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Thursday, April 12, 2007

26 Lessons Learned

My 26th birthday has arrived, and so far, it's been a really fabulous day. I woke up this morning around 7 a.m. and was watching my daily dose of Good Morning America, when the phone rang. It was none other than that Diva Amanda, wishing me happy birthday. She told me that I should get out of bed and come to the door because I had visitors. Dragging my lazy bum out of bed, with slobber crusted on my cheek and hair a mess, I opened the door and I see Amanda and Emily standing there with their arms full of grocery bags: "we're here to make you chocolate chip pancakes for your birthday!"

I was ecstatic, not only about some chocolatey-carby-goodness, but that I have the best friends a girl could ever ask for. Seriously. Amanda and Em worked their magic in the kitchen. The pancakes were perfectly golden, and they didn't forget the fruit spread too! I love these girls so much!

Right now, I'm sitting at a cafe table at It's A Grind, drinking a very large Numi Berry Black hot tea, and blogging. I can't think of a lot of things in life that I'd rather be doing right now. I have some fun errands to run today, like a visit to Target, and I'm getting a spa pedicure, after a luncheon with Amanda today. It's going to be a really good day.

So, I said it last night, but this birthday is turning out to be one of the best I've ever had. I'm 26 years old, but for some reason, it's nowhere near as scary as turning 25 was for me last year. I do feel older, but in the sense that I'm wiser. The year of 25 taught me a lot about myself. So in honor of my 26th birthday, here are 26 lessons I learned (and still learning) from April 12, 2006 to April 12, 2007:

1) Assumptions lead to drama. Don't make them, and you won't have unmet expectations.

2) Extend grace to others in all circumstances.

3) For optimum mental, physical, and emotional health, set boundaries. Know when to say yes, when to say no, and when to be flexible.

4) Don't hit on your physician. You need him to fix any health problems you may have, not your lonely heart.

5) Keep your big mouth closed. Just try it!

6) Don't make bold proclamations unless you're willing to stick to your guns.

7) Yankees, or those north of the Mason-Dixon line, aren't so bad afterall. In fact, some of them are quite friendly.

8) It is important to establish new traditions for myself, and to appreciate my past traditions, even if I don't celebrate them the same anymore.

9) Don't kiss boys on the inner circle. To put it a little less eloquently, don't $#!% where you eat.

10) Know when you've jumped the shark. Take a bow and call it a day.

11) Maybe I'm more of a Democrat than I ever would've cared to admit.

12) Keeping up with the Joneses is exhausting.

13) My celebrity look-a-like is Mariah Carey. Totally and utterly embarrassing.

14) It's okay, and fulfilling, to do things alone.

15) Go to every concert that interests me, even if it means eating Ramen for a month. You will regret missing that artist or band. And you will always wish you went to just one more show at that place!

16) Forgiveness doesn't always need to be granted or accepted to be forgiven.

17) If I want a husband, I need to become ugly.

18) Dogs don't necessarily know how to swim, and cats don't necessarily know how to catch mice.

19) It's okay to want to be a full-time mommy. I used to think it was a weakness to be a 21st century woman, with a college degree and big aspirations, who quits her career to have dinner on the table as her husband walks in the door from a long day at work. I don't believe that anymore. I want my business card to say wife and mother, along with "career-girl-extraordinaire."

20) I am a fabulous chef.

21) Even though I can buy my own diamonds, I still want a man to buy me a big one someday.

22) It's okay if my parents know I consume alcoholic beverages, and that it's just not that big of a deal.

23) Carry a camera on my person at all times. You never know when you'll need to document the occasion or when a TAR moment presents itself.

24) Friends and friendships change. And that's okay.

25) I'm a damn good writer and I need to do something with my craft.

26) God is sovereign. My ways are not His ways. He has a plan for my life, and it's inconceivably amazing. His timing is perfect, and He is the Great Preparer of my life and Lover of my soul.


Blogger Kristen said...

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Mary Anna,
Happy Birthday to you!

4:06 PM

Blogger emmysue said...

Wow, those are great, Mary Anna!! They made me want to laugh and cry all at the same time. I'm so glad to have such a wonderful, wise friend - you rock my socks off! I can't wait to share a shish-kabob with you tonight!

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!

4:13 PM

Anonymous MC said...


10:22 PM

Blogger Amanda said...

Good reminders, MA- I am already looking forward to your 80th birthday and the 80 life lessons you will blog about!
I so enjoyed the pancake breakfast. They say it is better to give than receive, but I would counter that with it's better to give AND to receive- making the pancakes and eating them with you and Em made for a great start to my Thursday morning. Love you!

8:34 AM


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