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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June is for Birthdays...8 Lessons for 8 Candles

This is my birthday month. I have arrived safely into my forties and I am on the cusp of the "mid" 40's territory. But that's a year away, so let's celebrate 44!

My mom's cake still makes me smile, and unlike when I was a little girl, candles on my cake no longer represent my age...thank goodness.

I don't remember when exactly, but at some point, my mom transitioned candle counts to represent decades plus single years. Almost like today's Common Core bundling charts, my cake became a math problem as guests tried to figure out what was going on with the candle situation. 

So on Sunday, my cake will bear eight for each decade, plus one for each year in my fourth decade...eight in total if you're adding, and easier to extinguish than 44 of them set ablaze all at once. 

Rather than share 44 anything, I thought I would pick 8 gems that are true to me.  

1. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Do what makes you happy in a meaningful and responsible way. 

2. Make nutrition a priority. Fuel your body with high quality, nutritionally dense foods. And enjoy an occasional treat...we don't need them, but they sure are fun once in a while.

3. Make love. There are many paths to intimacy. Be connected and stay connected. Touch, listen, speak kindly, be patient, notice, love. 

4. Choose experiences over things. We all have gadgets and toys that make experiences more fun and memorable, but don't bury yourself with clothes, shoes, cookware, gadgets, or whatever your impulse buy happens to be. Or for every $ you spend on X, commit to an experience that connects to the stuff you're accumulating. 

5. Relationships matter. Everyone is busy; we get it. But we all have 24 hours. Make time for those who matter to you. It's a cliche, but it's true...people aren't around forever. And finally,  when you do have time, or you want the time with them yourself, it could be too late. If you're thinking about them, call. Extend an olive branch when you can. Life is too short for pride or hurt feelings. And if you're wrong, apologize, and do what you can to make it right. 

6. Spend time outside. Disconnect and look around. Notice the changes in the seasons. Notice how the trees look, how the air smells, how the grass feels. Notice what sounds you hear. 

7. Smile at people who cross your path. Maybe yours is the first smile that person sees that day...or the only one. Try not to generalize; we're all part of a larger group. But everyone has a story. Everyone is a person making his or her way through this life, and everyone has someone who loves him or her. Smiles break down barriers. 

8. Be grateful. We all have something for which we can be thankful every single day. Start and end your day in gratitude. Others are praying for what you already have. 

So those are my eight. There are more lessons. After all, 44 years yields quite a few teachable moments, but for today, this will suffice. I intend to keep learning with each day that passes and gratefully and humbly accept the blessings this year has to offer. 

What is the most important life lesson you have learned in your lifetime? Inspire me. 


  1. Happy birthday! Great words of wisdom. :)

  2. That our biggest mistake is believing we have time.

  3. Wonderful! Yay for June babies! I say we are the best!

  4. Happy Birthday! What a cute pic of you! I agree with all of your 8 especially be grateful. I try daily to remind myself of that. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  5. First time seeing your blog. Loved your post!

  6. Crystal BissonnetteJune 2, 2015 at 12:45 PM

    This was a wonderful read. I love all of them! We all need to remember each of these. Beautiful! My favorites were # 2,3,5 & 8.
    I have learned that we can achieve anything. My mantra is : Always Believe You Can.
    Happy Birthday!!! Mine is the 25th!

  7. Kathy @ SMART Living 365.comJune 2, 2015 at 1:13 PM

    Happy Brthday Kellie! I just celebrated mine a couple of weeks ago and because it's a big one (6-0) I am celebrating all year long! All your life tips are great reminders but NEVER forget it can just get better and better no matter what your age. ~Kathy

  8. Happy Birthday month. Number 7 is my favorite one. I think giving back is my most important lesson to others.

  9. Happy Birthday Kelly! Beautiful Post! As always, wishing you a spectacular celebration, cake and candles (common core style) and may every happy dream and wish in the year ahead all come true for YOU! Love and Hugs, Peggy

  10. Thank you, Peggy! Here's to this new trip around the sun. :-) Hugs and love to you too. Have a great weekend!

  11. Thank you! You are so good at it...truly an inspiration. Hope you're feeling better.

  12. Happy Birthday to you, Kathy! I love the idea of a year-long celebration. That's my kind of party. And you're so does get better every year. Cheers to us!

  13. Thank you, Crystal! Love that mantra. Believe it, achieve it! Happy Birthday to YOU!

  14. Welcome, Vee! I am so happy you're here. Happy Birthday to you too!

  15. Thank you, Carolann. Here's to this new trip around the sun. :-) Cheers to us both!

  16. Agreed, Rebecca! Here's to this new trip around the sun. :-) Cheers to us!

  17. Agreed, Carla...we have to make our moments count.