40 Things I've Learned in 40 Years


40...how the hell am I 40?

Sometimes I think, I must be 57 by now, right? Other times I think of 40 and think, "Wow, that's so old!" (until I remember, that's me!)

1978. The year it all began.. (That's my mom and grandmother. They look like babies!)

I often think about where I thought I'd be at 40 or what my life would look like. Honestly, it looks great from where I stand...I have a husband that is the cliché "best friend", I have a beautiful, healthy, and happy little boy, I have a loyal and faithful dog, I have my health, I own half of a successful business that means something to others, I have a good job, and I have some pretty incredible people in my life.

Photo by Little Hoboken Photography

Most importantly, like any other milestone I've ever hit, I have thought about all the things I thought I knew at different points in my life. You know, you knew it all at 18, then at 25, then at 30. You didn't. And I'm sure at 50, I'll find more things to learn!

So, here are 40 things I've learned in 40 years. See you in 10 years to see what I've learned then!

  1. Quality over quantity…this applies to friends, shoes, and clothes in your closet.

  2. I just don’t care about all the little shit, other people’s drama, or focusing on minutiae when there are actual REAL problems.

  3. People will never cease to amaze you with the ways they will step on you to get ahead. It’s honestly not you, it’s them. They are insecure and you threaten them because you’re a rockstar!

  4. I may not be the kind of Betty Crocker, Real Life Pinterest, Mural Painting, Birthday Cake Baking, Costume Sewing, Soccer Coaching, PTA mom that I had, but I’m a really freaking good mom to my kid!

  5. I cannot drink too much on a work night anymore. (or a weekend!)

  6. I cannot eat disgusting (but, delicious) take out late night anymore.

  7. I do not need to sleep past 6:00 AM to be a functioning adult.

  8. Some fashion trends I AM, in fact, now too old for and that’s ok.

  9. There are a lot of people in the world who are the “expert” on everything. I just need to be an expert at one thing.

  10. Never regret bad decisions you made as long as you learned from them, grew from them, or they set you on the path you were meant to be on.

  11. There is not enough time to focus on negative bullshit. Just be happy with your life or change it to what will make you happier!

  12. Family IS everything. Friends who are like family are EVERYTHING. My best friends on the planet are my group of friends since I was 10-13 years old and I’d never trade them for anything ever! They are an extension of my family and as we always say, “At this point, we have to keep one another!”

Yup, that's a polyester two piece cropped top outfit on me (whatever, it was 1996!)

13. Sometimes a random hair appears on your chin. It sucks, but it does. A good friend tells you it’s there. A great friend yanks that crap out!

14. Thrive on the haters. Let their words, actions, and lack of support fuel you. Some of the best things I’ve ever done have come from other people’s mean words or doubts. Exhibit one…my marriage and exhibit two…my business! The people I’ve learned the most from in my life are those who have hurt me or pissed me off. I’m grateful to them for what they have taught me about myself.

15. It’s ok to say no to people. In my “old age”, I’ve learned that I don’t have to say yes to every invitation I receive. You can only stretch yourself so thin and sometimes you just have to say no! People will get over it.

16. I am not cool enough or young enough to say things like “Yaaaas!” or “On Fleek” (if those things are even cool anymore…lol!).

17. I am such a spelling nerd that slang things, even in hashtags, make me insane. Prime example: Why Tho? (SPELL IT RIGHT, PEOPLE!)

18. Take a leap! Whether it’s getting engaged after six months of dating, starting a business with a stranger, moving to a town where you have zero friends, or jumping out of an airplane…do it! (I’ve done all of those things!)

Just outside the nightclub we got married at in 2012.

19. You can never kiss or hug your kids too much! Never!

My little love and I on Mother's Day at Talde.

20. If you make a mistake, own it.

21. If someone else does something awesome, don’t take credit for it.

22. Just because I don’t dress daily like I went to college for fashion (which I did), doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of style or care about fashion. I just care about functionality and real life more. Fashion is no longer the primary focus of my life…except my son’s wardrobe which is amazing!

23. The ones that “got away” or broke your heart are now overweight, divorced, can’t hold a job, and simply not that cool anyway.

24. Don’t hit snooze. Just don’t. Get up and get going. You’ll pay for it later.

25. If you want it, eat it. Just work harder at the gym the next day or eat super healthy to make up for it the next day. Spending your life counting calories or avoiding carbs is not that fun! (or yummy!)

26. Don’t worry about what others think about you. Do you have friends? Does your family still talk to you? Do you like you? You’re good.

27. A friend can break your heart way more than any man any day of the year.

28. Drink. More. Water.

29. You will only lose weight by what you put into your body. You can work out all day long, but diet is what controls it all. The end. I learned that the hard way...oh how I love you, cheese...

30. In that vein, no little pills, fad diets, or replacement shakes are the solution either. It always comes back when you resume your life.

31. Hormones can really make some bad decisions on your behalf!

32. Every single thing I got in trouble for as a kid and got grounded for was warranted. My parents were saints for not selling me!

33. Take the vacation! There isn’t a “later” to see all the places you want to see. Go on the trip! Spend the money!

34. Pulling an all-nighter is now because I have to finish the laundry, finish work on a deadline, or be sure that the theme day at school is being taken care of. It’s no longer fun club nights in the city and believe me, I’m ok with that!

35. If you want to do dangerous things, do them before you are a mom! I’m grateful that my husband made me do all of my “wish list” items before we had Kane. It’s fairly irresponsible of me to jump out of a plane at this point. (but when he’s old enough, he’s coming with me for another jump!!)

About to board the plane to jump!

36. I curse. A lot. It’s ok. It doesn’t make me trashy, just passionate!

37. Speak your mind. Voice your opinions. Say your truth. You will piss someone off, but that’s ok! (Being an Eagles fan pisses EVERYONE off!)

At the Eagles/Bears game in Philly (obviously, the Eagles won!)

38. The meanest thing anyone ever said to me was that I was a bad mom. It haunts me to this day and I can't let it go. (FYI...this was because I parented different than she did.) If you think words don't hurt, you're insane!

39. I’d rather live a hard truth than a “beautiful” lie any day. Look at my Instagram if you don’t believe me! (@hurrikanesmama)

40. Waiting until I was 36 to have a kid was the best decision I ever made. Pre-36 year old me was NOT ready to ride this roller coaster and this kid is the greatest thing I’ve ever created!


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HEADER PHOTO CREDIT: Danielle Guenther Photography

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