Wednesday, March 15, 2017

On my 40th: My Top 10 Rules for Living

Today I turn 40. I am a rule maker and follower, a mantra lover, a quote sharer. Today I forced myself to whittle it down to share only my top 10 rules for living.

1. Never work on your birthday, even if it falls in the middle of the week. I don't care what's going on, take the day off and spend it doing exactly what you want. It doesn't have to be glamorous or exciting, just what you want to do. That can be nothing at all. But for me, doing exactly what I want to do always includes not working for someone.

2. Cultivate your mental toughness. Bad things will happen to you and around you. You can't fall apart at the drop of a hat.

3. Do not rely on others to make you happy or center you. Know how to get to those places yourself.

4. Work first, play later. You'll be more free in play because there's nothing left to get done. Along those lines, know the difference between "must do" and "bonus do."

5. Protect and nurture your circle. Not everyone is going to want, accept, or know how to receive your energy. We are not designed for everyone to like us. Don't get butt hurt over it and don't obsess about it. The people who don't get you don't matter. Make your emotional investment in the people who do get you. Those are your people. They are your family, regardless of blood relation.

6. Maintain an attitude of gratitude. Even when things are bad, there's always a silver lining. Find it even when you have to look hard.

7. Spend a little time outside every day. Get out of your own head.

8. Stand up for what you believe in even if people tell you to sit down or if it means you're standing alone. Live in accordance with your values, serve your conscience, make sure your integrity cannot be bought, and fuck what everyone else thinks.

9. Practice self-care, and not just when someone reminds you to. Putting everyone else before yourself is not noble or admirable. It's foolish. You're worth the time and effort. If you don't do it, you run out of gas and aren't any good to yourself or anyone else.

10. Go into situations with no expectations. If it's awesome, it'll be a bonus. If it sucks, you were prepared for that. Hope for the best, expect the worst. And whenever there's a worst, let that shit go.

My original 40th birthday plans included bumming around at the shore and being carefree and not wearing a huge down jacket. March storm Stelllllaaaaaa had other plans, so I'll roll with it. I can spend MFD's 40th birthday doing what I planned to do for mine. I can stretch this birthday celebration to September, right?

What else? Oh yes, beware the Ides of March, of course. Always.



42 comments:

  1. YOU'RE AWESOME. I hope one day we can meet in person. Happy Birthday!

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  2. Damn fine list, and you shine through it. Happy, happy birthday!

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  3. What a wonderful list!! You can totally stretch the birthday as long as you want! ;) Happy birthday to you!!! Hope you have a fantastic day!

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  4. So grateful the universe gave me you❣️Yes, celebrate 🎉 your birthday everyday❣️ Agree with all of your rules❣️ Love ❤️ you to infinity and beyond ❣️
    Love. Your. 🍀 lucky. Momma.

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  5. happy happy birthday!! my 30th was on a sunday, so i think i started a tradition of not working on my birthday in my 30s. haha. i will just take the next 9 birthdays off. or maybe all of them forever. because you're right. about everything - fabulous list! hope you have a fantastic day/year/decade.

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  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, friend! These are all great, but I think 2, 3, and 5 are my favorites. Things I'm currently learning. I hope you have the best day ever, and absolutely yes to stretching your celebration until September.

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  7. I'm a huge supporter of taking birthday day off, even when it isn't the most convenient! Love rule #5 as it's a reminder I always need. Happy birthday!

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  8. Happy Birthday!!!!! I need to start taking my birthday off. I don't know why I never do. Hope you have a great day!!!

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  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Welcome to the club! I do not typically take my birthday off because it is so close to Labor Day but this year it's a Friday so your rule #1 is going into effect and shall remain for the duration. This is a great list though, some I especially needed to hear today:)

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  10. I feel like it's 100% appropriate that you were born on the Ides of March. Not in a ominous way, but in a forced to be reckoned with kind of way :) Hope you have a perfect birthday doing whatever you want to do!!

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  11. Happy Birthday Steph! Yes to #1 and #8. I'm a firm believer in taking the day off on the day you were born, and moreso now than ever people need to fight for what they believe in- even if the rest of the world is against it. We all have a voice that deserves to be heard. :)

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  12. These are awesome. I love number 7 best -spend a little time outside every day. Get out of your own head. So important. Happy birthday!!!

