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We celebrate birthdays in our family hard. They allow us to celebrate the people we adore in the most rambunctious ways. The anticipation of a birthday month is something I’ve enjoyed since I was so tiny. I love too, how it’s a natural way to press pause and reflect on all that’s passed us by. Here’s my list of things I’ve learned as my 42nd birthday approaches.
1. A rainbow isn’t actually an arc shape; it’s a full circle. This still makes my brain bend.
2. If you pinch out the growing tip in sweetpea plants, they’ll grow bushier and produce more flowers.
3. The more you pick a sweetpea’s flowers, the more flowers they’ll grow.
4. According to English Law, if you publish a book, any book, you have to legally deposit copies to the British Library. It’s a law that’s been in place since 1662.
5. These tanning drops give the most realistic-looking tan.
6. Trust your hunches.
7. Self-care is basically energy management.
8. There are 7 types of rest. This has helped me with self-care tremendously.
9. “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” – Virginia Satir
10. Camomile tea with a slice of lemon and a dollop of honey is delicious and soothes sore and croaky throats.
11. Confidence comes from doing what you once thought you could not do. Courage comes first.
12. Pretty much everything is sort-out-able.
13. When authors and writers register their works with ALCS, they receive payments for the UK Photocopying, scanning and the digital reuse of electronic and online publications. When they register their works with PLR, they receive payments when libraries lend their books.
14. ‘Love’ is a verb. We love not in words but in actions.
15. Two people can experience and recall the same event very differently. Perspective.
16. You’re never too old to go after the life you’d like. There was an 81-year-old on my university course, Jo Pavey won her first gold medal at 40, and Gladys Burrill completed the Honolulu marathon at 92 (she ran her first marathon aged 86).
17. Joy is often in the little things; playing table tennis, fresh-cut flowers, tickle fights, forehead kisses, handwritten notes, and wave-jumping.
18. We communicate more non-verbally than we do verbally.
19. Stress exacerbates hay fever by increasing histamine. Dom swears by this Organic Ashwagandha and Turmeric blend to help manage his hay fever.
20. The best advice you’ll ever receive is the advice you’d give to another in your situation.
22. Journalling is a mighty tool for processing emotions and for reflection and growth.
23. Singing songs at the top of your lungs is cathartic, even more so if singing along with others who are also singing at the top of their lungs.
24. Sunsets and sunrises are magical moments.
25. Experiences > things.
26. You owe it to yourself to live life as your you-est you.
27. Inspiration hits when you least expect it – probably when you’re in the shower, weeding the garden, or trying to nod off. It can’t be forced.
29. When an idea won’t leave you alone, pull at the threads. Something golden could come from it. Ideas are gifts.
30. Unexpressed gratitude is wasted. Share it. Make someone’s day.
31. Accept compliments with grace – they’re a gift.
33. It’s crucial that when you look ahead at what’s to come, there are things you look forward to with unbridled anticipation.
34. The people we write-off as ‘attention-seeking’ are usually ‘care-seeking’ or ‘connection-seeking’.
35. The healthiest relationships that stand the test of time have mutual give-and-take down to a fine art.
36. Life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes you can’t properly walk in.
37. Propagating plants is fun.
38. Asking people to provide you with a gift list before their birthdays or Christmas eliminates the stress of choosing gifts you’re not sure they’ll like.
39. Ruminating over yesterday ruins today.
40. Setting and honouring boundaries might be short-term pain but there’s a whopping long-term gain.
41. These two hot drinks ticks all the ‘coffee shop takeaway’ boxes:
42. I chose ‘joy’ as my guiding word for 2023 and was not disappointed. More intentional joy, always – you get more of what you focus on.
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