Thursday, October 31, 2013

40 Things in 40 Years

Happy Birthday Baloons
So tomorrow's the big day - I will be 40 years old.  Wow.  Typing that kind of reminds me of the first time I said out loud, "I'm pregnant," to the appointment-maker at the obstetrician's office.  She asked me if I was sure.  I told her I had 4 positive pregnancy tests.  She chuckled and said, "Bless your heart."

There was no denying the truth of those pregnancy tests (which were joyful, by the way), and there's no denying that a person born on November 1, 1973, will turn 40 years old on November 1, 2013.

In honor of this momentous occasion, I'm totally stealing an idea from my sister who wrote 35 things she had learned before her 35th birthday.  Here are 40 things I have learned in my first 40 years:

1.  Very few people - including myself - look best in light pastel colors.  Or mustard yellow.
2.  Hair color and wall paint are the two best kinds of therapy.
3.  Homestead Resort Tea Room Cream (at Lowe's) is the most awesome paint color.  It's one of those rare yellows that is cheery without being obnoxious.  (See #1 and #2).
4.  Weight Watchers.  "Because it works."  It's not fast or flashy, but it works - when I stick to it.
5.  Although I wish I could speed up my decision-making, I can't think of a single deliberated choice that I now regret.
6.  Proverbs 31 doesn't mean what we think it means.  This post has been revolutionary for me.
7.  Most adults who hate math developed that feeling at some point in elementary school.  I shudder to project the future effects of Common Core.
8.  I don't really love math.  It's just something that has always come easily for me - well, until graduate school, but that's a whole other post.
9.  I have decided to stop reading student evaluations.  It's always  lots and lots of "She's awesome!" followed by that one disgruntled "She's the worst teacher I've ever had!"  Guess which one sticks with me....
10.  Online learning is not for people who "don't have time" for regular classes.
11.  When in doubt, buy the one with the middle price.  The cheap one will fall apart.  The expensive one usually isn't worth the extra money.  One exception to this: toilet paper.  Never skimp on toilet paper.
12.  My bottle-fed babies were/are healthy and highly intelligent.  This is solely by the grace of God, not by the particular protein they consumed.  If you don't believe the Mommy Wars really exist, try mixing up a bottle of formula in a Moms Group.
13.  Garnier Age-Defying BB cream is great stuff.
14.  I love my crockpot.  In fact, I have two of them.
15.  My best crockpot tip: Cook up a bunch of chicken breasts all day or overnight, shred it up, and freeze in 1 cup portions.  Then you're ready for all sorts of other recipes.
16.  Jane Austen is awesome.  I have no idea how I failed to discover her writing until I was 33 years old.
17.  Sometimes it takes a Mr. Wickham to open our eyes to a Mr. Darcy.  (See #16.)  This certainly proved true in my life.
18.  I'm comfortable teaching a large group of people, and I'm comfortable being a wallflower.  Small groups are extremely challenging for me.
19.  Sleepovers are never fun after midnight.  Anyone who has ever attended a Lock-In or watched Gremlins knows this to be true.
20.  I much prefer to shop alone - or, on rare occasions, with my mother.  The same goes for cooking.
21.  The Bible really is living and active.  I'm still learning new things.  This is because the Author attends all of the readings.
22.  Only marry someone who is your best friend.  Romantic feelings will ebb and flow.  Marry someone whose company you prefer above all others'.
23.  I don't understand people who marry their opposites.
24.  I'm still trying to figure out what Biblical submission really looks like.  Neither extreme has worked out very well.  It's probably like Andy Stanley said about something else entirely (not a direct quote), "It's not a problem to be solved but a tension to be maintained."
25.  I still don't really feel like a grown woman.  However, I did come close one time.  It wasn't after I got married or after the births of my children.  It was the first time I put a garage door opener in my car after we bought our first house.  For some reason, in my mind, garage door opener = grown-up.
26.  One of the biggest challenges in homeschooling: pencils.  Mechanical leads constantly break.  Good sharpeners must be hiding out with the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot.
27.  The best parts of homeschooling: reading aloud to my children, hugs, individualized pacing, and field trips.
28.  Your identity - how others view you and you view yourself - will change multiple times.  Case in point: my childhood friends might be very surprised to know that the vast majority of my friends of the past few years don't even know that I can play the piano.  
29.  All people are basically the same, wherever you go.
30.  Wherever you go, there you are.  You can never expect a new location to fix all of your problems.
31.  Moving is ALWAYS a big ol' pain.
32.  It takes about a year to feel at home in a new town.  A new house takes about a month - at least.
33.  While others' opinions should often be considered, they're not as important as I used to think.
34.  Going contrary to your Mama's opinion does not get easier with age.
35.  Everyone should keep a gratitude journal.
36.  Football atmosphere is always better at an SEC school - even Vanderbilt.  I expected Georgia Tech games to feel like Auburn games.  I was wrong.  And the University of Washington is not even in the same league when it comes to fan enthusiasm.
37.  Facebook and texting are the best things ever for introverts.
38.  I'm so glad I was alive and cognizant during the 1980s.  Music, hairstyles, the President - all awesome.
39.  You will become like the people with whom you spend the most time.
40.  Never start a sentence to your husband with, "My mother thinks...."

So, what have you learned in your x years?  Agree or disagree with any of mine?  Anybody else got a "momentous" birthday coming up?

This post may be linked up to one or more of the following blog parties.  Check them out! Monday: Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie Wednesday: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family Friday: 5 Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama, Company Girl Coffee at Home Sanctuary, Pieces of Amy Other days: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


  1. Momentous birthday coming in Feb... May have to think of a list myself. ;)

  2. If you love that post by Jen Hatmaker, I strongly recommend reading Rachel Held Evans' book, "A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband "Master""


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