It was my birthday this past weekend!  To be honest, I’m not a huge birthday person.  I love celebrating other people’s birthdays, but I don’t like making a big deal out of my own.  To put this in perspective, I was more excited about MIS’ birthday!

Of course, Vishnu wasn’t going to let it pass by without some sort of celebrating.  I woke up on Saturday morning to the sound of Vishnu entering the apartment after his night shift.  He usually comes into the bedroom right away to give me a kiss, but instead he started rummaging around in the kitchen.  I got out of bed after a few minutes to see what was up.  Well, what was up was a cute little cupcake, a birthday balloon, my favorite dark chocolate, and the sweetest husband in the world singing happy birthday!

[Vishnu’s original plan was to bring the cupcake to me in bed, but I woke up and ruined that plan.  I felt bad, so I got back in bed and let him do his thing!]

The rest of the day was pretty perfect too.  I ran my usual weekend errands, treated myself to a delicious coffee, and talked to family and friends throughout the day.  Later in the evening, we had an amazing dinner experience at a local Italian restaurant (more about this restaurant coming soon!).  We ended the night with Meet the Patels and YouTube videos!

A photo collage of the things that I did on my 32nd birthday

And this, my friends, is 32!

I also spent a portion of the weekend reflecting on all the things I’ve learned in the last 32 years (both big and small).  Along with the 32 lessons below, I’ve come to realize that I’m much more grounded now than I ever was in my 20s.  Despite the bumpy journey, I’m proud of myself and truly looking forward to what this year and the rest of my 30s will bring.

And now, in no particular order, my 32 lessons in 32 years

  1. Everything in moderation.  Even moderation.
  2. Laughter is the BEST medicine!
  3. The grass is greener where you water it.
  4. No one can take your knowledge away from you.  Strive to learn something new every day.
  5. The world needs more authentic/genuine/real people.  If nothing else, be that.
  6. You can’t love someone else completely until you love yourself completely.
  7. A little reality TV never hurt anyone.
  8. You can’t change other people.  You can, however, change yourself.  And that may ultimately change those around you.
  9. Always have an attitude of gratitude.
  10. Find something that makes you come alive – a job, a passion project, a hobby – and go after it with a vengeance.
  11. The darker the chocolate the better.
  12. Wash your face every night.  Don’t skip this step!  Oh and…moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
  13. A bad day(s) doesn’t equal a bad life.
  14. Your parents aren’t going to be around forever so don’t take them for granted.
  15. Money isn’t everything.  In fact, most of life’s precious moments are 100% free.
  16. You’ll never regret saying, “I’m sorry.”
  17. Be kind to unkind people.  They need it the most.
  18. Always choose the adventure.
  19. Health is real wealth.
  20. When in doubt, less is more.
  21. Your body was made to move.
  22. Choose integrity over all else.  Because you will always know.
  23. Travel, both near and far, as often as possible.
  24. Marriage is hard work.  And it’s not 50/50.  It’s 100/100.
  25. Assume good intent.
  26. Live within your means and save money whenever possible.
  27. Perfection does not exist.  In fact, the fun lies in the imperfections.
  28. Listen to your gut/intuition.  It can/will guide you if you let it.
  29. Know what good looks like (for you) and don’t settle for less.
  30. Loss, heartbreak, pain, etc. are all a part of life.  You won’t be the same after going through it, but you will be ok.
  31. Life is short.  Have fun, laugh as much as possible, and love with your whole heart.
  32. Age is just a number!

And just because she’s the cutest, here’s the birthday poem my mom wrote for me!  [Thanks, momma!]

Mom's birthday poem for daughter on 32nd birthday

What did you get up to this weekend!?

By Parita

25 thoughts on “32 Lessons in 32 Years”
  1. Ahhh HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, my friend!! Hope your year is as special as you are!! I’m just the same with you about birthdays- love making a fuss over others but with mine, I prefer to keep it low-key. So long as I’m with my loved ones and eating yum food, I am a happy camper! Love love all the lessons you shared, especially about fostering an attitude of gratitude!
    Khushboo recently posted…Finding a balanceMy Profile

  2. I’m LOVING this list of wisdom. You’re even wiser than I thought – and I already thought you were very wise so that says a lot!! Love you to the moon and back! You’ve always been one of my biggest role models, even through your “bumps” and whatnot <3 keep up the amazing work you do so effortlessly (but purposefully!!) every day to inspire others!! Have a wonderful day, sis!!

    1. LOVE YOU MORE! And it’s more like you are my wise one 🙂 Not sure what I’d do without my little baby boo sissy poo! HAHA!

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday weekend and V making it special is just icing on the cupcake! Loved reading all your life lessons and #5 is the one that stood out to me the most. As well as #18 and #24 – SPOT. ON! My weekend was spent getting over a terrible virus and then the X-Files! Happy Birthday Par!! At the risk of not sounding SUPER Indian, but whatever: Wishing you many happy returns of the day!! And girl, you make 32 look GOOD! <3 xoxo
    Aparna B. recently posted…Hotty Toddy GetawayMy Profile

  4. Love the list pumkin 🙂 but # 5, 8 and 15 stood out the most to me. So proud of you all the way around. LOVE you so so much!!!!!

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