On Monday evening, I posted about the first of 15 lessons I’ve learned in my 30 years of life. Tuesday, September 6, I turned 30. I felt better about it than I expected, and have been looking forward to posting the second half of my 30 morsels of wisdom. Enjoy…
16.) The book is always better than the movie. Sometimes, the movie comes close (Harry Potter, ya done well), other times it’s painful to sit through (I’m looking at you Lightning Thief) and still others get it COMPLETELY wrong (My Sister’s Keeper – how could you kill the wrong sister!?). Books over movies. Period.
17.) It’s important to get up off the couch and DO SOMETHING. Anything. Go for a walk. Read a book. Play with nieces and nephews. Toss the dog toys. But sitting and watching TV every night is a waste of valuable time. Since I cut back on the number of TV shows I watch, I’ve found myself a far happier (and more well-rounded) person.
18.) Impulse buys are hardly ever worth it. It is so much better to find something you like, think about it, maybe even save up a bit of money, and then buy it once you’re sure you need it. It means more if you’re forced to want it, as opposed to getting instant gratification. (I learned this lesson early with a certain Skipper doll as a third grader. Not all she was cracked up to be.)
19.) If you don’t LOVE it, don’t buy it. My personal rule, which is especially important when shopping for clothes. In the past, I’ve bought things because they were a good deal, or I figured I might find a way to work them into my wardrobe (Really? A cropped Bud Light shirt? Not my style.) Now when I shop, if I don’t absolutely LOVE it, it goes back on the shelf.
20.) Prayer is powerful. Even when I don’t feel like I’m being answered, I still dedicate time to prayer each day. And I cannot tell you how many experiences (some simple annoyances, others heartwrenching losses) that prayer has helped me get through. I am grateful to have been given a strong faith by my parents and maintained that faith into adulthood.
21.) Not everything needs to be read cover to cover. I subscribe to quite a few magazines (and I just bought a Living Social deal for a year’s worth of US Weekly – I couldn’t resist!). I can feel the stress begin to rise when I receive the new month’s issue without having finished reading the previous month. I have finally realized that if I am not interested in a certain article, I can skip it! (It’s not like the publisher is going to call me up and quiz me.)
22.) If you lay on enough guilt, you can probably get someone to do just about anything. (I say this as my husband attempts to find my blog, following complaints from me about his lack of dedication to reading my posts.) The caveat is, it never feels quite as good as if that person would have chosen to act on their own accord. It means so much more when no prompting is needed.
23.) A neat and tidy house lends itself to an organized and peaceful life. I find that I can work and relax so much easier if I have a nice clean house. It doesn’t have to pass the white glove test or anything crazy like that, but clearing the house of clutter makes me feel energized and ready to take on the world!
24.) Face-to-face conversation simply can’t be replaced by social media. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, and all that it offers. But there’s something to be said about having an actual conversation with a real live person. As much as I like that I’m able to keep track of what my high school classmates are doing via Facebook, it’s far more fun to see and talk to them in person (Class of ’99 10-year reunion anyone?). Real people trump technology.
25.) Live in the moment. This is something that I sometimes have to remind myself (and often remind my sister). When I’m spending time with loved ones, whether it’s family, friends, students, or whoever, I’m bound to miss out on the fun of the experience at that moment if I’m busy doing something else (thinking of the next lesson to teach, texting, etc.). The times that I have the most fun is when everyone is off of their phones and we’re all just hanging out.
26.) Choices have consequences. Luckily, I haven’t made any drastic, life-altering mistakes. But I have made choices that I’m not proud of, and I have done things that I’ve regretted later. Learning from these mistakes not only means avoiding making the same ones again, but thinking ahead to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
27.) You reflect the people in your life. It is so important to surround yourself with positive, driven, enthusiastic people. My favorite school counselor (Love ya, Mac!) teaches a lesson to my 5th graders about this very thing. If you hang around with negative people, you will feel yourself drawn into that negativity. If you hang out with positive, uplifting people – ta da! You will be encouraged to be a positive person.
28.) Have someone in your life who can make you laugh. I am so lucky to have a lot of these kinds of people in my life. My husband Dave cracks me up every single day. His modifications of song lyrics are one of my personal favorites (Sorry Colbie Calliet, but in our house, the lyrics to “Bubbly” are “Kasey doesn’t have toes, he just has a wet nose!”) When my siblings and I get together, there’s bound to be crazy amounts of laughter. My friend Mel tells THE BEST stories (with actions) that never fail to give me belly laughs. Sarah and I laugh about our sorority days and all of the times since! Christy is at her most hilarious when a little bit sleepy. My cousins (all 18 of them) are some of the funniest people I know (even when they’re rugby tackling you). And my funniest college memories all include one Amy Miller. And those are only a few!
29.) Football – I mean Fall – is my favorite season. I love everything about the fall. Back to school shopping, crisp jeans-and-light-sweater weather, Halloween, and of course, football. The scents and sights of fall simply make me happy (my drive to work in the fall on Underwood is breathtaking). I love, love, love it!
30.) 30 years goes pretty quickly. I pray that I will continue to be blessed with health, a supportive family, strong friendships, a rewarding career, and many talents in my next 30 years. I thank all of you for reading this post (and all of the others) and hope that you’ve been able to garner a little bit of insight (or even just a smile) from my writing. Here’s to 30!