It’s my Birthday and Here’s What I’ve Learned so Far

Happy Birthday to me!!!

It’s my 43rd birthday! In almost 9 years of sharing my life story in my blog, this is the first time that I am publishing a birthday blog.

I used to be very excited about celebrating my birthday but when I moved to Canada and almost every year I have to be at work on my birthday, I started to treat my birthday as an ordinary day. I eventually learned to subscribe to “it’s just a day” reasoning, if people close to me forget about it, or if they can’t celebrate with me on the actual day of my birthday, we can just celebrate on some other day. That’s how it has been for me for the past years.

But this year is different, 2020 has been a challenging year not just to me but to almost everyone and for me it is already a great blessing to survive it. This pandemic and lockdown gave us the opportunity to slow down, no one was prepared to put their plans, dreams and hopes on hold. And 8 months after the coronavirus pandemic swept the planet, here we are (us here in Winnipeg, I mean) – – we are still on a battle to flatten the curve.

Anyway, the pandemic is a whole different story from what I wanted to share in this birthday post. As I celebrate my 43rd birthday (how did this happen?! Am I really 43?!) I am being selfish, I know not everyone will be interested in reading how I will celebrate my day, but my birthday means I’m sharing what I want to say in my space. And if you reached this point of this post, I want to thank you for still hanging in there…

A few months after I turned 40, 3 years ago, I shared about my realization when I hit this milestone… My 40’s have ushered a significant change and self discovery. Truth be told, I’ve actually been struggling with this birthday a lot, I am feeling down and unhappy. I suddenly crossed over the hump that I am 40 plus! People keep saying that 40 is the new 30 but for me it represents the passing of time – my life and all my failures, pains, joys and achievements. I guess it is only fair to feel this way when you’re getting a chance to truly discover yourself. The past months have given me the opportunity to appreciate what is truly valuable in life and to understand what I really want. I’ve embraced my 40’s, as I face another chapter, I would like to continue to rekindle my passions, my likes, my interests and more importantly to do things that will bring joy not just to myself but to the people important to me.

So, in honor of my 43rd birthday… I am putting up some realizations that I want to take with me and some of the things that I would like to prioritize in my life. I can actually write a novel about it but I don’t have time for that, so I will just break them down to 43 short lessons (in no particular order.)

