32 from 32

32 Lessons from 32 Years

This week I celebrated my 32nd birthday. And when I was 18, man, that would have been old. But now that I’m here? Not so much.

In lots of ways, the past year has felt like a game-changer and I wanted to share 32 of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt over the past 12 months.

(In no particular order.)

  1. There really is beauty in the tiniest of things, if you take the time to look for it.
  2. Don’t use an apology as a search for validation. It’s the same as fishing for a compliment, and while we all do it, it makes us feel unworthy.
  3. You’re not, and never will be, everything to everyone – so stop trying and focus on those close to you instead.
  4. Take time to create priorities your life – write them down, talk about them, commit to them – and then act accordingly. It makes a lot of choices much, much simpler.
  5. Physical exercise is vital to my mental health. Even a 15-minute walk is enough to help scare away the black dog that still lurks around here sometimes.
  6. Travelling with kids is challenging but so worthwhile – they bring a whole new depth to your experiences.
  7. It is possible to stop eating Nutella!
  8. Learn from someone else’s strengths. I look at Ben’s ability to celebrate the little wins with a fist pump and I try to adopt it myself.
  9. What I eat has a direct impact on how I feel, both mentally and physically.
  10. I have never regretted a single thing I have given away or decluttered.
  11. Peppermint tea is the best cure for a hangover.
  12. Accept that a new project might not work – and that is perfectly OK. Do it anyway.
  13. They were right when they said, “One day you will pray for time to slow down.” Our kids are growing so fast, some days I just want to stop the clock and soak them up, just as they are.
  14. There is no substitute for a quiet day of movies and popcorn at home when everyone is feeling strung out.
  15. Having something to look forward to is important.
  16. Talk to your kids from a young age about people’s differences.
  17. Exercise your forgiveness muscle whenever possible, with others and yourself.
  18. Indulgence is different to a habit so try not to get the two confused.
  19. Trying new things is, and should be, exhilarating.
  20. I always dreamed of running but never thought I’d have the fitness to do much of it. Turns out I can. And I love it.
  21. Stretching for five minutes every single day has seen my flexibility return and my back and neck pain almost disappear.
  22. It’s OK to feel hungry sometimes. We’re not meant to feel full constantly.
  23. That thing your kids do that’s driving you mad? It really is a phase. Maybe a long phase, but still a phase.
  24. Reading on my iPhone or iPad in bed makes it harder for me to get to sleep. A real book is where it’s at.
  25. It feels really good to just laugh with Ben and our kids.
  26. The Walking Dead is still my all-time favourite TV show.
  27. Time spent in comparison with others it wasted time.
  28. Honestly, people don’t think about you (or me) nearly as much as we fear. They’re too engrossed in their own thing.
  29. As taxing as I find it, getting out and meeting new people really has been food for my soul.
  30. Saying yes to things that terrify me (like speaking on stage) has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
  31. Becoming part of our community is something I resisted for a long time, mostly from fear and anxiety. Getting involved has been so rewarding.
  32. Above all, there is love.

32 Lessons from 32 Years

9 Responses to 32 from 32

  1. LOL, I always assumed you were OLDER than me, Brooke (mostly because you are such a successful blogger/writer)! You’ve gained a lot of wisdom in your years. ;-)

    I like #2, #5, #27, #28, and #29. I started to write posts about each of the lessons from my birthday post. I would love to hear YOUR stories.

    Happy b-day!

  2. Love it. Awesome list!! Happy b’day. I am going to turn 42 this year. Each year/decade brings more wisdom :)

  3. #23! Can’t tell you how many times I have said that to young parents! Even parents of teens! Great list!
    And Happy Birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday Brooke!
    I turned 32 last week too! So much of your writing strikes a chord with me. I too have a black dog following me, and you really inspire me to rise above it. Thank you… xo

  5. Love your list! I wish I knew those things when I turned 32. Now, 5 years later, I am beginning to learn all that stuff.
    Regarding reading in bed with an iPad: the blue light from the screen keeps you awake. Real books are better, or you could try an eInk-reader. For those you still need a light source, so it’s similar to real books. But it’s not that heavy, easier to hold, and you have all your books on one device. I have a tablet pc and love it, but for reading I prefer my Kobo reader.
    Happy Birthday!

  6. Great list!
    Look at your sweet little munchkins.
    #7 I just don’t but Nutella anymore (as I would eat the whole jar!)
    #11 Peppermint tea? Must remember that one.
    #17 Could do better on this one. A lot better.
    #13 you are sooooo right there.
    #29#30 #31, those things can be really hard to do. You are an inspiration.