Sometimes my brain works better in lists — random, scattered, unordered. Today is one of those days. That said, I’d like to share 42 thoughts and observations… one for each year of my life thus far. And an extra eight… just for verbosity’s sake. Apparently, I have more than 42 things to remind myself of. Much, much more.
1. Life is good.
2. Life is hard.
3. The choice is yours.
4. The decision to have kids will forever change every single thing about your life — including, but not limited to, the balance in your checkbook.
5. And you still have a life. Live it.
6. Our children deserve our unconditional love and acceptance.
7. But that doesn’t mean they get a free ride.
8. I would rather, above all else, my kids be kind.
9. Friends come and friends go. If they choose to come… if they choose to go… you must honor that choice.
10. Every relationship matters.
11. Life places us exactly where we need to be.
12. I’d rather experience an adventure than have a perfect credit score.
13. The size of your heart is more important than the size of your waistline.
14. Pre-teen girls never stop talking.
15. Reading a good book is the the most sublime, most affordable luxury on this earth.
16. A healthy pour of red is the best cure for anything. Unless you’re an alcoholic — current or recovering — then you should opt for the Blue Bell Cookies & Cream.
17. Agents like to say no. YOU have to keep saying yes. To your passion, your dreams.
18. It’s never more important to be right than it is to be kind.
19. You can have a big adventure in a small town if you’re with the right people.
20. Roots are much more noticeable when you try to color your own hair.
21. When the day is done, let it go. The next one is just around the corner.
22. Keep moving forward. Always. If you look back, you’ll trip. Trust me.
23. Check the kids’ pockets for pens before throwing their clothes in the washer. Every time. Even if they pinky-swore they already checked. Trust is good. Double-checking is better.
24. If it’s true and right and straight from the heart, don’t ever, ever be afraid to say, “I love you.” Don’t wait, either.
25. Eat more greens. Chase the spinach with some mint chocolate chip ice cream.
26. Sing. Write. Run. Read. Knit. Yodel. Skip. Whistle. Dance. Perfect Downward Dog. Prepare a feast. Climb a mountain. Save the whales. Find a passion… any passion. Pursue with all your heart.
27. Avoid complacency at all costs.
28. Take a risk.
29. Take another one.
30. Hug often. Kiss on the lips.
31. Stand tall. Walk with authority. OWN IT.
32. Smile at a stranger. Pay for the person in line behind you. (This advice works well at coffee shops, not so much at car dealerships.)
33. Hold more babies. Talk to them. Make silly faces. Drink them in. Babies don’t keep.
34. Remember when you think everyone is looking at you… they’re not.
35. Call your parents.
36. Don’t look for “the” way. Find “a” way.
37. Be gentle with those smaller than you. Be kind to those less fortunate. Lift the ones who can’t quite reach.
38. Let someone buy you dinner, give a gift, do you a favor. Let them love you the best they know how. Say “thank you.” Mean it.
39. Mind your words. And honor your actions. The latter speaks more loudly than the former.
40. Smell ’em… flowers, a freshly washed baby head, the comfortable and familiar scents of your best friend’s home, chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven.
41. Remember that life is more than work. And honest work makes for a good life. Work to make a difference, not to make noise.
42. Ladders are for climbing. People are not.
43. Make-up is overrated. You are beautiful just the way you are. But the combination of bright red lips and kick-ass heels can’t be underestimated.
44. Remember that nothing lasts forever. Enjoy the moment. This one. Right now.
45. Give more than you feel comfortable giving — money, time, love, friendship, trust.
46. Then give a little more.
47. Always hug goodbye.
48. Never say never. Especially when it comes to raising kids.
49. Play in the rain.
50. Soak your life in a beautiful blue ocean of gratitude.