And why didn’t they teach us these in school…
I guess the reason for that is we had to learn these life lessons ourselves. No one can teach them to you and we can’t teach them to anyone else. No one would listen anyway…and we didn’t either. But these lessons helped make me into the person I am today, so I guess that is really what it’s all about.
Here are my 10 lessons that I have learned at this point of my life.
1. Love the people you love like there is no tomorrow – Because sometimes there is no tomorrow and the “I should haves” will haunt you forever. Tell people you love them and show them by the way you treat them. You still will feel the loss, you just won’t have so many regrets.
2. Be You – Don’t be someone you aren’t or try to impress other people. Don’t worry so much about what they think of you or what they say about you. The real people in your life will be there. You don’t need to act to win their approval. You just need to be genuine. And be who you really are. And who you are is “enough.”
3. Time Flies – Spend quality time with your children. The dishes don’t need to be washed right away and the house can wait to be cleaned. The kids will be out of the house and in college before you know it and the house will be clean and very quiet. You will never get this time back again. The same goes with the grandchildren. Don’t spend a lot of money on them, spend time with them. I really don’t remember anything my parents or grandparents gave me, but I remember things we did together.
4. Work Smart, Not Hard – How many times have we heard this? But here is my take on work…We can’t work at the expense of everything else in our lives. Our families, our friends and our health. We need to take those vacation days and take time to do things that make us happy and fulfilled. No one is going to reward you for working those extra hours at night on that report or the weekends you spent on the special project. In fact, the company could downsize tomorrow and all that extra work you did and time away from family would be for nothing.
5. You Have to Have the Lows in Life, to Enjoy the Highs – Another one of these quotes we have heard so often. I never believed this when people said it to me when I was young. But as I grew older I do see some truth in this. If we keep going along in life and nothing bad ever happens we get lured into a false sense of security and entitlement. After a few bad years you really learn to truly appreciate those good times and be grateful for them.
6. Laugh – Laughter truly is the best medicine. We need to learn to laugh at ourselves and life and not take everything so seriously. We are too easily offended these days and it causes us to be angry and stressed out. Feeling like this doesn’t do our bodies or minds any good, so laugh….a good laugh can change everything.
7. Live in the Present – Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. The past is just that, the past..it’s over and we can’t do anything to change what has happened. The future is unknown and all the worrying, sleepless nights and stressed out days won’t do one thing towards making it better. We should just have gratitude and give thanks for each day we are alive. And try to find small moments that bring us joy and peace throughout the day. There is always something to be grateful for every single day. Find it!
8. Take a Risk, Take a Chance – Do something that makes you feel alive. Take the road less traveled. Do something out of the ordinary for you, something out of your comfort zone. As I tell people all the time, you don’t want to be sitting on your rocking chair in the home or on your front porch when you are 90 thinking, “I wish I would have done that.”
9. Look for the Good – If we focus on negativity, that is what we see and feel. If we focus on good, we will see and feel more good things. I know this isn’t easy to do. I have been through one of the worst years of my life. But I’m here, I’m alive and have so much to be thankful for. I try to concentrate on what I have and not what I don’t have.
10. Take Care of Your Body – It is the only one we get. We can’t trade it in like we do with our cars. I think when we are young we feel like we are invincible and that we can do anything and our bodies will be fine. Too much sun, too much of the wrong kinds of food, too much of everything takes a toil on us and can shorten our lives. Even if we do manage to live a long life, it can make those years worse with all the damage we have done to ourselves. Eat healthy, exercise and get a good 7 or 8 hours sleep every night. And take care of your “one” body.
I will end with this quote that I love:
“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up.” ~ Regina Brett (Just be sure to dress in whatever makes you feel good!)
What lessons have you learned about life?