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As I get ready to welcome my 37th Birthday next week, I wanted to share a list of 36 things I learned and shared from my experience going into last year.

1. Some problems cannot be outrun

2. I am stronger than I ever thought possible

3. In my dark moments, JoJo’s laughter and Brayden’s kisses can transform me

4. Single parenting is exhausting and lonely

5. Paying bills is not fun, but necessary

6. I am not street smart

7. There really are bad people out there looking to take advantage of kindness

8. You never know where or when you will meet someone you deeply connect with

9. Family can be anyone, anywhere

10. Not all mistakes can be fixed

11. Survival is a daily struggle

12. It’s ok to ask for help, but it is better to ask for the knowledge to help yourself

13. Money and material items do not define me or my success in life

14. Tears are not always sad, and smiles are not always happy

15. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely

16. Courage is not the absence of fear

17. Self care is not selfish

18. Trusting myself is a process, but the gut does not lie

19. Magic exists, but you need to be open to seeing it

20. Write your life story in pencil so you can make changes at any time

21. Beer, and Bud Lite specifically, can be yummy in the right moment

22. Maine really is colder and snowier then Connecticut

23. Sleeping by candlelight has changed my sleep and life

24. Get rid of anything that is not useful or that does not bring you joy

25. Don’t worry what others are thinking about you, more often then not they are not thinking about you at all

26. The flu is real, get a flu shot

27. Expectations is the fool’s guide to life

28. Live for yourself

29. Don’t let the past define you, and don’t let your future expectations control you

30. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and when you do, own them

31. Give and accept nothing less than respect and the truth

32. Everyone has a different path to happiness, be sure to follow your own

33. Not everyone is going to like you, no matter how hard you try

34. Be sure to love with your whole being, but start by loving yourself

35. When all else fails, pray and ground yourself

36. Sometimes all you need is to breathe.

Happy birthday to me, the Suburban Goddess Mom!

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