Lessons Learned

On the eve of my birthday (actually it’s next weekend, but look at me being all ahead of schedule) I thought it would be fun to enumerate a lesson I have learned for each of my years on this here planet.  I am old, so it’s kind of a long list.

These are in no particular order – some are clearly more important than others.

Some seem unimportant, but are quite profound, I swear. Bear with me.

  1. It takes a lot less energy to be nice than it does to pick a fight.
  2. Karma is real. What you put out there comes back to you.  Maybe not right this second, but eventually.
  3. Love isn’t like a pie with a finite amount to be divided up.  It’s more like that thing where you mix baking soda and vinegar and it explodes all over everything.  I like that.
  4. If there isn’t a price tag showing, you probably can’t afford it.
  5. Sometimes gravity is a pain in the ass.
  6. You never regret getting off your butt to go for a walk or partake of some sort of physical activity. It still sucks to start.
  7. Sleeping in is the best thing ever.
  8. That whole thing about how you aren’t any good to anyone else until you take care of yourself – put the oxygen mask on yourself before trying to save anyone else – totally true.
  9. You could probably watch less TV and still totally function in society.
  10. Climate change is totally real.
  11. Also dinosaurs.
  12. No one will ever love you like your mother.
  13. No one will ever drive you crazy quite like your mother either. I say this as a mother who is sure to be driving her children crazy for quite some time.
  14. Just because it’s scary doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Sometimes it means you must.
  15. Smart doesn’t get you anywhere unless you do something with it.
  16. None of us are ever going to look like the women in the magazines.  But no matter how much I know it is fake and totally unattainable, a little piece of me is kind of disappointed.
  17. The days are long, but the years are short.
  18. If you want a red light (so you can check your phone or adjust your clothes or open your drink) you absolutely will not get one.
  19. Don’t ever let a printer know you are in a hurry, it stresses them out and causes them to run out of ink and eat paper.
  20. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can pay a cleaning lady and that’s almost the same thing.
  21. You can probably leave the house without a phone and survive for hours and hours.  We used to do it all the time. But it still makes me super nervous.
  22. The best way to get people to give you the benefit of the doubt is to do the right thing as often as you possibly can.
  23. Wanting something doesn’t mean the universe owes it to you.
  24. Life is not fair. Keeping score is bound to make that even more upsetting.
  25. The silent treatment is the least effective way to resolve a conflict.
  26. Avoiding the conflict is also a terrible idea.  Gotta work on that one.
  27. The best way to know if you should trust someone is to trust them.
  28. If someone shows you you can’t trust them, you should believe it.
  29. It is insanity to be angry with someone for behaving exactly the way you expect them to. I do not for a second pretend that it is easy to stop.
  30. The fact that there is no scientific consensus on what human beings should eat is annoying.
  31. Also, can we get some agreement on whether coffee is or is not bad for me? I won’t stop – but at least I’d know.
  32. Your dog loves you more than most people ever will.
  33. Fish are not pets. Fish are moving furniture.
  34. Rodents do not belong in homes. Same for snakes and lizards.  Just, no.
  35. The realization that I cannot read every book, see every movie, watch every TV show, and know everything that is going on still bothers me.
  36. My experience (and yours) is such a minuscule piece of what is going on in the world at any given moment in time that if I try to comprehend it it makes my head hurt.
  37. I often wonder whether my individual experience of “blue” or “red” is the same as other people.  Or if we see them completely differently and just agree on the names.
  38. The book is always better than the movie.
  39. The idea that an 18 year old got to decide what my future career would be is crazy. Yes, she was me, but she had no idea what she was doing.
  40. The laundry will never be done, the sooner you face that fact, the happier your life will be.
  41. Same for dishes.
  42. The best way to get a child’s attention is to get on a work-related conference call.
  43. If you aren’t actually a member of the team, referring to a professional sports team as “we” is weird.
  44. Watching someone you love do something they absolutely love is the best thing ever.
  45. Don’t wait to make the grand gesture, do as many kind and generous things as you can.  They add up.
  46. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  Do that.

Update: I realized after posting this that I have actually almost lived a full 47 (!) years – so I must add:

47. After about 18 you will never ever feel in your mind as old as you really are. Your back and feet, yes. But in your mind you will always be younger.

About Kristen

Me: Kristen, 40-something (there's no need to be more specific), suburban mom of 2, working girl, therapeutic writer Addictions: Iced Coffee, FOMO resulting in twitchy compulsion to check FB/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest in an unending loop, texting, hugging my children, yelling at my dog

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