Well, today is the day. The cultural event where millions of people are unified in celebration of what many have called the biggest secular holiday in the United States, and possibly the world.
Of course, I’m referring to my birthday. I’m not sure how I’ll mark the occasion, but perhaps there will be something interesting to watch on TV? 🏈 #SuperbOwl
It’s true; as of today, I am 48 years old. Is that old? It feels kinda old, but still a few years shy of fifty, so that’s something. I do relate to Margaret Atwood who believed, “Everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” I now have peers who have died of “natural causes,” serving as a sobering reminder that time is ticking. In some respects, I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be, but on the other hand, I’m surprised—in a good way—about how everything has turned out so far.
I always love reading when people I admire share “X Things I’ve Learned in X Years of Life” on their birthdays, so I thought it might be fun to do that.
Oh, and instead of gifts, the best present you can give me is to share my work with someone else. If you know someone who might resonate with these words, please send them to this page (https://EscapeAdulthood.com/Insider) and invite them to subscribe. Thanks!
- We were all experts once.
- We all live by rules that don’t exist. There are a million of these rules. The best lives seem to be lived by the ones who break a lot of them.
- You can follow best practices or you can be innovative, but you can’t do both.
- Every single day is a reason to celebrate; it’s just that most days what to celebrate is up to us.
- Life should get more fun as you get older, not less. You know more things, have more money, and can make more decisions on your own. Instead of living life with a big box of 64 crayons at our disposal, we regularly settle for the wimpy 8-pack, with the red, blue, and green crayons replaced with gray, beige, and mauve.
- You can’t control what happens to you in life, you can only control how you react to it. This is a superpower few take advantage of.
- Opportunities are everywhere in life. Sometimes they come disguised as monsoons. The next time a storm blows through your life, ask yourself, “Now that this has happened what does this make possible?” Do that, and you can expect a 100% chance of awesome.
- The secret to (lasting) success in absolutely everything is this: do hard things. We waste a lot of time trying to find a shortcut around it, but none exists.
- The only thing straight A’s tell you with certainty about a person is that they are good at school.
- Your big dream will take longer than you think. It will also look different than you imagined. But it will be better and it will be worth it.
- It’s easy to justify the lack of time we spend with loved ones by saying we have quality time together. Bulls#!t. Our relationships need quantity time. We assume that Hallmark moments can be created at will within the tiny slivers of time we carve between meetings, power lunches, recitals, soccer games, conference calls, and commutes to and from school and daycare. The busier you are and the more full your schedule, the more desperately you need this to be true. Quality time comes from quantity time.
- It’s a waste of time to whine about and wish for someone else’s must be nice. Your job is to figure out yours and make the most of it.
- The greatest game ever played was on a Wednesday in Cleveland.
- If you say that you’re an artist, but aren’t making art, you’re not. (Replace the word “artist” with whatever you claim to be.)
- Be careful how you define success. If you’re not careful, you can get duped into playing a game you don’t even care about and end up making choices that distract you from a game that does. Tiger Woods never beat himself up for not having as good a free throw percentage as Steph Curry. Get really clear on what game you’re playing. And don’t beat yourself up for being in last place in the games you’re not.
- We act like the game of life is to check off as many things on our to-do list as possible. That’s the wrong game.
- If God was as serious as some people imagine him to be, we’d never have the duck-billed platypus, giraffes, or Elton John.
- Are kids the cause of or the cure for Adultitis? Turns out the answer is entirely up to you.
- The most important thing you can do for the health and happiness of your family is to have dinner together. Dare to be the only house on the block to all be home for a family dinner five nights a week.
- Some parents are verbs, some are nouns. There are way too many nouns.
- Don’t let strangers be the main influencers in your child’s life.
- Set aside one day a week to be free from all work and busyness, just spending time with your God and your family. No, the world might not be too keen about you dropping off the radar, but you know what? It’s not the world’s choice. It’s yours. The world is not the boss of you.
- Sometimes we have to say no to the good to say yes to the best.
- What good is the authority of parenthood if all you ever do is make rules? It’s easy for good parents (and teachers) to get so caught up in enforcing rules that they forget that they have permission to break them once in a while.
- Monday’s don’t suck. It’s your job. We don’t hate work. We hate doing work that doesn’t matter. If you’re always thanking God for Friday, it might be time to make a change.
- Many well-intentioned parents, grandparents, and teachers urge kids to get a job with good benefits. I couldn’t agree more. Just make sure they’re the ones you really want.
- If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re trying to do too much.
- Never let the fear of making a mess get in the way of making a memory.
- We make time for the things that are important to us. If don’t have time for yourself (or your spouse, kids, family, exercise routine, charitable activities, a return to school, or your favorite hobby), it’s because it’s not that important to you. Our actions reveal our priorities.
- Everyone says family first, but few have the actions to back it up.
- There is a very good chance that you—right now—are currently smack dab in the middle of your “good old days.”
- Someday is a code word for never. What are you hoping to do someday?
- Who’s to say what’s realistic? Be careful about what you label as impossible. If a dream is realistic, it’s not really a dream. It’s a to-do.
- It’s true, we are living in uncertain times. But are we ever living in certain times?
- Fancy china is not about what’s on the plates, it’s about who’s around them.
- They don’t hang paint-by-numbers in the Louvre.
- The devil is predictable. He uses the same plays over and over again: distraction, doubt, division, and discouragement. Despite his lack of creativity, he is incredibly effective, and this explains a lot about the current state of our world.
- I don’t think it’s fair that kale is good for you, but Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups taste WAY better.
- Sometimes we get so caught up chasing the next moment that we forget to savor the one we’re in.
- Sometimes we miss the answer to our prayers because we’re looking for it in the wrong place.
- Sometimes your heart has reasons for doing things that take a while for your head to understand.
- Embrace your weird. When we surrender our weird, we are imprisoning ourselves and handing over the key.
- We need each other. Even Einstein wasn’t an Einstein at everything.
- It’s worth remembering that even on the darkest, cloudiest days, the sun doesn’t disappear. It’s still there; it’s just hidden.
- God is creative and He sends creative solutions.
- Don’t be afraid to get your princess dress wet.
- If you’re alive, make sure you’re living.
- Life is like silly putty. Somehow.
🤔 I wonder…which of these most resonated with you?