Reflecting on 31
Above: A slice of red velvet cake (my favorite kind of cake)
2011 has been an exciting, transformational year for me, to say the least. In July, we became parents when our sweet little boy Brendan joined us, making us a party of 5 including our canine kids Nickey and Snowball. You could say this has been the Year of Brendan.
As I turn 31 today, here are a few life lessons I’ve learned over the past year:
- An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. My favorite quote and something I try to live by. Life is far too short to be merely thinking about doing things. Just do it.
- Invest time in your relationships - personal and professional. Even something as simple as a “hey how’s it going” email or phone call, or meet up for coffee. It’s the little things that matter. "It doesn’t matter what you say about someone once they’re gone. What matters is how you treat them when they’re still here." So true. (Bonus points to anyone who can identify that quote)
- Have an opinion and make yourself heard. It doesn’t matter if you’re wrong or if people disagree with you. On a related note, don’t be afraid to be direct and say what you really think.
- Be efficient. Get the most out of doing the least. This is an absolute MUST for me when time is so precious everyday. For example, rather than washing the dishes, I’ve been using the dishwasher a lot more. I haven’t had time to make something for holiday potlucks this season, so I’ve resorted to buying dishes. I’m still learning how optimize my time, but multi-tasking is definitely key.
- Always be learning. Every moment is an opportunity to learn something, especially when you meet new people. That’s one of the great things about my job - having conversations with so many amazing people and learning something new everyday. To quote Steve Jobs, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
- You ARE in control. Stress happens when you feel powerless. The best way to relieve this? Intervene and take control. Make decisions. You’ll be surprised at how much this helps.
- Take care of yourself. It’s easy to let everyday go by and forget about yourself. Life is so busy with work, errands, kids, etc. I’m certainly guilty of this. But don’t forget to slow down and do something for yourself. Ideally do something everyday that makes you happy, even if it’s something small - take a walk, grab coffee from your favorite cafe, read a magazine leisurely, whatever. Maintain your mind-body health. After all, your health is your greatest wealth.
Here’s to an eventful, wonderful, fun-filled 2012!