1. No matter how you feel, you have to get up, dress up and show up.
2. Know your WHY. Finding your reason why and what is your purpose is the fuel that you need to drive yourself forward.
3. No matter what you do, you will be criticized so keep doing your thing. Do what you gotta do.
4. Carpe diem. Live in the moment. It is being in the present that is more important.
5. Fake it till you make it is garbage advice. Acting “as if” is not the key to make it to your desired destination. You should face it till you make it.
6. Life is not fair but it isn’t unfair either. Instead of debating whether life is fair or not, we just have to take things as what they are.
7. You must have a plan for your parents. This is that stage of your life when we as adult children and our aging parents will switch roles. It’s our turn to take care of them.
8. Let your children live their life and don’t make your dreams theirs. Be supportive of their own dreams.
9. You cannot change people, trying to change someone is a waste of time (and is pointless.) You either love them for who they are or you hate them.
10. Prioritizing yourself is not selfish, loving yourself first is important because you can only serve others from an overflow, you cannot pour from an empty cup.
11. Always express to your loved ones how much they mean to you. And whenever you have the chance always say goodbye because you never know when the last one will be your last chance.
12. Do not waste time on trying to win people over. Not everyone will like you and it is okay.
13. “Try again” is better than “what if.” What and if are powerful words that can haunt you for a lifetime.
14. True friendship sticks around throughout the ages, even after years of being apart, you can always pick up with them right where you left off.
15. Life is what you make it. Opportunities will not just fall from the sky, if you want something, you gotta make it happen.
16. Find your tribe and grow and glow together. Inspire others and support them. Choose to be with people who will also support you and will encourage you to be your best self.
17. If you don’t pay much, don’t expect much. Always try to get a good value of your money, it is smarter to invest in quality.
18. Health is wealth. Do what is best for your physical and mental health.
19. Stay away from gossip. It is not healthy to talk about other people’s lives, any gossip that you have or will be engaged with will cost your piece of mind and will be your responsibility to keep.
20. Focus your energy on what makes you happy, stop engaging yourself to “extra-curricular” activities that will not bring value to your life.
21. No one will do everything for you. Fairy god mothers can only be found in fairy tales, in real life no one owes you anything, it is your responsibility to build your own destiny.
22. No matter how old you get, be willing to say “I don’t know,” when you don’t have the answers. It’s not about knowing it all, it’s about figuring it out to find the answers.
23. It’s okay not to be okay. Allow yourself to show up with whatever you’re feeling, because your feelings matter, the pain you feel deserves healing and what makes you happy deserves to be recognized.
24. When you hit middle age, it becomes important to say “I love you” (as much as you want to hear it.)
25. You can always say NO, you are in no obligation to attend every event you are invited to come. It is your choice how and with whom you would like to spend your time.
26. Our time on earth is fleeting, make every moment count, treat each day as a second chance to make things better and to improve.
27. Middle age is that chapter in your life when wedding receptions that you used to attend when you’re younger are replaced with funeral ceremonies.
28. You must maintain a good credit score, middle age is also that stage in life that your teens might ask you to cosign for their first car or you may be considering to purchase investment properties or better yet you would want to splurge on something.
29. Self-esteem and confidence are two of the most important words in referring to how you feel about yourself.
30. Keeping up with the Joneses is a losing battle. There is nothing wrong with living your best life, but in doing so, we shouldn’t be sacrificing our financial security just to keep up with other people’s lifestyle.
31. Travel whenever you have the chance. By travelling you expose yourself to places, people and new experiences.
32. The time you spent doing nothing is not wasted if it made you smile and you enjoyed it.
33. Financial freedom is important and will bring you more peace of mind than anything else in the world.
34. Learning is a lifelong endeavor. Knowledge truly is power. Just like food that nourishes our bodies, information and continued learning nourishes our minds.
35. Success has no time limit. Don’t listen to people who say you’re too old or too late. If you feel like you can, then do it.
36. You do yourself a big favor when you remove toxic people in your life.
37. Give back and pay it forward. As the saying goes, “gifts are not supposed to be paid back, they’re to be paid forward.”
38. Winning the first hour of your day put you in a position to start and end your day better.
39. Making a good impression is always important and feeling good about yourself is just two of the many reasons why you should dress well.
40. Making the decision to forgive someone is more for yourself, it is for your own healing. Forgive but not forget.
41. Do not allow someone to discourage you from your dreams and never let them define you.
42. Multi-tasking is overrated. Trying to complete a bunch of tasks will most likely leave you with half-baked output. Doing things one at a time and doing what is more important first or what is more difficult first is actually more effective.
43. If you can be one thing, be kind. Any act of kindness counts a lot, regardless if it is offering a helping hand or taking a little of your time to listen to someone. Kindness is a gift that can breathe happiness and positivity.

I know this is so darn long and I am not sure if anyone will actually read this up to the end, so if you did, thank you for your time. Please know that I wrote all these things not to preach but to simply share. Like I said, I am still struggling to discover my self and it makes it easier for me to go back when I write things down.


If anything in my list resonate to you, I will be glad to see your comments below.

Be well and stay safe, my friend.

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Cristina

My family and close friends knew how passionate I am when it comes to writing. I find joy and unexplainable satisfaction in writing. I am able to say what I am thinking or how I feel best when I say it through a letter, a poem and now blog. Through the years, blogging has opened different doors for me. It provided me a space to share my journey and my life lessons, the failures and triumphs that I went through in transitioning to a new life outside my comfort zone and it allowed me to reach out to people outside my circle.

6 Comments

  1. I read the entire post as you might already know…
    my love for reading equates your love for writing. 🤗
    I love your 43 short lessons, tyh!!! ♥️ it resonates BIG time! 🤩
    Thanks for sharing!!! 😍 – Ate Rhea

  2. I always admire and envy you – you have the blessings of expressing yourself in writing. I always wish I had that.

    💯% agree on the 43 short lessons! Love it! ❤️❤️

    1. Thank you Navi for taking time to read my blog! I hope all is well with you and your family. We miss you here in Malibu 🙂

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