A Half Birthday List Is Better Than None

I had no idea half birthdays existed until I met the woman who would become my wife. She not only celebrates people’s birthdays but also the point in the year half-way to their next birthday.

Well, as someone who thinks birthdays should be celebrated for at least a week anyway, I thought this idea of adding even more celebration in between was great. So we celebrate half birthdays at our house.

T0 celebrate mine today I’m offering some lifetime-learned observations. Twenty-eight of them, in fact, because that’s half the number of years I celebrated at my last birthday. (And who am I kidding? No one wants to read a list as long as I am old.)

The links in the list go to posts where I expand on how I learned my lessons. If you have more life lessons, please feel free to add them in the comments. I can use all the help I can get.

1. It’s OK to stop and pull your socks back up.

2. Don’t worry about gray hair. Be thankful you still have hair.

3. Speaking of hair, don’t be afraid to try a new haircut.

4. When you feel the urge to text your spouse (or other important person) just to say hi and see how they’re doing, give in to that urge.

5. If your teenager walks into your bedroom and wants to chat just as you’ve turned the light off to go to sleep, turn the light back on and chat.

6. Saying “No” is wonderful. Then again, learn to say “Yes” to some things you haven’t done before.

7. Don’t look for reasons to dance. Just dance.

just dance

8. Encouragement is encouraging! Go out and do some!

9. When it comes to new food, if there’s a culture somewhere on the planet that features whatever it is as one of their regular dishes, give it a try.

10. Bacon. Yes.


11. Ask for help. You know you need it. Never asking for help is not OK.

12. The Bible is worth reading over and over and over again.

13. Getting up early to exercise won’t kill you.

14. Staying up too late will keep you from being able to get up early to exercise. Don’t be afraid to have a bedtime earlier than most toddlers.

15. My wife loves me, or perhaps I should say she knows me really well and loves me anyway. That alone is cause to give thanks to God.

16. When given a choice between chocolate and vanilla, say yes.

17. Parenting is an adventure.

18. Never pass up the opportunity to say a kind word to someone.

19. Try something you’ve never done before, even if you know other people will be a lot better at it than you.

20. There are a lot of people with fascinating stories in this world, more than you could ever listen to in a lifetime. Listen to as many as you can.

21. Help comes from the most unexpected people sometimes.

22. Some things you never outgrow, and some of those things are really embarrassing at times.

23. People need you.

People Need You24. There are some really hard parts of the Bible.

25. A glass of cold water is usually more satisfying than whatever you first started reaching for.

26. It’s good to be friends with people who are different from you.

28. You never know what’s coming next.


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6 Responses to A Half Birthday List Is Better Than None

  1. This is an excellent list, Tim. Happy half-birthday. BTW I remember my daughter reading a Babysitters’ Club book a while back about a girl who had a half-birthday party and drove everyone nuts dictating how it would work: only half a present, only half a card, half a cake, etc. So don’t try that at home. 🙂

  2. Ruth says:

    Tim, my dad has birthdays all the time; he announces how old he at varying intervals, 70, 95, 86, 87,102 was a very old day or two!
    He has settled for an accurate 87 now that his memory is stable after a fall, even ge is laughing at his mobile birthday dates!
    We started celebrating both our sons birthdays on each occasion, as one is a new year baby, the other middle of the year, 20 months apart. We would give a present of greater ‘value’ or desire to the birthday boy and something special to the half- birthday boy!
    Worked a treat…two cakes, friends visits, doting relatives. We were roundly criticised for taking the special moment from one son.
    No it didn’t, it just made both of them happy for each other, and they both understood especially the new year baby, who only got one special day. He thought, Christmas was it, and as he got older, many friends weren’t around to celebrate with him til school went back.
    Our out door fireworks, bbq, joke telling chatting, photo taking evening get togethers, with many of them sleeping over…what a crowded floor we had….often numbered 50 or more kids. Music reasonable til 11pm, then down because our gorgeous elderly neighbour needed her sleep, but she loved listening to the fun and became an auntie to them.
    Best parties, minimum alcohol, as drinking age came, no one got drunk, but anyone who drank was not allowed to drive home. I took their keys, they always agreed, so good those kids,
    That’s our half birthday story
    Think maybe I’ll have one for my next birthday too!

  3. Adriana says:

    This was a great writing prompt for me, Tim. I thought of 40 Life lessons since I turned 40 this year. Maybe I should have stopped at 20 though because my half-birthday is coming up in just a few weeks!

    1. The dread is worse than the doing.

    2. Never use soap on a cast iron skillet.

    3. Leave room in my day for spontaneous acts of service.

    4. Drink a glass of water before I have coffee in the morning.

    5. If I want to be a writer, I have to write.

    6. Sleep when the baby is sleeping.

    7. Catch a nap whenever possible.

    8. Greet everyone warmly first thing in the morning and when they first get home.

    9. Walking solves problems.

    10. It’s okay to let other people shine.

    11.World peace begins at home.

    12. Love is not indifferent.

    13. Just because something’s fun for other people, doesn’t mean it’s fun for me. (And that’s okay.)

    14. Bloom where I’m planted.

    15.”Silence is golden.”

    16. A stack of good books will stave off loneliness.

    17. Follow the Golden Rule.

    18. Keep evaporated milk in the pantry for those mornings I run out of half & half.

    19. Keep people happy by making them food.

    20. Learn new skills/ Try new things.

    21. I don’t have to choose a favorite color.

    22. Always wear good shoes and sunglasses.

    23. Never, no never, nag.

    24. Don’t make a serious decision until I sleep on it.

    25. Pray without ceasing; when necessary, use words.

    26. It’s okay to read a book from back to front.

    28. Get over myself.

    29. Wilber was “Some Pig” because he was humble.

    30. To achieve humility, practice gratefulness.

    31. If I think I’m humble, I’m probably not. Don’t overthink this; instead refer to #30.

    32. Creativity is inexhaustible, so don’t hoard it.

    33. Greed is not attractive.

    34. A warm Epsom salt bath will restore both body and soul.

    35. Don’t open other people’s mail, or stand over their shoulder when they are composing a letter. Refer to #17.

    36. Greet all people with the same level of respect.

    37. Don’t bury produce in the bottom of the fridge.

    38. I don’t have to have everything figured out. The more I learn, the more I realize what I don’t know.

    39. When roses start to fade, put the petals in a bowl of water so I can enjoy them a little longer.

    40. Arrive on time and pay cash.

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