortable in my own skin but to love every inch, nicks, dimples, sags, and marks included.
I learned to go without sleep to make sure my children got theirs. I learn how to take care of children and a husband and be a friend to both. I learned to be a true partner and strong support system even when it wasn’t what I wanted. I learned to comfort, hold, and motivate even when my voice became quiet. I learned to look for peace over winning. I learned to smile and be positive even when things weren’t worth smiling over. I learned that positive thoughts produced positive outcomes. That personal timeouts should not only be put on the schedule daily but are needed when your mouth is moving faster than your brain. It is smarter to walk away then say something you will regret.
I learned that love has no limits and that sometimes people aren’t “lovable” but that is when you need to love them the most. I learned that being a wife is the hardest job you will ever have even when you married the perfect person. I learned that being an example is less fun then being part of the problem. I learned that holding hands and looking in someones eyes is harder then doing what you want. I learned that trust is earned and constantly kept. I know that a persons word is all they have so honesty is the best policy about everything except the number of shoes you own.
I do however admit to lying to my children to foster their imagination and because some days I really do like one more than the other. I love them all the same and it is startling how much you can love your kids. How your heart breaks when they cry except when it is in a self serving “on the floor rage” over something ridiculous. (This usually occurs in public with tons of strangers watching) I learned when this does happen let them know what behavior you expect and move away from them. They will follow you and flail in the aisles and you will continue to redirect and move on. I know that the process of this sucks but eventually they will stop, apologize, and go to time out because you will need them to be away from you so you can grab a glass of wine or in my case your phone so you can call a friend that understands what happened and will remind you that hers “do this too.”
I understand how hard my parents worked and what they gave up and gave to help me be the person I am. I now know the struggle and joy that comes from unselfish love. I adore my parents and I will admit to being a lot like them. I am also grateful for my sister who is my best friend and I look forward to seeing her and her family all year long.
I have learned there isn’t perfection and that loving your imperfect self is the most important thing you can teach your children. I understand that the value you place on yourself is imperative to the rest of the machine running. I know that following your dreams even when they take you to Thailand is as important as saying to your children dare to dream and then accomplish that dream. I know that showing love and telling you love someone something you should do often.
I know that choosing the right friends and letting go of the wrong ones is the best gift you can give yourself. I have hundreds of friends some I haven’t seen in years but they know I am a phone call or text away. I know one of the best decisions I ever made was to join a sorority because those ladies truly taught me about diversity, strength, sisterhood, and girl power. I can’t imagine my life without my Alpha XI Delta sisters. They are truly everything woman should be.
I know that education (Go Gators) is something that you should continue your whole life. You should continue to learn new things daily by asking questions of others and taking classes. I am not shy nor will I be when asking of others to learn more. You should not be afraid to question or tackle hard issues. I believe if you have time to complain you have to time to find a resolution.
I know a good book a great work out and a nice walk will make all the difference. I know that cupcakes, convertibles, cuddles, and children make me happy and cleaning doesn’t (Hey, I married a man that loves that www.menclean.com). Do not take yourself to seriously because life is about having fun!
I know that finding gifts in others and helping them realize them makes me happy. I know that giving over receiving brings me joy. I do love to dress people it is so much fun to have them see themselves as I see them. Special. I know that being someones cheerleader, honest friend, trusted advisor, and the person you can call for help no matter what is just as important as needing that person (people) in your life. I believe that helping people realize their dreams should be part of your own reality. I believe my gift is to connect people and enable them to believe. Yes, I run, own, live the site the giver of good advice and I truly am the real advice gal. I am okay with that and I enjoy helping people. I have learned so much through your journeys that have enabled me in mine.
I believe one person can change the world. I believe we are all that one person.
Oh… and if someone gives you a crown wear it!
Amee, Mom, Babe, Wife, cook, baker, phototaker, mircacle maker, mover and shaker (80’s music or country)……….. giver of advice