40 things I’ve Learned Over 40 Years 

July is less than 90 minutes away. As a kid the beginning of July was like the countdown to the New Year at midnight. Every day until the twelfth I would get giddier, more excited, convinced that each year would make me smarter, prettier, more adept.

One year, I think it was when I turned five, I remember waking up and running to the easel standing in my bedroom and drawing a flower with crayons. Armed with the certainty that because I went to sleep a four-year-old and woke up a much savvier five, I would craft a more perfect, more precise flower. That drawing, framed and dated, would hang in my mothers’ hallway for years.

So now, on the cusp of 40, I am not going to wait until the morning of my birthday to feel older and wiser. I am in a reflective mood and decided to start to ponder what I have learned over the last four decades, and I chose (appropriately) 40 things. I wasn’t totally sure I could come up with that many things worthy of note–perhaps not all are to everyone–but they have special meaning to me.

So, for those who care to partake, the 40 most meaningful things I’ve learned in the last 40 years.  Maybe I’ll come up with a completely different set by 50.

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Finding Balance With Mercury in Retrograde

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Based on my prior posts about psychics and tarot readings it should come as no surprise that I believe in astrological calendars and their meanings to some degree. For most things (maybe even all things), I believe a bit of both science and art creates a well-balanced diet that doesn’t over or under serve what each side has to offer.

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Cyber Romance: Gift Ideas For A Virtual Boyfriend or Girlfriend

20131026-100713.jpgI don’t quite get the idea of having a cyber-boyfriend or girlfriend. How do you “date” or have a romantic relationship with someone who you don’t physically see in person? Full disclosure, I also don’t fully trust the process of online dating for myself, but I never had to either… filtering and select a potential partner or love interest from a thumbnail and bio–especially considering the looming prospect that they could be totally scamming you (hello… ever watch Catfish?).

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Fathers Day Gift Ideas: Celebrating Dad

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My man with our kids at 16 Handles on the UWS

Father’s Day is a tough one for me. I’m torn. I can’t help but think of my Dad who is no longer here, but I’m also so blessed with a man in my life who is a loving husband and father to me and our children. But it’s more than that. My husband met us when I was newly divorced and my two children were three and five years, respectively. We were adjusting to a new life together and, personally, I was trying to find my way as a single mom, convinced that was what I needed to do…for myself and for my kids not wanting to make another mistake or “fail” again.

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Regrets: The Gift I Almost Didn’t Give

20130329-232057.jpgI’ve struggled with regret much of my adult life–my verdict: it’s a toughie. When my father passed away in 1997, I was very lucky because we had tremendous communication and as I had matured we were able to speak very frankly so there was a lot we were able to say to each other. All that aside, once he was gone I was reminded of one particular event that I never got to talk to him about…something I regretted terribly.

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Dear Me: A Gift To A Younger Self

20130201-210647.jpgI saw a Facebook update today that inspired this post. It was really simple: a message addressed to the posters’ 16 year old self. That got me thinking… Experience really is so illuminating, so what would I say to my younger self with the benefit of these last few decades of knowledge, mistakes, heartbreak, fumbles and successes? Of course this can’t benefit my younger self–that ship has sailed–but who might this be of an even modest interest to…? Full disclosure (I do say that a lot, don’t I?), as coincidence would have it, I too have found myself posing this question lately as nostalgia, womanhood, parenting and the regular course of life mash-up into a frothy mix of investigation.

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Valentine’s Day Preparedness

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Valentine’s Day is now less than a month away. This means a couple things:
1. You can no longer wish people a Happy New Year.
2. You officially need to get moving on selecting the perfect gift that embodies your love and reflects how much they mean to you…but no pressure.

Fear not! The good news is you probably know more than you think you do and anything that comes from a loving place can’t totally be a bad thing, so your gift will never completely go off the rails. Here are some tips to keep in mind as we enter this amorous season.
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My Casual (But Perfect) Wedding

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As I’ve mentioned a couple times here (feel free to eye roll or nudge anything with in reach with a ‘is she serious…a couple times?’), my husband and I are about to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I think this milestone feels so miraculous because it was so unlikely. Our pairing was unlikely, I mean. At least initially (boy am I botching this up, huh?). Once it happened, it immediately felt meant to be and all the pieces fell into place, however, not without complexities. I was a divorced mom of two little ones, aged five (almost six) and three, he was newly committed to continuing education, a full-time student and embarking upon a new career. Oh, right…and he had been a life-long bachelor. To many in the outside world, these lives and lifestyles seemed disparate and “not for long.” Then a month, three months, six months passed and Hubby Man, as I affectionately call him here and everywhere, were still together and committed–or we probably should have been.

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Anniversary Gift Tips

20120722-010432.jpgMy husband and I are about to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary and as we prepare to surprise each other (or try to) I started to think about all the pit-falls we have encountered along these last few years. Here’s a list of what to avoid when shopping for an anniversary gift for your better half from both a male and female POV, from me, the Gifting Whisperer and my man, the Gifting Whisperers’ Husband. Hope this clears up any confusion or provides some entertainment…best case it does both. Below is our wedding picture, taken almost five years ago.

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First Time Gifts: Buying for a New Boyfriend or Girlfriend

We’ve all agonized over this one at one point in our lives. The first gift. You don’t want it to be too casual or utilitarian (socks is a no-no), but it also can’t be too serious either (a watch or expensive jewelry may be too much right now too). You also may not know enough about the person to be able to really nail this gift, like if their birthday, Valentines Day or the holidays are two weeks after you’ve started dating, well, that’s a tough one, but not all is lost. Here are some ideas–from, me, the Gifting Whisperer, AND my hubby–so you’re not totally hanging out there with your downtown area exposed. This also marks my mans’ debut on giftingwhisperer.com, and I hope it’s the first of many…or at least the first of a few. Hope you enjoy his romanticism, wit and humor as much as I do.

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