As I write this, the clock’s just turned past midnight and it’s now the 3rd of March, making it my 24th birthday. In the days leading up to my birthday, all I could think of was “Omg.. 24… you’re so old.. you’re one year away from the quarter century club..” etc etc. I kept thinking of it in a negative way which really was absolutely ridiculous. I feel like people my age put such pressure on themselves (myself included) to achieve things by certain ages, that when the plan they made for themselves as a clueless 14 year old, don’t go exactly as they had anticipated, they feel like they’ve failed or not done enough.
For instance, when I look back at the conversations I had with my friends when we were teenagers, four out of five of us probably thought that we would be engaged by the age of 27/28. In my eyes, 27 was the optimum age to get engaged, kids definitely by 30? Where this came from, I’ll never know but it certainly makes me laugh looking back on it because there’s no way you can really plan how that stuff and most of life turns out. You just have to go with it, make the most of it as possible and enjoy everything you can along the way.
I really do believe that life is about those small moments, the memories you make with friends and family, the hours spent laughing until your cheeks hurt and the nights spent dancing until your feet hurt.
Life’s too short not to enjoy yourself and there definitely isn’t time for moaning about being lucky enough to age another year. With that in mind, I decided I would make a list of the 24 reasons I have to smile and the things I am most grateful for on my 24th birthday!
Okay, here we go..
1. Having The Best Family A Person Could Wish For…
I mean it when I say it that my family are out of this world incredible. I’m so lucky to have a big family who are all so close. I have insanely supportive parents who would do anything for their kids and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t realise how grateful I am for that alone. I have three younger, amazing, super smart, talented, funny, caring siblings that make me proud to be their big sister. I have grandparents that are more fun and have more love for life than anyone I know. I have aunts and uncles that act as best friends who are always there whether it be for a night in chatting, a night out dancing or a shoulder to cry on. I have countless younger cousins who are all growing up into these amazing people and as the eldest, I love that I get to watch them all grow up.
2. Having Lunatics As My Best Friends..
There isn’t a day that passes that my friend’s don’t make me laugh. They’re spontaneous and they’re infectious to be around. I can’t not smile when I’m in their company. They’re a little bit mental (like myself) and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. As well as funny, they’re crazy supportive, loyal, loving and generally just very sound. What would a girl do without her girls eh?
3. Having A House That’s A Home..
No matter where you go or how long you go for, there is no better feeling than coming home. It’s hard to determine what it is that turns a house into a warm and welcoming home but I’m pretty sure those Irish mammies have something to do with it!!
4. Being Irish..
Ireland, you really are a little beaut of a country. Growing up I never truly appreciated just how green our grass is or how blue our oceans are. There really is nowhere like it. The only thing better than Ireland’s scenic countryside is our people. We’re not a bad bunch!
5. Being So Close To Connemara..
Living in Galway means I am only ever an hour and a half away from my favourite place in the world, Ballyconneely. That fresh air will never get old. Sitting in the mobile home, watching the sun set over the sea, tucked up in cosy blankets in the company of your family. It doesn’t get much better than that.
6. Ability To Travel..
The more I travel, the more I want to see. It’s a never ending circle.
7. Having My Aunts As Best Friends
I touched on this already but these women deserve a little more attention. My aunts are an extension of my mum. They’re always there, be it for a laugh or a cry, I know they’re there. They love to enjoy themselves and they don’t take themselves too seriously. They love a good boogie and shoes permitting, will always be the last ones on the dance floor. They have the most infectious cackle of a laugh known to man, that it’s actually quite renowned. I’m at my happiest in their company and well, they’re simply the best 😉
8. Enjoying My Job..
Life really is too short to be waking up every morning and dreading going to work. I’m so lucky in that I love where I work (beautiful clothes!) and love the people I work with.
For so long, I felt a little lost in terms of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I always thought science would be the route for me so when that didn’t turn out to be true, I found it hard. But now that I’ve finally realised the path I want to go down and the areas I’d like to work in.. It’s definitely a relief but also really exciting.
Music definitely makes me smile. I think I get my love of music from my dad. We’re both at our happiest when we’re listening to music, be it dancing to Future Islands at Electric Picnic together or staying in on a Friday night watching Jools Holland.
11. New Found Love Of Exercise..
I never thought I would see the day that I would say this.. but I really enjoy exercising now? Who knew eh? Definitely not me but I’m going with it anyways. I promise I won’t start hashtagging #FitFam anytime soon though!
12. Good Health..
I’m lucky enough to be able to say that I’ve never really known what it’s like to have anything other than good health.
13. Good Food..
My mum happens to be an incredible chef so I’m blessed with good food daily…and boy does food make me happy!
14. Being Young & Free..
“The world is your oyster” and all that!!
15. My Dog..
She has her moments (like the time she ate a FULL chocolate cake and was getting sick for weeks) where I want to scream but for all her bold moments she has twice as many good. If I’m sick, she will lie by my side all day. If I am having a nightmare, she will nudge me non stop until I wake up from it. She might have an attitude problem sometimes but underneath she has a heart of gold.
16. This Little Blog..
I know its cliche for a blogger to say, but I really am so glad I fought the fear and started this blog of mine when I did. I love having an outlet, something other than work to focus on and I love having something that’s mine, that I created.
17. Not Taking Myself Too Serious..
I was brought up not to take myself too seriously and to always to be able to take a joke. If you can’t laugh at yourself, then who can?
I have four incredible grandparents who all have perfect health. At my age, that is quite a rare thing to be able to say and I am SO grateful that I am able to say it. While I’m at it, I should probably mention that all four of them are the definition of craic. Maybe that’s their secret?
19. Living Close To The Sea..
I live within a two minute walk from the sea and sometimes I think I can take that for granted. You just can’t beat that fresh Atlantic air.
20. Rugby (lol)
For the sake of my friends not pulling the absolute **** out of me, I tried to avoid including this one but guess what? I really like rugby ,guys. It makes me shout like a maniac more than smile (I embarrass my family at matches) but I enjoy it all the same.
21. Kind Strangers..
I always find it amazing how the smallest of gestures can make the biggest impact. I love those conversations you have with the person sitting next to you on the bus or the person in front of you in the queue. All of those small gestures and encounters can go a long way in helping someone have a better day.
22. Did I Mention That Family Of Mine?
See number one again. They’re pretty great.
23.Life’s Too Short Not To Smile
I’m probably repeating myself here but life really is too short to be anything other than happy and grateful for what you have. Life can change in the blink of an eye so we should enjoy every second while we can. Anything less than that is just a waste..
24. Allowing Myself To Be Happy..
One of the biggest thing’s I’m grateful for is the change I’ve had in my mindset. For a long time, I dwelled on the past, on things I couldn’t change no matter how much time and energy I put into wishing I could. I wasted the present focusing on the past. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what one thing made me change my mindset. I think it was a lot of small things as opposed to one pivotal moment that made me realise the only one standing in the way of my own happiness was myself. It’s cliche but it’s the honest truth. I started telling myself that I deserved to be happy and well it wasn’t long coming 🙂
This post was probably one of my longest to date and definitely my most personal so I hope you didn’t find it too soppy and sentimental. I thought I would struggle to come up with a whole 24 reasons that I smile but it was a lot easier than I had thought 🙂 If you managed to read this far, fairplay!
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!
Love Edel x