Wow! So grateful to be celebrating my 40th and at the same time frightened that if I blink…I’ll be writing a blog about turning 80. (That is if blogs still exist in 40 years). Because it truly feels like only yesterday I was a 20-year-old college student working in fashion and living paycheck to paycheck making my way in this crazy world.
Life as a college student was not easy and I often found it difficult to manage my finances. Studying can take a real toll on your finances, but if you are a student and you are also worried about your credit score, it might be worthwhile doing some research into some of the most popular credit cards here. Money troubles can be worrying during your college years, but it is important to remember that your hard work will pay off in the end.
That being said, it also feels like only yesterday I was 16, working upstate at moonlight bungalows, partying at the Browns with my “squad” or as they called it back then my “crew”.
I admit, it isn’t much fun to find a new gray hair or wrinkle which comes along with the territory of turning 40…but I will also admit that there are awesome things about turning 40. It’s true…a woman is probably most confident in her 40’s and the reason is because after 40 years of living and experiencing human nature you finally get it. I sometimes watch my kids day to day struggle and I finally get why they say youth is wasted on the young. I wish I could just implant in their young obtuse heads my knowledge of human nature, my lessons that I learned from my own mistakes and my guidance that I know will work…but I can’t because they are just not ready at 10, 12, 14 and even in their 20’s and 30’s to listen. So here is a list of stuff I have learned in my 40 years (I still can’t believe I’m saying 40 years…)
- Fake it till you BECOME it. Even if you don’t feel confident. Even if you are not certain you can do it. Even if you are scared.…put your acting chops on and fake it for G-ds sake. Because most people around you are just as unsure…just as scared…and those who made it faked their way up too. Eventually you will go from faking to actually knowing and then to being an expert. PS. Google is our best friend.
- If you’re great at something, play it up. Don’t ever minimize your talents or try to hide them. If G-d gave you certain gifts than use them, enjoy them, share them and try your best to make a career out of them because not only will you go further, you will enjoy every minute of your journey.
- If you work hard enough, the universe will listen and success will come. I’ve learned that the harder I work, the luckier I get. Couture for a Cause‘s success is not luck…it’s the sum of thousands of dedicated hours of very hard and enjoyable work. It’s filled with challenges, drama, ups and down. For a naturally all over the place person like myself, I need to work even harder against my nature and be super duper crazy organized. (partner Esther Berg can attest to that)…but it was and is a huge success. Hard work=success.
- You absolutely get what you give in life. Don’t expect people to go out of their way for you if you never go out of your way. Don’t expect people to be generous if you are not generous. Don’t keep track either of what you give because it also doesn’t work that way. You really never know what others are going through and why they are not neighborly or nice. If you feel like inviting them for a meal even though you may never have been invited…do it. They may have reasons they didn’t invite you that has nothing to do with you. So don’t live life tit for tat…just live life free to do what you feel is right and what you feel like doing without keeping tabs.
- It really isn’t all about you. Peoples behavior usually have nothing to do with you. Give people the benefit of the doubt and you will be much happier.
- Focus on the people who are good to you and who you feel good around. If someone gives you bad vibes politely stay away and stick with those who you feel genuinely are happy for you when things are good and who are there for you when things are down. There is nothing better than knowing who your true friends are.
- Accept that the more out there you are, the more successful you are, the more haters you will have. Haters are people who can’t control their jealousy and it manifests in their obsessive preoccupation with you. Take it as a compliment. And ignore them. Trying to get them to like you won’t help and the opposite only makes them hate you more. Keep focusing on the good in your life and just ignore the haters.
- Know that no good deed goes unpunished. It’s a fact. But do good anyway!
- Never seek honor. If you live life with honor and integrity it will come…but don’t spend life seeking it. It’s obvious to all around you. Just live and do and be authentic and honor naturally comes. But don’t seek.
- Don’t lie…don’t even white lie. People are not stupid. If you forgot to invite someone or screwed up…admit it. People respect that much more than pretending something got lost in the mail.
- Smile…even if you are not in the mood. Smile. Because it really brightens peoples days and in turn brightens your day. It’s contagious. It’s easier than frowning. It helps you in all aspects of life. So smile!
- Never ever be afraid to let go of things you no longer need. Not only will your life be clutter free but you will really help someone out and no doubt it always comes back. Always!
- Time is money…don’t waste it. Don’t waste too much time watching mindless TV or playing mindless games. Use your time wisely…read, learn, practice what you are good at. That is really the key to success.
- Exercise daily because the only chance you have of staying a size 2–4-6–8 in your 40’s is if you do. And of course eat right because exercise does squat if you eat junk all day.
- Beauty isn’t everything but it helps…so whether you are blessed with great genes or not, take care of your appearance. First impressions do count…
- Except when you are running around in your gym clothes doing errands looking like a homeless chick. No one really cares what you look like running errands. They’re too busy worrying about how they look..which you don’t care about either. Unless they are wearing 6 inch stilettos in gourmet glatt..then you suddenly care.
- Heels actually do make you look skinnier so wear them as high as you can. And never forget spanx..I don’t care how skinny you are. Everyone needs spanx.
