10 Birthday Revelations After 37 Years
Sunday February 28, 2016

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It is such an occasion, similar to the arrival of a new year on the calendar or the start of a new season in . . . well . . . really anything, sports, school, fashion, you name it, that an opportunity arises for reassessment. A birthday most certainly falls into this category, but, as you might imagine, on a much more personal note.

Each birthday I find myself reflecting, reexamining and as was the case last year, choosing a decided course to move to Bend. I kid you not. I was going through my journals dated precisely a year ago, as I do often as a way of reminding myself of the journey I’ve been on, and one day after my birthday, I had resolved a Bend move would happen one way or another.

Sometimes the decisions that are made come about due to a reminder from a friend, a reminder from our past or sometimes serendipity has its way and events occurring around the date of our birthday give us great pause.  While I won’t go into the events that preceded last year’s decision, this year intriguing, unexpected, but most certainly celebratory events occurred prior to my 37th birthday that gave me the great pause that prompts one to realize action must be taken if the life they have been striving for is to be their reality.

Some of the actions will be personal and only known to me and those close to me, others however, will be noticed and experienced here on TSLL blog, and I am eager to share. But first, as I have done in many of my birthday posts from the past (links to each are at the bottom of this post), ten revelations that have presented themselves to me over the course of the past year.

1.When you don’t want a vacation from the life you live everyday, that is a very good sign you’re listening and abiding by your authentic self’s yearnings and innate predilections.

2. When life gives you unexpected good news but you don’t know how to deal with it, be grateful. The universe doesn’t give what it doesn’t think you can’t eventually handle (excuse the triple negative).

3. Being around sincerely positive people will change your life for the better if you’ll let them.

4. We often pick small battles with others when we aren’t content with how our lives are currently going. Instead, take a breath and a step back and ask yourself, is this debate really worth the energy or do I just want to feel as though I can have control over something? Let it go. You have more control over your life’s direction than you realize, and in time, so long as you are making progress, no matter how small, the change you seek will come.

5. Save one-third of what you make before taxes. You’ll have a much larger smile come April 15th (for U.S. residents).

6. The little everyday luxuries make a tremendous difference in the quality of our lives. 

7. Say no when it doesn’t feel right even though you can’t explain. Something that you will want to say yes to will be glad you waited, and so will you.

8. Learning something new will seem impossible initially, but eventually, the wall of obstruction to the knowledge you seek will begin to crumble as a result of your patient persistence.

9. Listen to what speaks to you and follow it where it leads. 

10. Work better, not more.

And on that note, after finding myself working both Saturday and Sunday in front of the microphone, I have realized in trying to make a blog that had something new to offer readers each day, I have seen ideas that I have wanted share and expand upon drift and then disappear from my mind due to my lack of energy to explore them further.

Much like the stairs above (see the entire home here), often to get where we want to go, it isn’t a straight path, but believe it or not it is soaring in the right direction. Sometimes we will try one approach and it will work for a while and then we must adjust in order to ensure we continue to go in the right direction. Life is a constant act of adjusting, reevaluating and trying to hone our approach as we learn what works and what doesn’t. And often it isn’t that something didn’t work in the past, rather it is that what we did has done its job, and it is time for us to do something else, adjust even further, etc. so as to make the gain we seek.

I want to create a blog that inspires, informs and offers the simply luxurious ideas that filter away the fluff and offers you the best, most worthwhile ideas and items (clothing, books, food, culture and decor) to welcome into your own life, but I cannot do all of this and begin to do the work I know needs to be done to create the second book I want to create. A book you will want to read and read again as a resource to curating your best life.

BUT . . . what I can do is model living a simply luxurious life and allow my life to be the reminder that it is possible to live simply luxuriously each and everyday, navigate life’s unexpected surprises and revel in the seemingly small, but significant boosts that enliven the everyday routine. I can do that if I respect my priorities.

And my priorities are to create and offer a blog that is full of quality, authenticity, and inspiration for you to live your best life. I may not be able to bring the latest home tour each week or a new word to add to your English vocabulary or share the latest current news, but I will be sharing what speaks to me and allowing it to inspire the work I do here on the blog and the podcast just as I have been doing since the blog began back in 2009.

So what won’t be changing? 

  • Monday mornings, bright and early, The Simple Sophisticate will continue to be broadcast on iTunes and Stitcher, as well as TSLL App and the show notes will be here on the blog.
  • Friday mornings, This & That will provide the latest culture, books, plays, films, shopping and Francophile finds to start your weekend.
  • Friday’s newsletter – sent out each Friday morning to keep you up-to-date on the all of the latest blog posts from the past week as well as an extra dose of inspiration.

What will be new?

  • Wednesdays the Why Not . . .? post will return and be combined with Thoughts from the Editor. This post is designed to be whatever is dancing around in my mind, what has caught my eye, perhaps a glimpse at Style Inspiration, a home tour or an article, event or news story that captured my attention, anything at all.
  • Friday’s This & That will continue to include posts from around the internet you might enjoy as well as news articles, similar to Au Courant Weekly, that might be of interest to readers.

For listeners/readers who enjoyed Au Courant Weekly, be sure to follow me on Twitter or my Twitter feed on TSLL App to see the latest news I share on a daily basis that catches my attention. A weekly news program I enjoy to get caught up on the week’s current events (both domestic and international) is The Diane Rehm show which airs Friday mornings on iTunes. I highly recommend. As well, The Charlie Rose show on PBS and CBS Sunday Morning on television.

