When you’re nine months pregnant and busy chasing a sugar-addicted toddler around, certain things are bound to fall through the cracks. The family’s collective hygiene, for one (she types as she tries to remember how many days in a row her son has worn those Spiderman pajamas). Basic human decency, for another (she types while cringing as she remembers yelling “so help me, if you poop in that plant, mister!” while talking to her insurance agent on the phone).
And, of course, remembering important dates, such as holidays and doctor’s appointments and Taco Tuesday. Which is how I ended up ugly crying into my lasagna last Tuesday in a pregnancy-hormone-fueled rage.
And which is also how my 35th birthday snuck up on me.
Having been someone who was always just on this side of obnoxious when it came to celebrating her birthday, this is pretty much unheard of. I mean, I’ve been known to celebrate the day of my arrival on Earth for the entire month. And 35? Sure, it’s not a huge milestone but a big enough one that it makes you question whether wearing blue glittery lipstick is still a good idea or not.
(It is. It always will be. I will be 95 and still rocking it. I will be buried wearing that lipstick).
Thirty-five is also an age when you start to, if not actually become wise, perceive yourself as becoming wise. Which is why instead of celebrating my almost-forgotten 35th birthday with a big bang (it’s hard to dance all night when you are roughly the size of a planet and have swollen hobbit feet), I want to share some of the wisdom I’ve picked up along the way in my 30 plus years of living.
And so, here are the 35 things I’ve learned in 35 years:
- Life is too short for uncomfortable underwear.
- Your kids won’t remember your muffin top and cellulite. All they’ll remember is that perfect summer day when Mommy played with them in the ocean.
- You should never gamble with your health. Drink the good vodka.
- Love means never having to say “does this make me look fat?”
- When a woman says no, it’s not the beginning of a negotiation.
- Have a small wedding and a big honeymoon.
- If the Internet comments section has taught us anything, it’s that wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age.
- It’s possible to cook without drinking wine. But I wouldn’t recommend it.
- Dance like everyone is ignoring you because they’re on their phone watching funny videos of other people dancing on YouTube.
- Pregnancy is best experienced looking back from ten years in the future.
- Anything can be turned into a pizza topping. It’s our right as Americans.
- Apologize when you’re wrong. Stop apologizing for existing and taking up space.
- Getting really angry at how slow the line is moving has never, ever made the line move faster in the entire history of line-standing.
- Try to live every day with the joy and abandon of a naked toddler who just escaped from his bath.
- When it comes to politics, chances are good that the bad guys aren’t the people who have it worse off than you do.
- Don’t stress out when your children refuse to eat their vegetables. They will. Eventually. When they have children of their own and are trying to demonstrate how “num-num” vegetables are.
- Beer and meat both taste better outside.
- There are a lot of horrible problems in the world. A woman wearing leggings as pants is not one of them.
- Telling your children no is hard. Dealing with spoiled brats is even harder.
- Naps should be mandatory for everyone on rainy afternoons.
- The only way to survive parenthood is to develop a good sense of humor and own old furniture.
- Never underestimate just how brave you really are. You fight invisible monsters every day.
- Never underestimate just how brave your kids are. They fight invisible monsters every day.
- It’s nearly impossible to succeed if you’ve never failed, so fail and fail spectacularly. Then cry, get drunk with your best friend and vow to never try again. Then try again.
- Spend your birthday doing fun things instead of unwrapping fun things.
- Go ahead and have breakfast for dinner, pizza for breakfast and wine for lunch.
- You have an opinion. Good for you. It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to share it every chance you get.
- Dog fur is the most resilient substance on Earth. No matter how much you use a lint roller, it will still be there on your pants. Even if you’re murdered and dumped in the ocean and found two years later, police will still be able to identify you by the dog hair they find on your pants.
- It’s always better to look your age than to look like you’re desperately trying not to look your age.
- Some days, I honestly don’t know if love is always stronger than hate. But that’s not going to make me love any less fiercely.
- Shelter pets always make better pets.
- Oh, just swim and stop worrying about getting your hair wet.
- Never trust someone who doesn’t drink coffee.
- One of the best jobs in the world is being the Official Boo Boo Kisser to a tiny human with a skinned knee.
- Getting older is something to celebrate. Especially when you consider the alternative.