I get really contemplative on birthdays, and 33 was a particularly transformative year for me, so I wanted to just share a few things I've learned since my last birthday...
-That perfect is boring (and impossible to achieve). Being the best version of me is the greatest gift I can give the world.
-That I'm never happier than when surrounded by food and friends.
-The importance of rest.
-Creative collaborations (like this dinner party in Nashville) are life-giving and essential for me.
-Dreaming's the easy part. But putting that dream into action is where the magic happens...
-Everyone needs a place of solace...a place of inspiration...and a home. (I'm fortunate to have found all three!)
-Life is short, and every day is a gift. Celebrate the small victories (preferably with bubbly).
-Don't be afraid to do something that scares you.
-That creativity takes courage. So does vulnerability.
-Sometimes you just need to sing at the dinner table.
-That I must give myself the freedom to fail.
-I'm all for blogging, but seeing myself in print is pretty cool!
That most of life's joys happen in the ordinary moments; don't miss out on them while searching for the extraordinary.
-Anxiety is a killer, and it will take over your life if you let it.
-Sometimes you just gotta say no.
-Gratitude is the gateway to joy...but it takes practice.
-Pursuing a dream takes a LOT of work (but totally worth it).
-That girly brunches are the best.
-You can't be anybody: you can just be YOU. Live your story.
-Embrace real life, messes and all.
-Dreams aren't made in a day.
-Sometimes the most courageous thing is just taking the next step.
-Social media only tells part of the story...face-to-face conversation tells a lot more.
-I feel a lot better when I eat a lot of veggies. (But with a daily dose of chocolate.)
-The only certain thing is uncertainty. Might as well get comfortable with it.
-Dinner parties don't need to be fancy. In fact, the best ones are often mid-week.
-That when I create space for God to act, incredible things can happen.
-That mornings are sacred and must be cherished.
-Don't be afraid to ASK.
-That parkway gardens are awesome.
-That tables are a place of healing.
-That God is good, He is faithful, and none of this would be possible without Him.
-That I have the best husband in the world. (P.S. He cooked me dinner last night, and even made me a birthday cake. From scratch. And he doesn't even cook!!) I am blessed.
Wow...that's a lot to learn in a year. Bring on 34!!
(Photos by Signe Birck; props by ABC Home. Waffle recipe is here.)
Previous Essay: March 10th, 2014
Day 92: Changing the World, One Table at a Time
"This is how the world changes–little by little, table by table, meal by meal, hour by hour. This is how we chip away at isolation, loneliness, fear. This is how we connect, in big and small ways–we do it around the table." - Shauna Niequist
Apparently I have a soul sister out there, and her name is Shauna Niequist. She's the author of a book called Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes. Several friends have told me over the past few months that I must read it, and...