Photo via Visualhunt
This is my birthday week! Is it any wonder that my birthday is in April if I’m named April? You’d think not, but I get asked if it’s true ALL THE TIME. Anyway, in celebration of turning 33 years old, here’s a list of 33 things I’ve learned during my lifetime.
1. Nothing beats a good piece of chocolate.
2. Staying up late doesn’t prevent tomorrow from coming.
3. “Please,” “thank you,” and “I’m sorry” make the world go round.
4. An allergy rash and the chicken pox are NOT the same thing.
5. You can fake confidence until it becomes true confidence, and that’s what most people who seem confident are doing. Yes, even that amazing person who has it all together.
6. You can’t make friends unless you be a friend first.
7. Baking chocolate is NOT worth snitching from your mother’s kitchen when you’ve been denied dessert.
8. Love is a gift of selflessness. You can’t earn it, you can only give it away. Love is an intentional choice that has to be made each day.
9. You will always regret not starting sooner, so even if you’re not ready, make today Day One.
10. If YOU’VE heard every joke and song there is with your name, chances are THEY’VE heard every joke and song with their name, too. Restrain yourself. Don’t make them do the smile, nod, and faux “ha ha” thing that you hate doing when others make a calendar joke.
11. Perfection is the enemy of good. “Done” is better than “excellent but incomplete.”
12. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas unless there are Christmas cookies, candles, seasonal music, and a decorated tree.
13. People are only as beautiful as they are kind.
14. In the things that don’t matter, achievement is more important than effort. In the things that do matter, effort is more important than achievement.
15. You need to keep the heat lower than usual for good results with eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, or pancakes. But keep it higher than usual for anything that needs to be seared or roasted, like steaks, burgers, or veggies.
16. I thought I loved to cook because I love to eat. Turns out they don’t go hand in hand.
17. The best way to get a stubborn person to do what you want is to let them think it was their own idea.
18. Just when you think you’ve figured out how to deal with your kid, they change.
19. The best way to get better at something isn’t necessarily the practice, but rather the commitment to showing up every day.
20. If you say, “I’ll pray for you,” keep your promise. It is not a phrase to be said lightly.
21. Kids’ taste buds are weird.
22. Anger comes from unmet expectations. If you get angry a lot, make your expectations clearer or adjust your expectations.
23. It matters more to be worthy of respect than to be popular.
24. Kindness and friendliness transcend all language barriers.
25. I am more like my mother than I swore I’d ever be. My teenage self would’ve refused to admit it, but it’s a good thing.
26. Being mindful prevents and solves most problems.
27. Your money goes farther if you’re frugal, and you don’t need as much as you think you do.
28. Singing lifts the spirit.
29. You can really embarrass yourself if you quote a movie line the other person doesn’t know and they take it out of context.
30. Medical advice often contradicts itself depending on which country you’re in, since there’s a lot we don’t really know yet about how the body works. A good chunk of what we’re told is cultural tradition. Trust your body to tell you what it needs or if something’s wrong. Doctors are dependable, but they’re not omniscient.
31. Children model what they see, not what they’re told.
32. Don’t start cracking your knuckles because it’s the cool thing to do in fifth grade. It’ll become a life-long habit you’re never able to break.
33. Words are incredibly powerful, more so than most of us give them credit for.
Whew! That’s a lot of stuff. And to be honest, some of them I’m still in the process of learning. But now it’s your turn: tell me something you’ve learned and are excited to share about! My kindergartener was very excited to learn the difference between living and non-living things in science class this week. My other son learned to do the monkey bars by himself. He’s very proud!