Take chances. Make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.Mary Tyler Moore
I’ve been contemplating a lot. Maybe it’s the state of current events, or maybe it’s my recent birthday, or maybe it’s looking at all of the adorable pictures of my friend’s grandson, or maybe it’s delightful activities of other friends’ teenage kids that’s got me thinking. Likely, it’s all of the above and more.
Reinventing oneself, and writing about it, is quite a cathartic process. When thinking about the future and the changes you’re making, you inevitably look back. What would have happened if I had done this rather than that? If I had gone another route, where might I be? But alas, the past has passed, and there’s no turning back. We can only go forward.
Hindsight is always better than foresight. If I had the chance though, these are some of the life lessons I’d tell my younger self.
- Don’t waste time. Set priorities for the day and do them. No excuses or sidetracking.
- Some people just won’t like you. It may hurt. Be confident. Choose friends wisely.
- Take care of your teeth.
- It’s okay to have a wasted day in front of the TV, or computer, or in bed sleeping. Just don’t do it once a week.
- Rely on no one. Focus on your goal and doing your best. Save money. From the start of your first job, keep adding to a 401k or investment account. Build your savings. There will be a rainy day one day. (2020…need I say more?)
- Spend your money on experiences, rather than things. The memories from your experiences will have lasting value; that expensive handbag…maybe not so much.
- It’s okay to say no. Stand up for your convictions. Don’t waver.
- Be kind. Have no expectations for anything in return.
- Stop changing yourself to make others happy. Make yourself happy first, and others will be happy along with you. And if they’re not, they’ll move on.
- While drunk, don’t give your number to anyone you wouldn’t give it to sober.
- Making mistakes is OK. Learn from each one of them. And don’t make the same mistake twice.
- Know your worth and ask for what you want. This works in personal relationships, as well as professional ones.
- Find your creative side, even if you don’t think you have one. Paint. Journal. Meditate. In times of stress, some of these “hobbies” will be be calming influences on you.
- You may have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince charming.
- Trust your intuition. If you have a bad feeling about something or someone, you’re probably right.
- Focus on what you can control. No matter how hard you try, there are just some things outside of your control.
- Before you go to the store, read the entire recipe.
- It’s not about how you look; it’s about how you feel about how you look. Invest in yourself. Look good. Feel good.
- Running away from your feelings is a race you’ll never win.
- Volunteer more. This will pay off in dividends throughout your life.
- One sweater you really love is better than five sweaters you kinda maybe like because they were on sale.
- The most important thing about cooking is sharing. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Experience the simple job of gathering around a table with those you love and enjoy.
- Sometimes the little things that make you happy really do count. Walking at dawn with the sunrise. Your desk at the window so you can feel the sun and see beyond the room. Displaying the books you’ve read. A stock of your favorite body scrubs. Whatever it is, embrace the little things that bring you joy.
- Be a good friend and you will have good friends.
- Get a good night’s sleep. It’ll always be a better start to the next day (and relieve the stress of anything from the day before).
- Own a great leather jacket. Wear it every time you want to explore your rebellious side.
- Work to live; don’t live to work. There’s so much more to life and love than spending your days and nights at the office or in front of the computer.
- Travel. Travel as much as you can when you’re young. It’s not as easy to be carefree with a career and a family. And it’s OK take trips by yourself.
- Read books. They’re a great way to lose yourself, to learn, to gain new perspectives, add to your vocabulary, and even write.
- Live each day as if it were your last. If you can do it, do it. Don’t have regrets.