Lessons Learned at 31

Kim Speaks Up - Lessons Learned at 31 #birthday #celebrate # balloons #joy #celebration #lessonslearned #life #friends #girls

Where has the time gone???

It’s my 31st Birthday today (Happy Birthday to me!)

and I am sharing some of biggest lessons learned thus far:

For all of my teens and most of my 20’s, I have felt like I had been falling behind in the goals that I set out to accomplish. I found myself falling short in many aspects of my life and banging my head against a figurative wall trying to find purpose and calling. I saw high paying jobs, mansions, dogs, babies, and the finest lifestyle in my future. If only I could skip the mire of the process and get to the end it will be all worth it…that’s until I decided to grow up.

Now if you know me, you will know that I am 5’ 2” and have been that way since the age of 12. Growing up for me has always been painstakingly slow. I find myself having to relearn the same lessons over and over again because I fail to retain it the 1st time. Well today, I stand here on my 31st birthday and can confidently say I have learned some important lessons along the way. Some I will love to share with you.

Celebrate Life:

Yes, I know…Life can be hard and sometimes unfair but you have the opportunity to truly show up and live it! If you’re reading this and understanding each word in this sentence, celebrate! One of your major organs in your body, the brain, works. You have the opportunity to get right today what you did wrong yesterday. You have the opportunity to experience some of the miraculous complexities that we sometimes take for granted like the change in seasons, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly and the eminence of childbirth.  You only get to do today – today! It is a one-time adventure so make the most of it.

Stop Comparing Yourself With Others:

It is so tempting to measure our life’s quality, work, and success using another person’s measuring stick. Don’t do it! You will always come up short. It is so easy to relish their success with no thought of their sacrifice or to secretly celebrate their failures without compassion. Life is not a competition among opponents. It is a marathon and we all have our own race to run. Some run in stilettos, others in Crocs ®, and some actually show up with their running shoes on. Point is: we all need supporters cheering us on.

No one can live your life better than you can live it.

Kim Speaks Up - Stop Comparing Yourself With Others

Determine What Success Looks Like:

More and more, I have come to the conclusion that true success is doing the best with what you have where you are. It is being a great steward over your resources… be it limited or plentiful. The way we manage our time, our money, love and invest in others, respond to criticism, take initiative, pursue justice and mercy determines the quality of life we will lead. Each resource enjoyed is on loan from the Heavenly Father and we will have to give account for the way we have effectively used it.

Live a Simple Life:

I am not saying sell all your stuff and pledge to a life of asceticism where you live far away in some lodge in the mountains. I do say live in such a way that brings dignity to as many persons that are affected by it. These are our families, neighbors, co-workers, civil-employees, and those who make and market the products we consume. Living a simple life is by no means a cheap life but a quality life. It is a life where you can easily release the things that many times keep us busy, anxious, annoyed, and grinding. It helps us identify and rid ourselves of the excess so we can live a more purpose-filled life. Poverty, just like success, has little to do with what you have but more to do with what you do with what you have. Choose gratitude!

Seek Gifts that Keep Giving:

Every year I find myself wracking my brain for an answer to the following question. “You know it! What do you want for your birthday?” I then find myself scouring Amazon or Target searching for something I remotely want so I can ask for it. Reality is: I do not need the things. God has been good to me throughout my life irregardless of how good I have been.

This year I seek gifts that keep on giving. Gifts that give a snapshot of God’s glory among us. They do not tarnish or become obsolete. They are no labels attached to it…sorry Michael Kors. What do I need more of?

  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Tenderness
  • Gentleness
  • Self Control
  • Endurance
  • Goodness
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Grace

Make me an instrument of peaceYou see I realized that the intangible gifts are the ones that matter most. They are the ones that make a lifetime of difference. They are the ones we should seek daily. We can never have enough of it. They are the ones that benefit us and those around uslong after we’re gone. These gifts keep on giving.

I will love to hear from you:  What Important life lessons have you learned along the way?

  • Happy Birthday! You sound pretty “grown up” to me- those are all really at the heart of a happy life. I have learned to let the little things go. Holding grudges over things that don’t matter only hurts myself. I am much happier when I focus on the good and the important things in life.

    • Thanks so much Valerie! Life is too short to carried extra un-needed baggage.

  • Happy Birthday!! I agree. Your post sounds very grown up and you defiantly know where you are going in life with that list. Grace in your life will lead to only the best of life. Great post.

    • Tammy, thank you for the birthday greetings and your comments. I have learned many hard lessons along the way and am seeking to pass on the knowledge.

  • Happy Birthday! I’m 31 and I feel like I’m accomplishing my goals now then when I was in my 20’s. I had my daughters in my 20’s so I had to set my goals aside until they gotten a bit older.

    • Congrats on getting it done. You are never too old to accomplish your goals.

  • Happy birthday!!! I’m 33 and I’m still learning lessons over again and I still have goals that I want to accomplish. But, I do that God is love and peace, that kindness goes a long way, and that I’m blessed to have all my basic needs.

  • Laura Martin

    Love love love this!!!! And the happiest of birthdays!

  • Thank you! I’m slowly realizing all these things now that I just turned 30!

