“Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain.”

This is a line from one of my favorite Dave Matthews Band songs, and it’s something I take to heart seriously, especially after losing my mom a few years ago to cancer.

Every single birthday is a reason to celebrate. No matter your age.

Your life can change in an instant. Anything can happen. Being alive (and healthy) is something worth celebrating in and of itself.

We get wiser, smarter and more comfortable in our own skin with every birthday.

For many of us, the pandemic helped us take stock of everything and redirect our lives. I was able to shift my career a bit, reprioritize my relationships and find deeper meaning in every aspect of my life.

Sometimes you don’t know why things are happening in your life or to you, but you have to believe that there’s a greater purpose for everything and what is meant for you will find you.

40th birthday

Here are some things I learned:

  • Be open to new opportunities even if you’re not ready for them – think of them as challenged that will enable you to grow
  • Don’t be afraid to show up on social media as your authentic self and build your personal brand
  • It’s okay that people come/go from your life – not everyone is meant to stay
  • You can’t change others, but you can change yourself
  • Keep your circle small – you don’t need a lot of friends you just need really good and loyal ones
  • Kindness is always the right answer
  • People will dislike you even though they have no reason to – don’t waste your time on them
  • Work on being a better person every day
  • Remove toxic people from your life and those who deliberately misunderstand you
  • You are not difficult to be around or to love, you are just with the wrong people
  • Go where you are appreciated and valued
  • Assume good intent with others unless proven otherwise
  • Reframe rejection as being redirected
  • Ask for what you want or you may not get it – don’t wait for opportunities to come to you
  • Never shrink yourself to be someone you’re not
  • Stop trying so hard in relationships where the other person isn’t reciprocating
  • If you don’t love and respect yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to
  • Always listen to your intuition and red flags
  • Sometimes you have to choose to be happy – it doesn’t always come easy
  • Learn to let go of the past, negative thoughts and trying to control the future
  • Trust the timing of your life
  • Find a creative outlet, writing is mine (can you tell?)
  • It’s okay to not be okay sometimes (but you will be okay)
  • Help others without expecting anything in return
  • Stop showing up for others who don’t show up for you – put your energy where it is valued

Happy birthday to all of my fellow Aries – this birthday was much better than the last few when we were on lockdown.

These are photos from my birthday party this weekend.

I rented out my favorite dive bar for a few hours and invited my close friends and family to do karaoke with me. It felt like the good old pre-pandemic times.

What are your favorite karaoke songs? Mine are Total Eclipse of the Heart and Careless Whisper.

Here’s to celebrating our birthdays at any age!