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.It 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…)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Know that no good deed goes unpun­ished. It’s a fact. But do good any­way!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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…
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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…
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. There is no such a thing as luck….מזל 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!
  28. Life can be brutal…and unfair…and cruel…move on. Don’t dwell. There’s a big­ger pic­ture you are not see­ing. Keep going…
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Some­times you are includ­ed. Some­times you are not. Some­times you include. Some­times you don’t.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Nev­er answer your home phone. It is always going to be some­one solic­it­ing some­thing. Your true friends and fam­i­ly know your cell phone.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.

 

Mar 14, 2016 / Blog / Mus­ings

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