Hey. Apologies to anyone who has ever asked my age and has received a variety of numbers in the 30-range. I very rarely know my age (I don’t know; numbers have never meant things to me), so I’m forever counting back to 1983 and my math skills are fuzzy at best. But. I just used the calculator and I am, indeed, 31, as of yesterday. It’s a big one. So, in honor, a post dedicated to myself, from myself. (Wait, isn’t that what a blog is? Digression.):
Erin! You’re 31! Here are a handful of things you’re learning, in no particular order:
1. The first thing you read in the morning is the thing that sticks with you all day long. Make it good, make it count. (Make it be true and encouraging and full of light, and not the kind from the inbox on your fluorescent phone.)
2. Stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself. You read that last week, and you’ve tested the theory out a few times since and Erin, it is good. It is worthy. It is a secret of life. You’re a natural born encourager, but somewhere along the line, you’ve been forgetting to encourage yourself. Quit it. Shake those pom poms hard when the lies start to bubble up, and cheer for the race you’re running. Your head isn’t naturally prone to do it, so you’ll need to give it a megaphone. Stop listening to your gut and start telling your gut what to listen to. (Someone make a Pinterest poster for that one, OK?)
3. Three ingredients: dates, cocoa powder and almond butter. Stick it in a food processor, store it in the fridge, and you’ve made the most luxuriously decadent (semi-nutritious) brownie batter in town. Your daughter’s a pro at making it, too, so let her, even though it means finding almond butter on the underside of every kitchen stool and also in the dog bowl, linen closet and your left shoe(?).
4. Sugar makes you crazy. Keep working on that balance between indulging in life’s good – birthday cakes and homemade treats and Friday night wine menus – while accepting that you celebrate most days better with a clear head and calm heart. You’ll get there. Keep up the good work.
5. Related, but not exactly: restrictions work in your favor. You enjoy creating within boundaries, whether that means a set list of healthful ingredients to experiment with or a well-edited closet. When your love for new starts to feel itchy and big, remember this. You need very, very little. Learn to want very, very little, too.
6. In a world where we’re encouraged to empower ourselves – treating, pampering, rewarding – remember this: sacrifice is better. You have never regretted a moment where you served without resentment and offered yourself or your gifts for the good of others, simply for the good of others. Do not, do not ever forget this. It’s a pillar. Keep it close.
7. The way you live your life is not a value statement to others. It is not a standard to be declared. Continue to strive to live according to what you yourself know to be true and noble and good, and do not dilute this to please others, giving everyone involved a false sense of comfort and security and “connection.” Authenticity does not mean compromising your life to make it appear more relatable. (Preach, Pinterest poster x 2.)
8. Aioli anything. Always the best decision.
9. Keep music alive in your home. It uplifts spirits and lightens souls and reminds all of you that there is always – always – time and energy available for a kitchen dance party.
10. The wrinkles on your forehead will only deepen from here. Be grateful for what they symbolize – times of learning and growth and wisdom and perspective. There will be days you’ll want a cream to take them away, but on those days, read #2 and make a batch of #3 and turn on #9. Then run your finger deep along those lines and smile.
It’s going to be a great year, Erin. Onward.
p.s. Look! Reader Jensen made a Pinterest poster for us! Genius, Jensen. Thank you!