  • Turning 35 this year and still struggling with some of these concepts. I have come to love the process of life… The ups and downs… Everyday is a new chance to give it a go again… Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post. Happy Born Day.

  • Heather

    Happy Birthday! That’s so good to hear…I turn 30 in November! 🙂

  • Happy birthday! Thanks for sharing your life experiences!


  • Demetrice Smith

    Happy Birthday!! Thanks for sharing! I’m 35 and still learning some of the same lessons! Seek gifts that keep giving is something that I am continuously seeking after! Bookmarking this post for one of those days I need a reminder!

  • Happy Birthday to you! I love all that you have learned in your 31 years. I’m pushing 40 and am still working on a few of these. I agree that “intangible gifts are the ones that matter most.” I’m working daily to instill this belief in my children as well. Great post!

  • Happy belated birthday! Great lessons. I just turned 31 as well and I can say that your lessons resonated with me especially living a simple life!

  • Robyn Hinkle

    Happy birthday Kim!!! I so agree, comparison is truly the thief of joy.

  • Love, love, love! I learned to live in Freedom and remember that I am loved! Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of all of the things you shared. I think I will print it out and post it up! Happy Birthday, Kim!!! Wishing you an abundance of blessings!

  • Tyra

    I love this post! Great point to live the simple life and just define what success is for you and not compare yourself to others. Great post.

  • Oh my gosh, you are touching on so many points that I’m trying to live right now! Happy belated birthday!

  • Happy birthday! My husband turned 31 last week–it seems to be the season for it!

  • CouponDivaAndi

    great reminders – hope you had a great birthday! 😀

  • Samantha

    Happy birthday! Loved the pointers – so true, and so what I wish someone had told me when I was a teenager.

  • Happy Belated Birthday! That stop compoaring your self to others point has been a hard lesson to learn! Hope you had a great day!

  • Simple. Be happy. Don’t compare. ALL fantastic advise. Happy Bday!

  • JoAnna Niles

    This is beautiful! Happy Belated birthday. Not many people make it to live life in general. Celebrate everyday.

  • Such great advice… I am still working on some of these. Especially the celebrate life one… I tend to get so busy in the every day I forget to spend time doing the fun things. Thanks for the reminder!

  • This is a great post. You provide very helpful and practical tips. I love the “Celebrate Life” tip. Thanks for sharing.

  • HAPPY 31st, KIM!!! These lessons are so grace-filled and fabulous. I’m still trying to get better at living simply…maybe by the time I’m 31 I’ll have it figured out! LOL!

    Coming Up Roses

  • Lauryn Lasko

    I need to stop comparing myself to others. It is a daily struggle!

  • Ooh, yes I need tall of these gifts in my life! Happy belated b-day to ya!

  • Camesha

    Yes to all of the above. Focusing on the simple things is a big one for me. I didn’t truly get that until I became a mom. Wish I had learned it sooner.

  • Aliyah

    I haven’t reached 31 yet, but I find that everyday is a lesson of patience for me. Continuously trying to find my peace in this world.

  • Weekends With Winter

    I love that you’re so introspective on such a pivotal birthday. i couldn’t agree more with the “don’t compare yourself to others” point. Comparison is the true thief of joy!

  • T. Espi

    My birthday was the 20th! Happy belated! Great post. I’ve definitely had to be mindful of comparing my journey to others and celebrating myself.

  • J Stults

    Hi, Kim 🙂 Beautiful reminders here! Love what success looks like to you – me, too. 🙂

  • Not comparing myself to others is one that I have learned along the way as well, things have worked backwards for me, when others were going to school I was becomening a mother, and yet that is what inspired me to create my business, now, I will be going back to school, and I have to remember my accomplishments are my own and theirs is theirs…#brownbloglove

  • Nika Marie

    Hi Kim! I experienced the same feelings myself of feeling that I had not accomplished many goals or expected my life to be something different than where I am today. With that I am proud of the woman I am. I too will be celebrating the big 3 one this year. I pray your day was everything! Happy Birthday and I am now following #BLMGirls

  • Kathy

    Greetings Kim! What a lovely and thought provoking article! I too love that Prayer from St. Francis. I may think twice when my birthday rolls around about what I REALLY need!

  • Happy Belated Birthday and this is really a great post. I too have found as I have aged, I am 46, that the intangible gifts are truly the things that matter. Time with people I love, doing things I love and taking time to reboot myself.

  • Tunisia

    Happy Way Belated Birthday! I love this post. Very positive and life-affirming! Great for the mind so thanks for spreading the good vibes in the blogosphere! I am the same age as you and I guess I’ll give three simple lessons I’ve learned.

    1) You are not always right. Take accountability for your actions and be mindful of others’ perspectives in any given situation.
    2) Peace is more attainable than everlasting happiness. Happiness is fleeting. Peace can last forever, no matter the struggle.
    3) Love of self is the best way to attract true love from another. It sounds cliche perhaps but I’m just learning how to love myself fully and truly. I always understood the concept intellectually for awhile now but I am just starting to understand it and be aligned with it on a deeper level.

    Well thanks for that lovely exercise. I just want you to know that you are inspiring future posts on my blog. lol I’ll give credit back here when I do post them. Thanks for the inspiration!