#7QT What I Learned in 36 Years

I’m going out on this frightful ledge, because we’re super BFFs at this point. This year, my birthday is on Gaudete Sunday. Instead of mourning another step closer to 40, I thought, why not go as the Liturgical Year goes, and Rejoice!! Here’s what I learned in 36 years of living on this earth. Because, dear readers, I will be 37 this year. As my husband playfully jests with me “Ooooooh! That kinda stings a little, right?!” I am sure there are more than 7 things I’ve learned, but these are 7 quick takes, not 8,496 takes. Right?

— 1 —

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.

What I Learned in 36 Years or Happy Birthday to Me! I share only seven things, because otherwise we'd be here all day! by @fillpraycloset

Ain’t that the truth?! Growing up, there was no such thing as sorry in my house. No one apologized to anyone for anything at all, no matter how wrong they were. This means that for a long time (read till a couple of years ago) the word sorry may as well have been a four letter word. Not good. How can anyone have any kind of thriving relationship, or marriage that way? Here I was holding on to the moments where an apology should have been given, rehashing it in my mind and asking why? What a wake up call to find out that I was a cheapskate myself. Well NO MORE!

— 2 —

I’m super organized, diligent, efficient, forward thinking and have a memory like a steel trap, at work. At home? I am SO not that. And I accept that.

What I Learned in 36 Years or Happy Birthday to Me! I share only seven things, because otherwise we'd be here all day! by @fillpraycloset

I’m an Executive Assistant and work in corporate. The person that I support has a very visible, global position. This means I have to have it all together. And I do, no problem. I can remember the smallest details and bring fresh ideas to the table. At home? The kids go to school in gym clothes on mass day, or I forget they need to pack lunch. Don’t ask me when my anniversary is because you’ll see me punching in numbers on an invisible keypad because it has to be the code for my work voice mail for me to remember it. I’ve even gone to work with my underwear on inside out. (That’s sharing.) I laugh at it all. I share my foibles with my friends and husband, poor thing. He’s on the wrong end of the stick with this one and has to clean up my mishaps all the time.

— 3 —

I’m super protective. What I Learned in 36 Years or Happy Birthday to Me! I share only seven things, because otherwise we'd be here all day! by @fillpraycloset

If you are in my “circle of trust”, a switch in my brain must flip because I roll out the platinum package. Come to me with an issue, a problem, anything and I am all about making sure your heart is smiling as you sip your last bit of coffee. I guess it started when my brother, then he was my youngest brother, was being made fun of on the school playground. He has hydrocephalus and kids would make fun of the size of his head. Well,  let’s just say they never bothered him after I was done with them. I didn’t mean to smash the kids’ pinky with the corner of my penny loafers (complete with a shiny new penny). I’m not violent, relax. But, I am super protective.

— 4 —

Stay, only if it’s worth fighting for.What I Learned in 36 Years or Happy Birthday to Me! I share only seven things, because otherwise we'd be here all day! by @fillpraycloset

Relationships man, I mean, they’re hard, right? It’s because there’s another person involved and SURPRISE! You can’t make them do the right thing. I’ve had a long dance with the whole “Honor your father and mother” thing. I don’t need to try anymore. It’s not worth fighting for because they don’t think I’m worth it. And that’s ok, I’ve got plenty of people who think I am and you can only lead a horse to water. Right?

— 5 —

I am the Queen of Defense Mechanisms, which is also the Queen of Funny. What I Learned in 36 Years or Happy Birthday to Me! I share only seven things, because otherwise we'd be here all day! by @fillpraycloset

I just found this out yesterday, that I’m the Queen of two lands that are right on top of one another. As I was having lunch with a friend who needed cheering up, I said some things that would make Amy Poehler say “What?!” But my friend was cracking up. I said it all in such a way that made even the horrifically shocking, funny. Over the years, I created funny out of those situations and retold them to myself like bedtime stories to a toddler. Afterwards, she said, you should go on the road as a comedian. Nah, then who would write?

— 6 —

This is going to sound shallow. Who cares? I cannot be happy weighing any less than I do right now. 

I won’t tell you what that magic number is, BUT, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s well over the BMI suggested weight to height ratio. I am practically obese for my height. WHO CARES!

