36 Things I Know for Sure.

Via on Mar 14, 2012
Photo: Tumblr

Birthdays are great.

It’s like we each get our own personal New Year. Mine starts today. From 35 to 36 has been one of my hardest and most wonderful years. You know, “it was the best of times—it was the worst of times” and all that.

I’m okay with getting older. It would be great if getting wiser along with it was a given. But it seems like the older we get, the more we realize we are in the dark about pretty much everything. I like to go with that though. I’m pretty happy staying in my “don’t know mind.”

I had the idea for this title. Then I realized, shoot—I probably don’t know 36 things for sure!

But I’ve figured out a few things, so I’ll share them with you:

1. Be yourself. You’ll end up with the right people in your life that way.

2. Don’t ever buy a sandwich from a vending machine. Ever.

3. It’s okay to cry. In fact, it’s good for you.

4. Credentials don’t matter. Fame isn’t important. Let go of your ego and treat everybody like a friend.

5. When in doubt, choose answer “C.”

6. Smile at everybody. It’s the best free investment you’ll make all day.

7. Don’t have a back up plan. You’ll use it.

8. “If you want to be happy, first think of others.”

9. Tip well. As much as you can.

10. Be honest, always. If I could have my children internalize one thing it would be how to balance kindness and honesty. I’m still working on it.

11. Nobody has it all together. We’re all broken (and that isn’t a bad thing).

12. How a person treats children and animals is the best indicator of his character.

There are lots of other things I fool myself and think I’ve figured out. I could fill a list with silliness like “floss every day” (which is good advice) and “it’s better to regret doing something than regret not doing it” (which is only mostly true). I could fill it with quotes and truisms that we all know that are pretty much white noise after awhile.

But the best thing I’ve learned and learn over and over lately is this:

I’ve lived lots of different places. I’ve had lots of money, been broke and generally been somewhere in between. And the whole money thing—overrated. If I can do work that helps someone, that is of benefit in some way to at least one person, I’m happy. And when I go to sleep at night, I will sleep peacefully. Not because of the numbers on my deposit slip, not because of the brand of yoga pants I have and not because of the car I drive. I sleep peacefully and my life is rich.

I am rich because of my friends.

So forget the rest of the list. Forget the truisms. Just love.

It’s the only thing that matters.

I’m going to head out and go blow out some candles. Make a wish with me!

About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. She doesn't know how to behave with all the apples and ibexes. She doesn't suffer from her eight million freckles, she loves them! Like a rolling stone, Kate gathers no moss. Kate loves kale, being barefoot, Dr. Seuss, singing too loudly, gallivanting, palindromes, blackberries and has far too many books for her own good. When she's not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, running in the woods, playing with her kids, devouring a book, planting dandelions, changing the world and doing her dishes. Kate does not play the accordion. She is a massage therapist, writer and a compassionate friend to all. This year Kate aspires to finally give up on learning to knit and will instead spend that time putting a little bit more of her heart on the page. Connect with Kate on Facebook and Twitter

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9 Responses to “36 Things I Know for Sure.”

  1. karlsaliter says:

    Just posted to Elephant Spirituality on Facebook.

  2. Debbie E. says:

    Love it, love it, Love It! And wishing you a happy birthday and a year ahead of amazing things! I truly appreciate your writing – you have a terrific energy about you that I look forward to seeing every day when you post :)

  3. Kristina says:

    Happy Birthday Kate! As always, your writing is poignant and touching. Good luck embarking on another year, can't wait to see what your 37th discovery will be!

  4. Ayngelina says:

    Love this list. And while I laughed at not buying a sandwich in a vending machine, the one that spoke to me was:

    Nobody has it all together. We’re all broken (and that isn’t a bad thing).

    I think it's so important that we don't pretend everything is fine, when it isn't. If we all shared more we would feel less lonely.

  5. Dottie Wagner says:

    Love this, and especially the way it ended. Soooo true!! Thanks!

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