Tomorrow is my 37th birthday. Just saying that out loud causes my heart to skip for a moment. Thirty Seven. I feel like I have already lived a lifetime, yet there is so much more to be done. I still need to have children (yes, I know, I’m getting old. Don’t think I don’t hear this enough already). I only just moved to the place I know I’m supposed to grow my roots. I recently decided what I want to do for the rest of my life. But, today is the oldest I have ever been and the youngest I will ever be again. So with this birthday ~ which 37 isn’t really a milestone ~ I have thought about 37 things I will let go of. This list is one of my greatest accomplishments in writing. It’s been a work in progress for a few months, and it speaks so much truth. I wanted to share this list because I’ll bet there are a few things here you wouldn’t mind letting go of before your next birthday, too. Because life is too short to dwell on silly things.
If you can’t make it through this whole post (which you should, because it’s epic) then at least scroll to the bottom and check out my birthday song of the year – the ultimate song of letting things go. Or, check out these books I recommend!
Oh the baggage you can accumulate in 37 years. Some baggage is good, it defines who you are and helped you to become the person you are today. But some of that baggage (you know which ones) just needs to be left behind. Pack it up, ship it out. Don’t let it define who you are anymore and don’t try and let it ruin anything good for you from now on.
Eesh. This one is rough, because we all want to lie around in our pajamas and watch TV every day, right? Not you? Liar. This one might be hard for me especially now that I work from home. But I tend to thrive on a routine – once I get going. It’s the get going part I need to work on. Like that awesome routine of doing at least 20 minutes of a mild workout every morning. My cracking knees prove I started that routine. <—– (that’s sarcasm)
This one is tricky, because like I said before I feel like I have already lived a lifetime. But, I also tend to feel like I am stuck in limbo. I have all these goals and bucket lists of things I want to accomplish, and I have the bad habit of wanting to get them all done now. Before I moved to Oregon, I felt like I was stuck where I was and was never going to get here and I just wanted it to happen now. But I learned something these past few months. Slow down. Enjoy the journey. And trust that you are right where you are supposed to be in your life.
Further Reading ~ House of Muses: The Art of Slow
This one is a little funny, considering I just talked about not moving forward. But seriously, does anyone else feel like their glory days are over? Sometimes I reminisce about my year living in San Diego, or that time I lived with 3 guy roommates in a beautiful house by the beach. When I was young and single and hardly had any responsibilities (or so I thought). It’s fun to feel nostalgic, but not when it makes you think you are an old hag when you snap back into the present. There is so much more that is going to happen in your life, and so many more opportunities to fill your memory bank with good things. Don’t close the door just yet.
No one says you need to keep up with the Joneses. Or the Kardashians. You have no idea what kinds of struggles and triumphs people have gone through to get to where they are. And you don’t know what their life is like behind closed doors. Jealous of your neighbors beautiful boat and brand new car? Maybe he is swimming in mounds of debt. Stay true to what you want. No one else really matters and social status isn’t something I care to take with me when I die someday. Which kind of leads to…
You shouldn’t be trying to be better than anyone else, either. Just because that girl drives a 20 year old car and colors her own hair doesn’t mean she is unhappy. She may be in a better place then you emotionally and financially.
Further Reading ~ Seth Godin’s Blog: Differences
When you leave this earth, does your crap come with you? Hopefully not, otherwise that after life place is going to be crowded. There is such a thing as owning too much stuff, and the more cluttered your home is, the more stressed you actually might become. If you really don’t need it, and it doesn’t make your soul happy ~ why buy it? Spend your money on experiences and memories. Those are much more fun to take with you.
Is there a roof over your head? Do you get to eat enough? Do you have family and friends that love you? I think that’s enough to feel grateful. There are people in worse situations who find the silver lining in life. Wake up each morning and think of three things you are grateful for, and your day will take on a whole new meaning.
Worth Checking Out ~ Gratitude Journals
I will just leave you with this awesome quote by Tim Ferriss
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”
This is such a big one, because sometimes it is hard to accept the fact that something we want in our life is actually causing more harm than good. Whether it be a lover, a job, a co worker or even a nasty habit, if it brings more sadness or hurt than joy – find a way to get it out of your life. Well, the co worker one might be an issue. But find a way to avoid them or tell them to hit the road 🙂
Not caring what other people think of you is the best choice you will ever make. While I do think you should care a little about how the people who are important to think of you. You should be open to constructive criticism from your support circle every once in awhile, but don’t let that one outside naysayer get you down.
