Two Birthday Letters

On a separate blog I share with my sister, we both wrote a Birthday Post… and I’ve copied them here for you!

From Shanny

On this, the eve of our 35th birthday, while I sit here sipping a peppermint & white chocolate tea, I wanted to remind our future selves of some of the lessons we’ve learned in the past 34 years.

Things will always work themselves out, whether you can visualize it at the moment or not.  Just take a step back, breathe, do nothing and wait.  Wait and watch for direction.  It’ll come.

You’ll never be given more than you can handle and you can always handle more than you think you can.

The greatest pleasures in life are simple.  Quiet.  Spontaneous.  Brief.  They are there in the everyday; in a cup of tea or a walk in the sun, in a good book or a soft kiss.  Notice them, they are what make your life special.

The more you focus on the negative, the more the negative will focus on you.  Be wary of getting sucked into gossip or venting.  If the world is handing you rusty nails every day, ask yourself who the common denominator is and then change your attitude.  You’ll be amazed how much better it can get when nothing actually changes.

Ask for help when you need it.  Don’t try to save the world just so you can say you did it all by yourself.  No one is impressed by that, people actually want to help you.

Remember that everything changes. Don’t get complacent and don’t take anything for granted.  Tragedy or joy can strike at a moment’s notice.

Get some exercise.  Take your vitamins.  Eat real food.  Enjoy the occasional treat.

Be skeptical of things that sound too good to be true, chances are, someone is preying on you.  Nothing is free and nobody gives anything away for nothing.

Save money.  You will need it down the road.

Get your hair cut, do your nails, wax your whatevers.  It feels good to look good and you work hard and enjoy a little pampering.  A bit of the money you save above can sometimes buy you a little relaxation if you find yourself overly put upon!

Sometimes you don’t need to cook a full meal, you won’t die.  If you’re maxed or stressed or tired or pressed for time, eat an apple and a hard-boiled egg and move along.

If you’re tired, go to bed.  But remember that bed is for rest and sleep and recharging.  It is not a place to hide from life or coddle your sorrows.  Get up.  Get dressed.  Get outside.

Life happens outside.  Flocks of birds overhead, spring flowers, fresh air, softly falling snow.  Fallen leaves and cut grass and growing trees.  We were meant to live outside so get out there and experience the joy of being a living, breathing part of what God created.

Speak kindly to yourself because if you don’t, others won’t.  The way you treat yourself is how others will learn to treat you.  Stand up for yourself and your values and beliefs. 

Never sacrifice your own happiness or comfort for someone else’s.  In a good relationship, romantic or friend, your needs are just as important as theirs.

I’m sure there are many other lessons we’ve learned over the years, these are the ones that I think are some of the most valuable for living a healthy, balanced life.  Feel free to share any of your life lessons in the comments.

Here’s to another 35 years of learning, growing, failing and trying again!  I love you, Sister!

And here’s mine:

Here on the eve of my 35th birthday, I can’t help but think back to the years that came before to get me to where I am. I won’t go into the details of all that went on prior… but I will tell you what my reminiscing has made me thankful for and just how happy I am! 

I’ve said for months now that this is the first birthday in as long as I can remember (or choose to remember) that I am genuinely happy.  I feel good about my mind and my soul and my body took the hint that we are in a good place and I’m happy with where it is too!

I am happy that I can declare in my outside voice that tomorrow is my birthday and that I am 35! I have no hangup about telling people my real age, because I earned every damn year! 

And I know that I wouldn’t be half as happy as I am without knowing that my sister… the other half of my soul is also in a great place! 

We have never really been on converging paths of light and happiness in our adulthood.  We’ve gone so far as to wonder separately if it’s even possible for the two of us to be happy and healthy at the same time, or if that would be some sort of affront to the universe.  We can both say without a shadow of a doubt that it is not only possible but it is reality for us this year and for both of our futures going forward. 

I am thankful for the true blessing that only another twin can understand.  I never have to go through anything in my life alone and while that means that the hard times are less difficult, it also means that the times for celebration are twice as wonderful and twice as filled with joy.  And that means that turning 35 is twice as sweet as it would normally be.  Because I get to celebrate for me and the added joy of celebrating for her! 

Happy birthday Sister!  I love you!

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35 Things before I’m 35

My 35th birthday is coming up on December 18th.  That’s 71 days from now.  It would have been much better if it was 70 days because then that would have been 35 x 2, but I’m not that anal retentive about stuff like that… (or at least I pretend not to be).

This birthday will perhaps be the first birthday in many years which I approach from a good place in my life.  I am happy, I am healthy and I am calm.  It’s not a fluke that I am approaching my birthday with these feelings, it’s a product of a lot of hard work, both mentally and physically.  It’s a product of having people in my life that are supportive and loving and encouraging.  It’s a product of removing from my life people who are NOT supportive, loving or encouraging.

The last birthday that I remember being happy for was in 2005.  That’s 8 years ago.

To celebrate and to hopefully enhance the feelings of happiness and joy in my life, I’ve made a list of things I’d like to achieve in the next 71 days.  It’s kind of an offshoot of the Journey Plan I do every year, so some things will be the same… and then there are fun new things. I realize that usually people make these types of lists years before milestone-esqe birthdays, but I had other things on my mind in the last few years… So I’m making a modified, achievable version… altho not without some challenges! 

Mail 35 postcards/greeting cards/post it notes to friends and family

Get a ‘makeup makeover’ at MAC

Run 60 miles

Finish reading a book (any book will do!)

Be the subject of a photo shoot

Get a facial

Write another Future Me letter

Get two massages

Write a thank you letter to three people who helped me out of my dark time and into the light

Dial down the potty mouth (that’ll be hard to measure…how DO you measure that?)

Take out the compost weekly

Go on Snowshoeing adventure

Plan the continuation of my tattoo

Take a bubble bath once a week

Make two skirts

Reconnect with an old friend… I’ve got a few candidates in mind

Fill out daily postcards

Join ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ and then write love letters

Shoot guns

Play in the studio

Knit a pair of mitts

Do one Whole30 (at minimum… keep going for as long as you can)

Get a haircut

Drink at least 30 oz of water at work and 30 oz of water at home.  Per day.

Wear jewellery every day

Get a manicure 

*UPDATED ITEM*  Do the ‘Plank Challenge’ and be able to plank for 8 min by Dec 18th

Okay… this is 26.  I have 9 more spaces, so if you have any suggestions, bring them on!