30! What on earth. Not sure how three decades have passed since I made my entrance into the world, but I feel nothing but blessed for all I’ve been given and experienced. Even considering the tough times…and the really low times…I still don’t know how I could be any luckier.
Because I love birthdays, and I love lists, I decided they should join forces to recognize 30 important pieces of wisdom I’ve accumulated in my ripe old age. These are mine, no need to comply. Just some observations on stuff that helped me get to today.
1. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. This pertains to everything from weight lifting to writing thank you notes.
2. Admit when you’re wrong. Even if it makes you feel like a turkey.
3. Always make time to let the people you love know how much they mean to you.
4. Give money to homeless people, kids at lemonade stands and school fundraisers. Be the good guy.
5. Tell people when they’ve inspired you with lollipop moments.
6. Never underestimate the value of downtime. Life’s busy. Take some chill pills.
7. Take care of your health. Life would be far less enjoyable without a strong, healthy body.
8. Accept that as years go by, friends will enter and exit a range of chapters in life. You won’t always relate the same ways, but if there’s love and respect, the relationship can survive more than you’d expect.
9. Know when to be there for others. Don’t wait to be invited, just show up. Give hugs. You’ll figure out what to say.
10. Don’t let TV be the center of your world.
11. Always lock your car doors.
12. Learn CPR.
13. If you aren’t in a position to donate money to charity, donate your time, your blood or your hair…
14. Don’t lie, cheat or steal unless your life depends on it, and/or you’re completely willing to be caught.
15. Pick your battles. Yes, always.
16. Try to shrug off the ‘shoulds.’ Self awareness is good, self-imposed guilt is not.
17. Adopt pets, don’t buy them.
18. Rock the vote.
19. Money doesn’t buy happiness, it buys stability and security. So, keep a savings account to fall back on and do not sneak funds from it.
20. It’s always easier to be nice. If you don’t believe me, imagine watching a video of yourself the next time you’re tempted to mouth off or be an ass. It’d be fantastically embarrassing.
21. Living in a college dorm for nine months provides more life training in negotiation skills, patience, compromise and moderation than nine years of working in an office can. I think adults should all have to live in dorms for a few weeks each year as a refresher.
22. There will be times that suck and it seems impossible to move forward. But every day one teeny tiny iota of improvement will rear its head. And one day, it’ll be ok again. Let yourself feel bad when things are bad, but always have faith that they’ll be good again.
23. Don’t smoke cigarettes, that’s gross. But wear sunscreen, that’s cool.
24. Going camping every so often won’t hurt you.
25. Accept compliments wholeheartedly.
26. Don’t trust females who don’t have close girlfriends. That only happens as a result of unpleasant tendencies.
27. If you have to question whether you should do something–whether it’s an outfit or a business deal–it’s probably not the right option. Trust your instincts and make decisions with the information you’re given, not what might occur.
28. Never question eating dessert, even if it means skipping dinner.
29. Balancing the art of being brave and kind is rarely easy but always important.
30. Enjoy the small things; it’s all relative.