Unless you live under a rock or have taken a permanent sabbatical from social media (tempting these days, yes?), you’ve probably seen the 10-year challenge, where people post a photo from both 10 years ago and now to see how they’ve changed. While I decided not to participate on social media, I thought I’d post my photos here.
Here is a photo that I posted on Facebook 10 years ago:
And here is a recent photo of me:
My hair is a little shorter, I’m 20 pounds lighter, and I have a few wrinkles, but I don’t know, I think I look the same? Thoughts?
Note: I’ve also traded ice cream for wine as my favorite indulgence.
I would like to think that over the 10 years I’ve become a bit wiser, so here are 10 lessons that I’ve learned over the past 10 years:
- You can achieve whatever goal you want. Nothing is out of reach if you want it badly enough. I became a runner and achieved running goals that I didn’t think were possible, but I was determined and I worked hard. If you’re determined and you work hard, you can achieve any goal you set. Don’t sell yourself short.
- The older I get, the more I realize that life is short, we only get one life, and to piss it away wallowing in anger, resentment and jealousy is just plain stupid. What a waste. Be grateful for what you have, hug your loved ones, play hard, and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
- Taking care of myself is not selfish. I spent so many years putting everyone first, and if I could do it all over again, I would have set aside more time to take care of myself with exercise, healthy meals, and my favorite hobbies. While I’ll never regret spending time with my kids, I feel like I could have been an even better parent if I was more healthy, both physically and emotionally.
- I don’t have to hang out with people who are toxic, even if they’re family. I spent so many years plagued with guilt and anxiety due to people who treated me like shit and yet I felt obligated to maintain relationships. Once I severed ties (and the guilt), it was like a weight was lifted and I feel so much happier.
- Never underestimate the power of community. Kayla never would have gotten through her illness without the help of our community. Get involved in community activities and events, participate in charity events, get to know your neighbors. Help others and be kind; you never know when you may need the same help and kindness in return.
- Don’t be a judgmental asshole. You don’t know what others are going through. I’m still learning this lesson every day and still find myself guilty sometimes of jumping to conclusions about others. It’s so easy to fall into that pattern, especially with the bombardment of news and social media posts that we’re all hit with every day. Step back, let things settle before reacting. Spending more time listening with empathy rather than speaking in anger would probably make the world a much better place. Oh, and the other thing? You don’t always have to be right. Stay humble, my friends.
- Living a healthier lifestyle has made my life so much better. At the time of that photo 10 years ago, I was eating fatty, fried, processed foods. I was unhappy with my weight, I felt like crap, and I was always tired and stressed. It’s amazing what a difference exercise and healthy eating can make! If I had known how much better I would feel, and how easy it was, I would have made the change so much sooner.
- One size does not fit all. What works for me may not work for you. What works for you may not work for me. Just do what works. Do what makes you feel good. YOU DO YOU, BOO.
- What others think of me is none of my business.
- I’ve spent so much time over the years thinking that I had to do something big and important in my life and have felt like I’ve fallen short. Oh God, what if I don’t leave some type of legacy when I die??? I put so much pressure on myself. I’m realizing it’s the little things we do every day that leave our marks on this world – being kind, lending a helping hand, saying “I love you” friends and family. Hugging someone when there are no words. Sharing smiles and laughs. Being respectful to all living beings; being respectful to the planet and environment. These things, while they seem small, can make a huge impact, especially if more of us do them.
Those are some important lessons that I’ve learned. How about you?
May your glass always be full,