I jokingly thought about titling this post, “33 and still single” (haha). If that reference is lost on you, check out the original post (32 and single) from a few months back.
Instead, on this beautiful day of my birth (thanks mom!), I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve learned in my 33 years on this earth. Although, being that I don’t really remember much from those first few years, the list is a bit shy of 33 lessons. That, and I just couldn’t think of anymore. At any rate, here it goes…
- Always, always be kind to your servers and bartenders and tip them generously, especially when on a date. One, because they handle your food and drinks (think about it), and two, because they work damn hard and have enough assholes to deal with, so don’t be one of them. Yes, I used to be a server (for 15 years!). Have I ever tampered with a meal? No comment. And to those few guys that I’ve been on a date with who didn’t tip well: yes, I noticed; yes, I went back to tip more; and yes, that is why there was no second date.
- Asking for something politely will always serve you more than making superior demands. Like that time I went to Mexico with a bum knee and sweetly asked for a bag of ice from the flight attendant which then led to having a wheelchair and attendant waiting for me upon arrival who zipped me though the Cancun airport, assisted with my luggage and whisked me right through customs. Tipping helps, too.
- Owning up to your mistakes does not make you weak or inferior; it makes you human and people will respect you more for it.
- Standing up for what is right will never be wrong. I was once fired from a restaurant job because I stood up for my coworkers who were being mistreated. Years later, one of those coworkers ended up suing the company and winning.
- Karma is a bitch (see lesson number 4).
- Doing thoughtful things for others really does make you feel good.
- On that same token, if you’re having a shitty day, pay someone a sincere compliment. I guarantee when you see their face light up it will in turn lift your spirits, too.
- “Well, that was a waste of time,” said nobody ever after a workout. No matter how tired I am or how badly I want to stay in bed when my alarm goes off at 5am (ick, I know), I always feel better and ready to tackle the day when I’ve started it with exercise.
- And along those same lines, taking time for you, no matter how busy you are, is so unbelievably important. Whether it’s going for a walk around the park, getting a pedicure, taking a yoga class or just sitting in silence—we need that time to rejuvenate and are better [partners, lovers, mothers, fathers, employees, bosses, friends….] for it.
- Quality should always trump quantity. This is true for friends, shoes, jeans, working out, wine (although I’ll never turn down a large quantity of quality wine—wink, wink), projects at work, etc. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize that I’d rather be really good at a few things than mediocre at several.
- You’re never too old to need a hug from your mom.
- Crying is cathartic and totally normal.
- Unless you’re incessantly blubbering (aka: ugly crying) like Ashley I. from Bachelor in Paradise. That’s just obnoxious (and embarrassing).
- Facing your fears is scary as fuck, but totally worth it.
- Change is good.
- But so is being content with who and where you are in life.
- An apology can go a long way, especially when you actually mean it.
- Holding a grudge takes a hell of a lot more energy than coming to terms with the past and deciding to just let go.
- A solid skincare routine is clutch once you hit your thirties. As is Botox. Yep, you read that right. I’ve been doing both for a few years now and considering how little sleep I actually get (#insomniacproblems), I swear by the combination of the two to make me look less resting bitch face and more wide-eyed and bushy tailed. But not too wide-eyed, like this (haha). I’m all about the natural, not frozen look. If you’re local to Sacramento, I highly recommend Val Yager of Glow Esthetics & Spa Therapies for your facials, waxes and other skincare needs and Shawna Chrisman of Destination Aesthetics for the Botox. Both women are incredible at what they do.
- And speaking of lessons in beauty—two words: silk. pillowcase. I recently bought this one and love it! Sleeping on a silk pillowcase works wonders for smoothing your hair (ba-bye frizzies) and unlike its cotton counterpart, which absorbs moisture from your skin, silk actually helps your skin retain it. Considering the amount of time (and money) I now dedicate to my beauty routine, I’ll take all the help I can get to ensure I receive max benefits while I sleep. And FYI, based on my research, 100% mulberry silk (at least 19mm) is apparently the way to go!
- Realizing that when things don’t work out how you planned it’s usually for the best. Like when I was in third grade and wanted to join the wrestling team, but couldn’t because I was the only girl. At the time, disappointing; in hind sight, thank god! There was an outbreak of ringworm shortly after…gross.
- Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely.
- When I’m stressed or in a funk I sometimes sing (in a Broadway show tunes type of voice) about my problems. Does it solve them? No; of course not. But it’s so silly and ridiculous that it makes me giggle and suddenly things don’t seem so dire. So the next time you see me driving down the street, know that my wave might actually be jazz hands (haha). Also, this could be why I’m alone (refer to number 22).
- Hangovers are the absolute worst when you get older. A hangover at 21: sleep until noon and wake up feeling refreshed. A hangover at 33: wake up a 6am (because your internal clock hates you), think you’re fine, then get out of bed only to be hit with a wave of nausea, a pounding headache and the feeling throughout your entire body that can only be described as what it must be like to be run over by a bus. Twice. Oh, and you basically feel like some version of this hell for three days after the fact. Yep. And that, my friends, is why I drink wine!
- Lastly, and quite possibly the most valuable lesson of all, I’ve realized the importance of listening to my gut. Instincts are an incredible attribute that we often overlook or dismiss as nonsense. When I look back on my life I am amazed at all the lessons I have learned—so many beyond what I’ve listed above—and absolutely wouldn’t change a thing. I find strength in that reflection, especially those moments where, at the time, I may have grappled with what to do, but in hindsight, I realize I knew all along. Intuition is a powerful tool and one I find myself relying on more and more each year.
Cheers to getting older, growing wiser and to Botox for easing the external process!
– S A D Y E E V Y N R E I S H