My eleven year old daughter likes to share “Life Lessons” with me when we are on long road trips, and she drops little pearls of wisdom like “If you only focus on the negative things that happen to you, like that you stepped in dog poop and got it on your new boot, you’ll miss the positive things. You could have gotten poop on both boots!” Yes, she’s amazing. You’re welcome.
Now that I’ve been around the bush forty six times, I’m basically a wise, rather sage-like being (hardy har har), and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite life lessons that became especially clear for me this year. I hope you dig ’em. I also hope you learn them long before age forty six. But if not, it’s never too late, boo. Here goes:
- You can eat too many pickles. Trust me on this.
- If life takes a sharp left when you wanted to go right, just hang on, you never know what might be around that corner. Like donuts, there could be donuts.
- You don’t actually have to mow your lawn all that much. Hi, neighbors.
- It’s important to experience life out from behind the camera. To be in it. To not get stuck trying to capture the memories in a photo. This is a hard one for me. I have very few photos from my childhood, or of my mom and I, and I am a bit photo obsessed with my own kids. But I’m chilling out a bit in year forty-six. I know they’ll remember me and all of our moments. With or without photos. If not, I’m TOTALLY haunting them. That’s right, kids. Start locking those memories in if ghost Ma ain’t your thang!
- Frose is the bomb diggity. I can’t get the accent on the e, but you get me.
- Be with people who really see you.
- Smile more. It doesn’t matter about that crooked tooth.
- Sometimes your heart will get broken. Sometimes you will break a heart. Both feel horrible.
- Funny can fix almost everything. Except heart break. You need crazy glue for that shit.
- That belly roll, that loud laugh, that way you can’t leave the house without fixing the couch cushions, the way you crack jokes at a funeral, the way you lose your keys, purse, phone, every single day, the way you act all tough but truly want to be protected and taken care of – – it’s perfection. And the one who sees you, will get that.
- Stay close to people who make you feel good.
- Stay away from people who make you feel as though you are broken and damaged, or hard to love.
- Be kind. Especially to the unkind.
- Listen to your mother. Really listen.
- Hug longer. With both arms. Mean it.
- Kiss like it might be the last time. Every single time.
- Tell people how you feel. Be vulnerable. Even if you don’t know what their response will be, say it.
- Eating the icing out of an entire row of OREOS is not a smart decision.
- Eating the peanut butter middle out of all the Pirate oatmeal cookies is a smart decision. No regrets.
- I can cook. I just don’t really want to.
- I can order take out like a mofo. Embrace what you’re good at.
- Talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you love. Watch how it changes you.
- You can fit every single thing in the dishwasher.
- Washing dishes by hand is for chumps.
- The laundry will never be all done, and that’s okay.
- Worrying about whether you’re a good mother, means you ARE a good mother.
- You don’t have to keep people in your life who make you feel bad. No matter who they are.
- You’ll turn into your mother. Whether you want to or not. I sponge stains off my kid’s clothes. I can’t remember the correct names of anything so I make shit up. And I hate asking for help. Thanks, Ma.
- Weed your garden. The actual garden, and the metaphorical garden of your life. Keep the people that make you grow towards the sun.
- Embrace the things that have happened to you. The obstacles, the adversity. If it happened, it was meant to happen. Focus on what good came from it, or what it may have saved you from. There is always something.
- When you are uncertain, pause. Just pause. Sleep on it.
- Lessons can come from joy as well. Remember this. Lately some of my best lessons have come from joy.
- Meet people where they are. Don’t expect someone to change to be more like you. If you love them, simply meet them where they are. Complete acceptance is a gift. Give it to others; give it to yourself.
- Don’t let fear be your loudest voice. Let love shut that effer up a little.
- Never settle for anything less than you deserve. Ride or die, baby.
- As my bestie Oprah says, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” Ask for all of it. You deserve it.
- There is true love that is exciting, secure, safe, romantic, and fun. Always, always wait for that kind of love.
- Accept the wisdom of children. Some of the lessons my children have taught me have been life changing. Life. Changing. There could always be more shit on your boots.
- Love yourself more. Nope, even more. There you go.
- Do what you love. Even if other people don’t understand, or think it’s foolish. They’re probably not your people.
- You are good enough. Right now. Right in this moment. And always.
- Don’t ignore the red flags. If something feels wrong, it is. Pay attention.
- Let it go. This applies to all the things. Except pie. Hold on tight to the pie.
- Don’t be afraid to start over. Live the life you want. Sometimes I start over weekly. Sometimes daily. Okay, okay, hourly.
- Life is less what you make it, and much more how you take it. Find the funny. Find the lesson. Grow.
- Sometimes when you feel as if you’ve lost yourself, when you’re wandering around in the middle of nowhere, thinking Sweet Baby Jesus, how did I get here? Did I hit my head? That is exactly when you will find yourself.
I’d love if you would share some of your life lessons with me. Leave a comment, send me an email, by carrier pigeon if you must. I’ll soak ’em all up with love and pie, and I know year forty six will be FIRE (as my awesome teenager would say).
With a high five and some cussing.