Get a Life…and Other Things I Know at 29

  Today, I am 29 years old, and I feel so strong and so on track. I am not sure if I have felt this way on my birthday in years past or if greater confidence comes with age. All I know is that, I believe that birthdays are a marker—and this one is telling me that I’m going in the right direction. 

  I celebrated my sixth anniversary a couple of days ago, and I now feel empowered to share with my peers what I have learned about marriage. According to Malcolm Gladwell, at 10 thousand hours, it is possible to claim expertise in a subject area. Since I have been married much longer than that, I will share some wisdom that time has taught me. I tell as many women that I can that there are three ways to succeed in this life. I hope these lessons help you as much as they help me. Sorry gentlemen, if you haven’t noticed yet, this one is for the ladies. For my closest friends, I know you’ve heard these lessons a million times, so bear with me.

Lesson 1: Self-Care is the Key to Success:  How can I say this nicely? There is a such thing as feminine power. Much of it is connected to beauty. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to never let yourself go. Make a concerted effort to exercise, eat well, take care of your skin and hair, and dress yourself in a manner that is attractive and appropriate for whatever situation you find yourself. If you could only master this aspect of life, I think it would make a major difference in how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you. Self-care means taking a little time for yourself every week to get your nails done, go to the gym, get a massage, or get hooked up at the beauty salon. That is a part of it. The second part of self-care is self-talk. Are you overly critical of yourself? Is your self-talk very negative? Do you speak lovingly to those parts of yourself you are not proud to display? As we are gracious with ourselves, it is much easier to extend grace to others. You can be Instagram fit with perfect makeup and brand-name clothing, but speaking against other people or yourself excessively is so unattractive.

Lesson 2: You Gotta Have Friends: My mom modeled this lesson very well for me, but I had to re-learn it for myself as an adult. Having your own friends, especially when you are married, is so important. Sometimes, you should go on a trip with your girls or have dinner with some ladies from work. Cultivate and maintain strong, female friendships. Women need each other, and we can provide for each other what men never can. Up with Sisterhood! If you’ve gotten to far away, call up an old friend TODAY! 

Lesson 3: Marketable Skills are a Must:  You must be able to survive in the global marketplace. Whatever you can do, do it. Can you sew, do hair, do you have nursing skills, can you speak languages? Whatever you have been trained to do, do not fall out of practice. If you ever have to make it on your own, you should be able to do so, and do so in a way that is financially beneficial to your household.

   If I had to package these three lessons together, I would call them “Get a Life.” If you are married and you don’t have a world outside of your spouse, you are headed for disaster. If you are single and waiting for someone else to become your life, you have fallen for the fallacy of the romantic savior. 

   There is no one on earth that is able to be your everything, and asking anyone to do or be otherwise is totally unreasonable. The life that you will love most, will be the one you have created, where you are being your best self, sharing your life with great friends and offering your gifts to the world.

   The biggest truth of it all is that the greatest love I have ever found was from God. He brought me my husband, my career, and years of favor with people and institutions. Without him, I would be nothing, and I would be waiting for someone to love me to life, when he has been there for me all along. 

  As I approach year 30 with these lessons in tow, it is time to take on new challenges, like financial literacy and re-opening myself to the unforgiving world of social media (baby steps!). God has been my anchor, my teacher and my deliverer. And though I married the best man that I know and have ever met, it is the light of God that makes him—and makes us truly great.

Greater Sunshine

Kindall “Sunshine” is the daughter of N-Touch News Publishers Daryl and Tampa Bay Tammy Johnson and a U.S. Diplomat in Bogota Columbia in South America

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| 562 views | May, 31st, 2018
Kindall Sunshine Hayes

Kindall Sunshine Hayes spent the majority of her life chiefly concerned about herself.  As the youngest of four children, she struggled with self-absorption and all of the ills that come with it: fear, perfectionism, neediness, and pride.  She often found her family telling her that she should be more considerate of others, or that every situation was not about her.  It was only after getting married and moving to the other side of the world that Kindall came face to face with her own insecurities and the damage it did to herself and others.  
For the two years that she accompanied her husband on a diplomatic assignment to Bangladesh, she remained silent about her new experiences living as an expat and visiting more than 20 different countries.  She abandoned writing, journaling and all forms of social media, relying on her husband and friends to keep her family informed on her wellbeing.  Living abroad and in a different time zone made her feel entitled to personal privacy.  
In her last few months in South Asia, after growing in her job, as a helpmate, and a world traveler, God convicted her to come out of silence with this scripture: "You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God...”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭MSG‬‬.
Through this personal account and with God's power, Kindall will attempt to do something that all youngest children hate to do: share.

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