It seems like 22 passed by in the blink of an eye. Now I’m 23 and I’m going to try my best to truly appreciate it. I spent my birthday (December 30th) with family surrounded by a fire followed by an amazing homemade meal. It’s been years since I’ve spent a birthday in Florida, nonetheless with a home cooked meal rather than a fancy restaurant. And I will say this was one of my favorite birthdays yet, no stuffy restaurant or fancy gifts can replace the warm feeling of being with family and just enjoying each others company in 40 degree weather.
Although 23 is still young, I have learned a lot in the past few years. I’ve written down 13 thoughts on turning 23 in my journal and now I want to share them with you.
1. Sleep, sleep, sleep – I’m not the kind of the person that can function on 7 or less hours of sleep. I need 8 or more, sometimes even 9. I’ve come to realize that I’m incredibly moody and sassy when I don’t get my sleep. The college days of going to bed at midnight and waking up at 7AM for work are over. This girl is now in bed by 9:30PM!
2. I read labels before washing/drying – I’m so glad I shrunk all my clothes back when I was in college. Had I done that now with my boyfriend’s clothes and somewhat expensive clothes, I’d probably have a meltdown every time I did laundry. I never realize the importance of reading your labels until recently.
3. Coffee isn’t always the answer – I’ve always gone straight to coffee on days where I felt lazy, fatigued and anxious, but honestly that was a terrible idea. Coffee used to be my best friend but now I’m lucky if I can drink 1 cup without the jitters. Opting for green tea, water other non-caffeinated lattes are a lot healthier than coffee will ever be.
4. Be good to my body – Seriously! I can remember sitting in front of the TV eating chips and Sonic ice cream when I moved away, this was not healthy at all! As I’ve gotten older, what I eat determines my mood, my skin, hair, nails and obviously my waistline. When I overdo the chocolate, sugar or junk food you can immediately tell on my skin and to be honest this has taken me a long time to learn. I have a massive sweet tooth and I love sugar but I love my body more and I’m not willing to feed it shitty, fatty junk food.
5. I appreciate life more – As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I’m incredibly thankful for the life I live. Last year I did a great job in finding the blessing in the smallest things. Even waking up to a cup of coffee made me a little bit happier to be alive.
6. Things don’t always go as planned – I’m the type of person who likes to plan every little thing, from what i’m going to eat for the day to how much time I have to run an errand. I literally plan out every minute of my day to the T and when it doesn’t go as planned it really frustrates me. I always have a scheduled plan but I’ve learned to let things go and realize that things will not and don’t always go as planned and that’s okay.
7. I appreciate my parents – As frustrating as parents can be sometimes, I love my parents very much. As I get older, I realize they also get older and anytime I can spend with them I will cherish.
8. Social media isn’t always the best – I will be the first to admit that Instagram doesn’t always boost my confidence. I spent way too much time on social media last year, so this year I plan to give it a break during the week. It’s amazing how unhealthy life can be when we spend every minute of our lives on social media apps.
9. Learn to listen more – I have a bad habit of not letting people finish there sentence before I begin talking, so this year I am going to work on talking less and listening more.
10. Patience and prayer are your best friends – I have come a long way with being patient, thanks to prayer, but I still have days where my patience runs low on little things. In reality, most of the things we get stressed/angry in our everyday life should not be taken so seriously.
11. Maintaining a morning routine – Over the years, I’ve managed to make myself a morning routine that’ll start my day on the right foot. I wake up, drink my coffee while I read my bible, get ready, make breakfast and i’m out the door. Taking time in the morning to drink my coffee and spend time with God has completely changed the way the day begins. Rushing in the morning is probably the worst way to go about. Needless to say, I love going to bed at night excited for my morning the next day.
12. Homemade meals will never disappoint – I’ve never been one to eat fast food, my parents rarely let us order takeout or buy fast food and i’m glad they didn’t. My mother to this day makes a delicious homemade meal for lunch and dinner, but now it’s my turn. I love cooking but finding the time is hard. I have almost everything a cook needs in a kitchen to cook homemade meals (crockpot, pressure cooker, dutch oven, blender etc) so no excuses. Last year, i had a little schedule going where Sunday mornings i’d write my recipe schedule for the week that included breakfast, lunch and dinner for work and home. It honestly made my life so much easier. I’d cook most of the food on Sunday and knew exactly what to eat and when. It definitely takes off the pressure of coming home after a long day of work and figuring out what to eat, especially if you have to defrost something.
13. Giving with no expectations – I no longer give, invite or compliment anyone expecting something in return. I do it because I genuinely care about the person. Christmas and my birthday last year were great, i sent out holiday cards and gifts to my friends and families but i didn’t do with the expectation that they had to return the favor. It was out of kindness and love.