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  13. Happy Birthday! This is all great advice! I've never EVER taken my birthday off work before (unless it fell on MLK Jr. Day and I had it off as a holiday). You better believe I'm taking mine off next year for sure! :) Hope your day is exactly how you want it to be!

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  14. I completely agree with taking your birthday off. Happy birthday! I hope it's fabulous!

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  15. Happy Birthday! I hope you're enjoying your day. Loving your 10 rules for living-- so many good things to absorb and remember!

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  16. My birthday is always the week between Christmas & New Years & I hate it because the people over me take off work - I HAVE to work to cover for them. I always say its the crappiest deal ever having to work on my birthday.
    I always love your view & rules for life... today & every day.
    Happy Birthday to you!

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  17. I love these rules! I never take off on my birthday but maybe I will from now on :) I see that you're enjoying your special day and you deserve it! :) Happy birthday!!!

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  18. Taking off on your birthday sounds like the perfect thing to do annually! What better way to spoil yourself?

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  19. Yes to all of these! Hope you are enjoying your birthday. Treat yourself!

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  20. Happy Birthday! Love the list and I am a big believer in taking your birthday off to do whatever makes you smile. I hope you smile BIG on your 40th!

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  21. i NEVER work on my birthday!

    have a great birthday!!

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  22. Happy Birthday! I've been reading your blog for a few months now, and your posts are really wonderful -- smart, funny, and wise. This list is just another stellar example.

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  23. For the third time--happy birthday!!! I remember being SO JEALOUS of you on your 21st and watching you and Behney go to the Balloon while the rest of us had to stay back.

    I love this list. Can't even pick a favorite number.

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  24. This one if my favorite: "9. Practice self-care, and not just when someone reminds you to. Putting everyone else before yourself is not noble or admirable. It's foolish. You're worth the time and effort. If you don't do it, you run out of gas and aren't any good to yourself or anyone else."

    I can't follow your #1 because we're not allowed to take vacation during the Texas legislative session...but I did take a long lunch ;)

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  25. These rules are so great! Happy Birthday!!

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  26. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Love all of these rules especially protecting your circle, and taking the day off on your birthday. The last place you should be on your special day is at work, and YES you should totally stretch the celebration to September ;-)

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  27. Such an awesome post! Wishing you a very very happy birthday!

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  28. Happy 40th, friend!!! I love your #1 and #9! Preach, preach!!

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  29. Great words of wisdom. I hope you had a stellar day.

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  30. These are the things we learn and don't practice enough. Thanks for the reminders!

    Happy Happy Birthday!

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  31. Happy Monumental Birthday! Amen to not working in your birthday, being responsible for your own happiness, and protecting your circle.

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  32. Glad to be validated in my belief of never working on your birthday. I think I started taking the day off back when I was a 14-year-old cashier, hah! Good lessons, all of these, and ones I can say I've seen you preach and live before. Makes this post even better to read! Happy belated birthday; hope your day was perfect.

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  33. This list is awesome. Happy birthday! 🎈🎂🎁🎉

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  34. All Hail Number 5, and I could really stand to learn Number 10 - I'm rotten at it.

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  35. So many incredible rules here, thanks for sharing. I think there are a lot of people who need to follow them :)!

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  36. Great level-headed tips! Some I need to work on but all these little things in life make a difference...I do love taking my birthday off to relax or travel. It's my day so I'll do what I want!

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  37. If only I'll be so wise in another 4.5 years. :-)
    So much wisdom here. Trying to pick my favorites here and I just can't! I will say that I agree wholeheartedly with (all of them, but especially) #1. I haven't worked on my birthday since... I'm gonna say 2004. It's the first week of August and is often (and will be this year for the 1st time with kids!) spent in San Diego during the (mostly) annual family beach vacay.

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  38. amen to every single one of these. happy birthday to you!! :)

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  39. You should totally stretch the celebration into September... because these are damn good rules to live by. :)

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  40. LOVE this - great rules - especially 8 & 9. Hope you had a great birthday! (PS I used to work for a company that gave you the day off on your birthday; loved that)

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  41. I think these are great rules! I always put myself first, because if I don't, who will? I should be just as important to me as anyone else in my life. Well, okay, probably Hawkeye comes first but I'm pretty close!
    I do work on my birthday though. But I think it's because the stuff I would like to do to celebrate (drinking to excess, what can I say, I'm still 21 inside) are weekend activities.

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