It's official. I've got 40 years of living under my belt. Here are a few things I learned along the way...
1. Generic peanut butter is not a suitable substitute for name brand.
2. Birthing babies is hard. For real.
3. When you're painting a room, and you have even one ounce of your soul that thinks a second coat might be a good idea....do a second coat.
4. Wine is good. Expensive wine is not necessarily better. Ditto on wine with a cute label.
5. Use the good china as often as possible.
6. Life has very distinct seasons. Enjoy the beauty of each one.
7. Your family is full of characters. Learn to love all of them. Even the ones that drive you a little crazy.
8. Fresh, local produce really is better than the stuff shipped in from Chile. (No offense Chile. I'm sure when it's enjoyed IN Chile it tastes just fine.)
9. Paying someone else to clean your house is way more fun than doing it yourself.
10. Insurance is expensive. Being uninsured is more expensive.
11. A college education is a valuable investment for more reasons than I can list here.
12. Most friends will ebb and flow in and out of your life. Let them go peacefully, and embrace the opportunity to reconnect.
13. When treating head lice, vinegar and a quality nit comb are your best friends.
14. Be present with your kids.
15. Say please. And thank you. And excuse me. Even if nobody else does.
16. If you think life is boring, you're doing it wrong. Try again.
17. Always buy it if a kid is selling it to raise money for school/soccer/church/band camp/etc.
18. When the invitation requests that you RSVP, do it.
19. Sometimes the way your husband said to do it really is the right way.
20. Don't make an excuse. Find a solution.
21. Watching the morning news does not start your day on a positive note.
22. Just be yourself. The people that matter won't mind.
23. A man holding the door open for you doesn't necessarily think you are helpless. Maybe his mama just raised him right.
24. When pitching a tent on a slight incline with a rainstorm in the forecast, make sure the door faces downhill.
25. Homemade is better than store bought every time.
26. If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.
27. Save for a rainy day. Because it WILL rain.
28. Working at summer camp is about the most magical summer job on the planet.
29. Even if you marry a guy that has a safe full of guns and biceps the size of your thigh, you still may have to kill your own spiders.
30. Sunscreen is your friend. Use it regularly and you too may get carded well into your 30's.
31. Luck will come through for you occasionally. Hard work and preparation are more reliable.
32. Everybody has a theory on how to peel a hardboiled egg. None of them work.
33. When planning a wedding and the cream colored napkins turn out to be white on your big day, don't throw a hissy fit. It will truly seem ridiculous in hindsight. Truly.
34. If you want to learn to play an instrument, select one that fits in your backpack.
35. Teach your children early that when they need to vomit, they are to run, not walk, to the nearest toilet.
36. When your 18-month old declares that she will wear only skirts or dresses, you can stop buying pants and go with it, or prepare yourself for a battle of wills each and every morning. I recommend the former.
37. Go ahead and take that Belly Dancing class that is offered at the community center. You'll have a blast.
38. We all have talents. Share them with the world.
39. The $100 shoes are always more comfortable than the $20 shoes.
40. Embrace birthdays, or any other reason to celebrate life!