What I learned in my 35 years on Earth

Listen to this article

Now that I’m 35, (I think I just felt everyone in Hollywood shudder, sensing someone actually admitted that horrible truth)

Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years.

Photo by Christine Smith
Photo by Christine Smith

Time will fly by quicker than you could ever imagine! Enjoy every day and as many moments as possible. Literally stop and smell the roses. I love the fragrance of the lilac bushes below my bedroom window, drifting up to me each morning. While out walking my dog, enjoying their smell and watching the humming birds fly around each flower is much more enjoyable than checking my Twitter updates.

Don’t waste time worrying about all the bad things you think might happen to you. And if bad things do happen, remember you’ve survived a lot before, and you will get through this also. Try to believe that every changing event in your life is given to you as something to learn from. I try to find or create something positive out of each rough patch, so I can look back and be grateful it happened. Becoming ill can be a sign you need to slow down and take time for yourself. An injury can be a nudge from life letting you know you need to exercise more and build up your endurance.

Don’t put your head in the sand. Just accept your current problem you have to deal with, do your best to fix it, and let it go. Looking back, it’s amazing how much time I’ve wasted thinking about the future, worrying about how much more I felt “I should be doing.”

We put so much stress into trying to figure out if we are where we should be in life, are we with the right person, do we have the right job, should we listen to our inner child and just change everything?  That we forget to just breathe and enjoy the good parts of each and every day.

“You have nothing to fear but fear itself,” is the best motto I’ve ever heard. So many of my very talented friends have spoken to me for years about their dreams and goals. But they have never let themselves take the steps they need to achieve their dreams. We are so afraid of going after our dreams and failing that we never try.

We want to keep our dreams a dream that “one day” we’ll accomplish. It’s guaranteed that one day we will look back in regret for never trying. Never knowing what could have happened is much worse than actually trying and feeling you didn’t succeed. At least you can be proud of yourself for trying!

Ridding your life of everything toxic is wonderful for your psyche. Getting rid of clutter, unhealthy food, wasted time, procrastinating, and toxic people is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Especially eliminating friends or relatives who no longer enhance your life. If your phone rings, or more likely you get a text or FB message and your mood instantly drops, feel free to distant yourself from that person.

We are not the same person we were as a child or in our twenties and there is nothing wrong with realizing you have outgrown certain people and need to make room in your life for the people you cherish. And make sure you let those friends know how much they mean to you! Clicking “like” on their latest picture or retweeting something they wrote doesn’t count.

Some drawings of Christine created by some of her fans. (Photo by Christine Smith)
Some drawings of Christine created by some of her fans.
(Photo by Christine Smith)

Fill your home with things you enjoy. I have items in each room from my travels that remind me of special trips; and crystal vases or items that are just beautiful and make me happy. Some of my most cherished possessions are thoughtful gifts from fans or unique pieces from antique or consignment stores. Some are just beautiful shells I’ve found at the beach.

Be appreciative of everything you have now. You can always have more of anything, but you’ll never fully appreciate it if you are always comparing what you have to others and feeling like what you have isn’t good enough. Coming home from work to an environment you enjoy and are grateful for is an instant stress relief.

Never tell yourself anything you wouldn’t say to your best friend. You would never tell your best friend she’s fat, she can’t do anything right, she shouldn’t believe she deserves a raise or anything else people tell themselves. Make a list of all the negative things you tell yourself in a day, figure out why you are thinking those thoughts and write down why they aren’t true. Try for one week not to think any negative thoughts about yourself or others. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you only allow yourself to think positive thoughts.

Listen to what your Mother told you and eat your veggies. I take countless health supplements now; I could tell you ten natural cures for about anything. Prevention is everything. Take care of yourself now before you end up on medication when you are older for illnesses that easily could have been prevented.

Most of our health problems stem from not dealing with stress and our negative thoughts. Eventually they will make your whole body ill. How many people watch TV while surfing the internet on their phone? Or numb themselves with alcohol or food and wake up feeling exhausted every morning?

Preparing for an autograph signing. (Photo by Christine Smith)
Preparing for an autograph signing.
(Photo by Christine Smith)

We are constantly bombarding ourselves with constant stimuli and never have a chance to relax. Giving yourself even 10 minutes a day of silence can be life changing. There are countless videos of guided meditation on YouTube if you find it hard to quiet your mind.

Lastly, and I feel the most important: tell yourself every day that you can get out of bed is a good day. Never take your health for granted! I learned this all too well when I slipped and fell onto the corner edge of my marble bathtub. I dislocated a few ribs, it felt like I tore every muscle and tendon in the left side of my body. I needed two medications to be able to breathe deep enough and prevent pneumonia.

For six months I was bed-ridden and swore after I was better that every day I could get out of bed I’d be grateful and happy. You never know when you could lose what you have. Remembering to feel gratitude daily is the most important thing I’ve learned. You can’t feel grateful and be unhappy at the same time!

@TheGodLight  Life is a gift from God, be grateful for what is given, for out of gratitude life will show its true meaning