Now you may be wondering, why the image of Paris at the top of the post? As most often is the case, the undertones of TSLL blog reside in the passion, respect and curiosity of the French culture. It has been two and a half years since I last stepped foot on the terra firma of France, and I cannot wait to get the opportunity to do it again. And if nothing else, that image is my reminder that it will happen, and when it does, I will be bringing TSLL along.

Thank you to the many people who have already emailed and left messages on IG sending your lovely birthday wishes. I am continually humbled by your kindness and passion for living simply luxuriously; put a different way, your determination to live a life that helps you reach and savor the rewards of your full potential.

Now, it is Oscar Sunday and on Tuesday Paris Fashion Week begins. As well, an extra day to savor in this year that is 2016. So much to enjoy, provoke inspiration and appreciate along with the amazing lives we’ve created for ourselves. Wishing you a most wonderful day.  À lundi (see you Monday).

~Past BIRTHDAY posts from the Archives:

~Appreciative & Exhilarated (2014)

~A Work in Progress (2013)

~33 Lessons Learned (2012)

~Traditions: To Follow or Not to Follow (2011)

~A Simply Luxurious Year (2010)

Thesimplyluxuriouslife.com | The Simply Luxurious Life

19 thoughts on “10 Birthday Revelations After 37 Years

  1. First of all a Very happy Birthday. I so believe in what you write, we moved to France for a simpler life, and has proved to be just that and more, it is far more luxurious in the sense that we are all so happy, as a family, in life and that has to be the biggest luxury of all. So much so that I share our lifestyle on my blog, for others to see the simple pleasures that bring so much happiness. When you make it to France again, come and visit.x

  2. Dear Shannon, my best wishes to you for #37 birthday and for the year ahead. I am so glad that, as life presents you with more opportunities, you are moving to manage your time and your life proactively. Your blog is so professional and such fun to read I am sure that I, along with many of your readers will anticipate your writing here on the blog and the new book with eagerness.

  3. I am so happy for you that not only was your birthday weekend happy, but, so your entire year has been a blessed and fabulous one. Best wishes for the next!

    The adjustments you are planning for the blog will certainly keep me reading it. I will not miss word of the week or weekly house tours at all. Au Courant was ok but, again, I won’t miss it as I enjoy your Monday podcast topics so much more. The plans you mention for the blog going forward are what drew me to it in the first place. Thank you for just being you and not trying to keep up or do what someone else is doing! (there’s a lesson in there for the rest of us) Thank you.

  4. Happy Birthday, Shannon. Thanks for all you share with us on your blog. Wishing you an amazing year. I know what ever life brings you, you will embrace it and learn from it.

  5. Again, thank you for your work Shannon!! I thoroughly enjoy your writing and cannot wait to read more from you. This is really exciting news!! Happy Birthday again! Warmly, Jessica.

  6. Shannon, you said “…what I can do is model living a simply luxurious life and allow my life to be the reminder that it is possible to live simply luxuriously each and everyday…” and forgive me if I just need it to be broken down a bit more to make sure I understand what you’re saying. Are you saying that you’ll be making the transition to a more personal blog, as it was in the earlier days, as opposed to the collection of items and inspiration you’ve found on the internet with little personal background? Or to put it another way, will you be leading by example, rather than teaching from a text? My apologies if this seems like a dumb clarification to need, but it does make a difference to me. What keeps me returning to TSLL isn’t the pictures of rich people’s houses, or the outfits put together by professional fashionistas that you post. It’s you, and I mean that in the least creepy way possible. It’s one of the things I love about reading your book. I can google search trendy decor, but there’s only one place where I can get to know the lovely person that is Shannon Ables. As a very private person, myself, I understand why you stepped away from the personal nature of your previous posts to take a more general educational standpoint, but I wanted to say to you that, if I’m understanding what you’ve written in the quoted bit, you’re opening yourself up a little more to show us how Simply Luxurious Living is done, rather than just telling us about how other people do it, while still managing to maintain your privacy, frankly, that’s very exciting to me. YOU are what keeps me coming back to TSLL and I feel like the return to your roots will only help your readers relate to your message.

    1. Nicole, Great question and thank you for your feedback. Moving forward it will be just as much me as always, but more focus on what is inspiring me as I move forward and sharing my experiences as I move through living everyday as simply luxurious as possible, mistakes, missteps, successes and all. Your comment is something I’ve been hearing from others as well, and I finally felt comfortable making this shift. I do hope you continue find inspiration to live the life of your dreams. And don’t worry, your comment wasn’t seen as “creepy” as you said. It meant a lot. 🙂

      1. That’s really exciting, Shannon, and I look forward to the shift. In closing, I just want to say that, in the light of day, that comment looks even worse than it did last night. Wow. I need to not comment on blogs when I’m tired. That was spectacularly awful. Good job fishing through all of that nonsense to find the point I was making.

  7. I look forward to whatever changes you are making Shannon. (so happy “Why Not” will be back, that is a post I have always enjoyed! ) Also, the happiest of birthdays to you!! Your blog/podcasts continue to be the catalyst to the positive changes I am making in my life. : )

  8. Love your blog and read regularly. When you next go to France instead of flying take a Cunard ship, perhaps QE2. It is a luxury experience you will love and not as expensive as you might think.

  9. Love your blog and always look forward to Friday’s roundup newsletter. Good luck with the changes. I’m looking forward to them! Thank you, Shannon, for all the time and effort you put into this.

  10. Happy (belated) birthday, Shannon. Thank you for continuing to create new content and share your experiences and thoughts. You are a breath of fresh air!

    By the way, our birthdays are close together–mine is the 25th. I’m not surprised at all that you are also a Pisces. I think it’s the most contemplative and mysterious sign–tres chic.

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