- It’s easy to get lost in your iphone and I am so guilty of that. But take a break once in a while and be present. Your kids and spouse will notice and appreciate those moments for life.
- Sure it’s fun to take lots of selfies and pictures of every moment but try to be present during big moments too. Take your pix and then put your phone away…enjoy the moment and how it feels, don’t just be a reporter and don’t feel if it wasn’t shared on Insta it didn’t happen…
- Everyone who looks really perfect in pix probably used a filter or two…so don’t compare yourself to photoshop. In fact don’t compare yourself period. There will always be better, skinnier, prettier, richer.…it’s endless and fruitless and you can never win so just don’t compare yourself to others.
- Be grateful, truly grateful, for what you do have. You have so much more than so many. Sure you can strive for more…but being happy with your present while continuing to strive for better futures is the only way to be.
- Facebook and social media is not bad for you. Time sucker yes, but bad it is not. It is simply a tool that can be used wisely or negatively like any tool. Personally it has helped me spread awareness of so many worthy causes, has helped me raise tons of money for those causes, keeps me in the loop of all the news that interests me and no doubt has allowed me to inspire others to be more politically active. So use it wisely and smartly and it’ll serve you well.
- If you have ADD like I think I do, check your calendar 5 times a day. Because you will forget an important appointment if you don’t. Check your gas too…cars really can’t run without gas. I found this out the hard way. Many times.
- There are certain things that are worth the splurge and certain things that aren’t. By 40 you should pretty much know what those things are. And try to keep that in mind when you get caught up in the moment.
- Faux anything will never feel as good as the real deal. It’s just how it goes. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy your fake stuff…but it’s a fact. And when something is real…be it jewelry or a bag…you treat it differently and it does last longer.
- On the other hand you do not have to pay big bucks for the real stuff you like. There is no shame in consignment shops, ebay etc. My favorite stuff came from those sources.
- There is no such a thing as luck.…??? stands for Makom (Place) Z’man (Time) and Limud (Knowledge). People think I sold my last house because I got a knock on my door…there is so much more to the story. Luck happens but often due to actions you create that become catalysts for good fortunes. So never sit back and wait for anything. I get so irritate when I hear people say “well if someone knocks on my door I would sell…” Put yourself out there and make your luck!
- Life can be brutal…and unfair…and cruel…move on. Don’t dwell. There’s a bigger picture you are not seeing. Keep going…
- YOLO…that means enjoy life. If you can travel…travel. Don’t wait for the perfect timing. If you can do something…do it. You only have the present. Live it. Don’t push off what you can do today. If not now then when? That’s my motto in life.
- Cut your losses. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Don’t be so stubborn that you hold onto something out of fear that you will lose. Whether it’s a bad idea, or real estate or a business. If you see it’s not working than cut your losses and move on.
- Sometimes you are included. Sometimes you are not. Sometimes you include. Sometimes you don’t.
- Write a journal. It’s the only way to truly capture life way after you forgot how you felt. It also teaches you a lot about yourself and is the best therapy.
- Listen…don’t just wait your turn to speak…listen…ask questions…don’t just talk about yourself. No one enjoys one-sided conversations. Show interest in what is going on in other peoples lives.
- You truly can learn something from anyone if you take the above advice and listen and ask. And learning from others is crucial to your survival. How else could I have discovered a certain website that sells designer shoes for a fraction of the cost? LISTEN people.
- Never answer your home phone. It is always going to be someone soliciting something. Your true friends and family know your cell phone.
- Everyone be it your BFF’s or your family will at some point do something annoying. If you hold in your feelings too long it always comes out in other ways. Bad ways. So if you truly care about your relationship be honest and tell them how you feel. Sometimes it’s a misunderstanding. Sometimes there are real reasons why they acted that way. You won’t know unless you ask.
- If you want a dog get one. You will never ever regret it. They bring joy and lightness to your home like nothing else. If you don’t like walking them get a fence and let them out. A bit of poop on your lawn that disintegrates and fertilizes is a worthy tradeoff for the love and joy you get from a dog.
- Don’t make a big stink over little things. Your kid mistakingly spills the entire pancake mix on the floor…it was a mistake…S%$# happens. Clean it up and don’t dwell. You spill your Green Juice inside your car while driving (true story), take a deep breath and keep driving. Then as soon as you can clean it up without letting it ruin your day. Your kids friend rides a hover board into your antique furniture breaking the leg off of it (true story)…gorilla glue it back and stop letting your kids ride their hover boards around your house…but still keep calm. Everything can be fixed, unless it can’t, and then there’s nothing you can do about it. Everything is replaceable.
- Participate. Sign up. Doesn’t really matter what it is. Just get out there and join something. Commit to it and do it and show up to meetings. You will get so much satisfaction from being part of something that makes a difference.
- Be kind…kind to your spouse, your family, your friends, strangers.…be kind because that is all that will be remembered for in the end.
I can go on…but will save the rest for my next milestone birthday. I’m sure by then I will have learned even more. Meanwhile I will try my best to live by these lessons I know to be true as I continue on this crazy journey of LIFE.