What I Learned in 36 Years or Happy Birthday to Me! I share only seven things, because otherwise we'd be here all day! by @fillpraycloset
AFP / Getty Images ANDREW COWIE / Via Quotes via: marieclaire.co.uk via buzzfeed.com

and for more of her awesomeness, head here.

— 7 —

I am right where I am supposed to be.

What I Learned in 36 Years or Happy Birthday to Me! I share only seven things, because otherwise we'd be here all day! by @fillpraycloset

Writing, reading, praying, loving, listening, cross stitching, laughing, cooking, baking and learning. Life’s pretty good, isn’t it? If you think about it? I made it. I made it through every day, every hour, every minute and every second to this very moment. I married the funniest, silliest, smartest, sexiest man and we made babies. No matter how many grays I have (and there are SO many, I found one in my eyebrows), or how I “shut it down” before 7PM most nights, I made it, I’m alive. I’m blessed and loved, right where I’m at.


Happy Birthday to me (and you, if your birthday happens to be today)!

So what have you learned in all your years of living? Share!

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t The Lyceum!


24 thoughts on “#7QT What I Learned in 36 Years

  1. 37 looks good on you! This probably surprises you, but humor is my go-to crutch as well. 🙂 When life is kinda creepy, laughter helps. Always. I could identify also with being super protective and staying if it’s worth fighting for.

    Have an awesome birthday and eat an extra piece of cake for me. 🙂


  2. You are simply awesome, my wonderful friend! I’m so happy to have you in my life. Can’t wait to see you this weekend and give you a birthday hug! xoxoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I cannot WAIT to be in my 40’s, in fact, I think 41 is going to be ‘my’ year, when all the BS is sorted out, and I’m okay, and just ENJOYING life. Other people think that it’s also a pretty cool time of life, and LOOK – this article I found MONTHS ago and it soooooo underlines what is RIGHT about that age: http://www.mamamia.com.au/social/turning-40-wendy-squires/

    I’m so glad to know you and call you a friend. You are hilarious, wonderful, lively-minded, and compassionate. You’re smart as a whip, and not afraid to be silly. You’re charming and silly and amazing and I like you heaps and heaps.

    You look beautiful in that pic. Well done you for knowing it 🙂 That’s a precious thing, so hang onto it 🙂

    (and there was one on your list which made me a bit growly on your behalf, but…ah well…that’s life, I guess, and sometimes parents suck. 😦 )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy birthday! I love your new acceptance of who you are and what you look like! (I get into that – AGAIN – on my Grace of Yes post tomorrow.)

    And you look MAH-veh-lous, dahling! Simply mah-veh-lous!

    BTW, I have a friend who threw a huge party when she turned 40, in thanksgiving for her life, her family, and her friends. It was fantastic!


  5. Happy birthday, stranger! You look great, you don’t look 37, and your BMI looks fine on you. I just wanted to say what a cheery spin you have put on this. Your comment about your parents really makes me curious, and I’d love to hear more. I am in a similar situation with not knowing how to “honor thy father and mother.” Blessings on your birthday.


  6. Happy birthday to you Cristina and to me – as we share 12/14 as a birthday – I LOVE LOVE LOVE that it falls on Gaudete Sunday this year – a special day for our family as our last name derives from it – -we have adopted it as our personal family feast day! Have a blessed day – I am glad to have met you in the blogsphere!!!


  7. I loved #5! And can identify. I guess most people don’t realize where the funny is coming from 🙂 Also, maybe I can have a better attitude about being ‘almost 30’ *28 and three quarters)

    Happy birthday!


  8. Fantastic. As someone who is a few years older than you, love, I can say you have got some stuff together here. Yay for you and the happiest of birthdays. Hope it was beautiful. 🙂

    P.S. I would have done some damage with those penny loafers, too. Just saying.


  9. Happy Birthday Cristina! Oh, what I wouldn’t do to be 37 once more. I loved my 30’s.

    And there is something wrong with that BMI chart, don’t you think?

    What I have learned in 47 years.
    You can’t make everyone happy and especially not at once! So, if you make yourself happy, and this is with an understanding of what happy really is, then at least someone will be happy.

    God bless and I must drool over that tres Leches cake!!!!!!!


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