A few months ago I found my diary from the fifth grade. It’s funny to see the things that I worried about as a 10 year old: the boy I thought was cute, what I was going to wear to school the next day, and what was happening in band practice. They may be small things, but now as I approach 40 I embrace how those small things have shaped who I am today.

My mom has always told me that no matter the situation, things will always turn out as they should. Maybe it’s faith, maybe it’s destiny, who knows? All I know is that after a lot of eye rolling and door slamming when I was younger, I completely agree that things DO turn out as they should. boat2

This blog is a little different than others. I am turning 40 tomorrow so I have taken some time to reflect on what that means. For those of you who don’t know me, I love my birthday. I feel like it is a time to regroup and refocus my energy on what I need to work on to make myself a better person. It’s not easy to come face to face with our flaws, but I’ve found the rewards are worth it.

This year I have decided to practice gratitude. There are so many people (and things) in my life for which  I am grateful; friends, family, mentors…people who have helped shape my life and taught me important lessons along the way. What I have decided to do is acknowledge the people who have made a difference, with a note telling them why and how they have influenced my life. Some of these people may not even know that they have made a difference in my life. Some of these people, I don’t even know personally.

Today I’m sharing with you 3 of the top lessons I’ve learned since those years when I fretted about boys and worried about clothes.

Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. ~ Don Miguel Ruiz 

After years of beating myself up over what other people thought about me or said to me, this is by far the most important lesson I’ve learned. If someone is being negative or rude, it usually has nothing to do with me. Understanding that it has more to do with their own struggle, makes it easier to be kind and to free myself from negative self-talk.

You get there by realizing you are already there. ~Eckhart Tolle

This is one of my favorite quotes because for me, it has several meanings. It helps me embrace the moment, keeping me focused on all it has to offer. And, yes, it helps me realize that there’s usually a good reason for everything. (This is where my mother winks and says ‘I told you so.’.)

If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. ~ Katharine Hepburn

I rely on my sense of humor. A lot. I’m funny and quirky and some say, even a little weird. At this point in my life, I can live with that. As I’ve become older (and wiser) I have learned to embrace my uniqueness and love myself for who I am. I’ve worked really hard to reap these life lessons and plan to continu