Further Reading ~ How Not To Care What People Think
Raise your hand if you are guilty of this at some point in your life. I would imagine everyone raised their hand, especially any ladies that dated someone who was just flat out nuts. For some reason we love to try and change people. See that bad boy over there who is a heartbreaker and full of issues? Send him over here, I’ll bet I can change him! But even now, as a married woman, I still find myself trying to quietly change my husband sometimes. He loves to leave EVERY door open when he is in the kitchen, and every light on in the house. I can either constantly huff and puff and whine about it – or I can just close the doors behind him 🙂 Because if the roles were reversed, I would not be too kind to someone trying to change my ways. I’m 37 – I am stuck in my ways at this point. If you fell in love with the person I was then, you can’t try and make me into something else later. Right?
Further Reading ~ Thought Catalog: You Can’t Change People
I mean, are you really? Is your life really that terrible? I am guessing most of you have it pretty good and you should spend your days enjoying it. And if you really are unhappy, well then I hope you find the courage to find you way back to your happiness. And remember, hard times often lead to greatness.
Worth Reading ~ The Happiness Project
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Although I try not to make excuses for everything – in fact I try to point out the excuses people are making when they are trying to avoid a positive change – there are a few times I find myself coming up with a reason for not completing something. (ahem. Like that morning workout routine. I blame trying to start a business with that one). Although sometimes excuses are excusable. Like telling your husband you’re having egg sandwiches for dinner because you got wrapped up in a TV marathon. Completely acceptable. I blame you, Parenthood.
Worth Checking Out ~ Parenthood, of course
When a problem arises, the worst thing you can do is bury it or run away from it. It will just fester like a boil <—-grossest metaphor ever. That is the biggest lesson I have learned lately, and I am still learning. Stare it straight in the face and own it. Take responsibility for it and find a way to fix it. Boils are gross.
Jealousy, Anger, Fear. Take control of your emotions before they take control of you.
Actions speak louder than words. Tell your loved ones you love them every day, and prove it.
Someone that conveniently ignores their own faults while pointing out someone else’s. Don’t be one. It’s always the ones with the dirty hands pointing the fingers.
Nothing in life is perfect. Even you. Embrace your quirkiness and let go of the idea that everything has to be perfect.
Further Reading ~ The Gratefulist: Letting Go Of Perfectionism
Sometimes you are quick to react to a situation and say something you don’t mean. Be careful with your words. Once they are said they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.
Be nice to everyone. You don’t necessarily know their story and you don’t know what kind of day they are having. Being unkind just spreads, and who wants to spread unkindness? If someone truly doesn’t deserve your kindness, ignore them or remove them.
It isn’t. But it’s worth it. You can’t go around thinking someone else got it better than you did, and that isn’t fair. Make good use of the life you have, because life is short.
Because why hold on to it? Letting go of your past is the first step to happiness.
Further Reading ~ The Little Book Of Letting Go
Hopefully this doesn’t offend anyone. Look at it with a sense of humor 🙂
Further Reading: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck
Because what is more toxic than watching fake people live fake lives. But in real life. Because their life is real, right? Cooking shows and HGTV are an exception. I’m looking at you, Bravo.
Worth Checking Out ~ Good Eats
If you don’t like something, change it. If there is any power you have, its the power to change anything in your life.
Love yourself and accept who you are. If someone asked you to name all the things you love, how long would it take for you to name yourself?
Related Post ~ Self Care & Loving Yourself
It’s never too late to do what you want to do.
For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again. ~ The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (NOT F. Scott Fitzgerald)
How can someone make you happy if you can’t do it yourself?
Keeping grudges and anger inside of you has no benefit whatsoever on your mind, body or soul. Remember, when you forgive – you heal. And when you let go – you grow.
Oh man. This is my worst habit. I will admit it, I have control issues. I feel like I need to control everything. I need to learn to let go. I need to learn to trust that everything is as it should be and everything will be fine if I let it go for a little while.
Further Reading: Losing Control, Finding Serenity
“One of the hardest things you will ever have to do, my dear, is grieve the loss of a person who is still alive.” ~ Unknown
I am so quick to react to something. Someone has an idea? I quickly say no, only to realize later it wasn’t a bad idea after all.
No explanation needed. Which leads to…
How about we just be healthy? You decide what your idea of healthy is.
Phew! I feel lighter already 🙂 I hope you enjoyed this epic list of things to let go and let me know if you have something to add!