I’m 49 and wiser. This is what I’ve learned over the past year…

“Love of self is the reservoir for which all other love springs.” – Dawn Onley

Me on balcony in Cayman Islands

By Dawn Onley

I’m becoming more decisive.

This thought occurred to me the other day after I chose where I wanted my family to take me to celebrate my birthday. Ever the diplomat, usually I choose a place that I think everyone would love – even when it’s my birthday and the place wouldn’t otherwise be my first option.

Lately, however, I’m on a new path. I’m going after what I love. I’m investing in self-care and valuing my wants and needs. I’m choosing the things that give me joy.

I’m spending more time meditating, alone with my thoughts and measured breaths. I’m silencing the head noise and tuning in to my heart’s desire. I’m taking time out for myself – to just be.

This is what I do at the start of every year, and also around my birthday. I reflect and draw inward. I assess my journey over the past year. I consider the insights that I’ve gleaned and highlight the takeaways worth keeping to help guide me through the next year.

Below are some of the lessons that I’ve learned or recommitted to over the past year. Today begins a new trip around the sun for me. A new cycle. A new journey.

I thank God for the blessing of 49 years. It’s been a wonderful journey.

Happy Birthday to me!

  • I’ve learned that consistency is the only way to achieve results.
  • I’ve learned that I love a child’s curiosity.
  • I’ve learned that fear will no longer hold me captive.
  • I’ve learned that it’s better to live deeper than longer.
  • I’ve learned that my body will obey my mind.
  • I’m learning that success is magnetic: when it is achieved in one area of life, quite often it is unleashed in others.
  • I’ve learned that the story you need to write is the one you don’t want to tell.
  • I’ve learned that I’m hopelessly hopeful.
  • I’ve learned that if we feel “less than” we spend “more than.”
  • I’ve learned that I like people better if they’re funny.
  • I’m learning that Denver (Same Kind of Different as Me) was right: “The only things we keep forever are the things we give away.”
  • I’ve learned that Grace and Frankie are my girls.
  • I’ve learned that follow through is a game changer.
  • I’ve learned that everyone needs me, but I do, too.
  • I’ve learned that you can have a getaway right in your own home.
  • I’ve learned that I waste time doing things I really don’t want to do.
  • I’m learning to honor my time by honoring my true wishes.
  • I’ve learned to ask for what I want.
  • I’ve learned that I have an inner Juanita and I believe most women do.
  • I’ve learned that winter can be hot and summer can be cold inside the body of a middle-aged woman.
  • I’ve learned that people don’t tend to change.
  • I’ve learned that sharing a meal with a friend makes the food taste better.
  • I’ve learned to respect my feelings.
  • I’m learning to trust my intuition.
  • I’ve learned that the glass is overflowing with water and that I am thirsty.
  • I’ve learned to think more strategically.
  • I’ve learned that my best is good enough.
  • I’ve learned that it is impossible to love someone unconditionally if you don’t love yourself that way.
  • I’ve learned that if I utter out loud: “I’m not stressing about this,” I won’t.
  • I’ve learned that I’m pretty clutch when the game is on the line.
  • I’m learning to shoot my shot.
  • I’m realizing there are bountiful opportunities.
  • I’ve learned to eat more greens.
  • … and drink more water.
  • I’ve learned to trust myself more.
  • I’ve learned that a good book is nourishment.
  • I’ve learned that travel with loved ones is a balm.
  • I’ve learned that there are people who are willing to help if I am willing to ask.
  • I’ve learned how valuable it was to grow up with the wisdom of both grandmothers and how truly blessed I am.
  • I’ve learned that nothing I desire is unrealistic or unattainable.
  • I’ve learned that every day is important.
  • I’m learning just how amazing God is.
  • I’m realizing that I’m achieving my dreams.
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