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Thursday, September 22, 2016

28 Lessons for 28 Candles

I keep forgetting that it's time for me to turn another year older.

I shouldn't be surprised, what with the patches of premature grey hair. But I've already decided I'm keeping any grey that comes my way. Que sera, sera. I'm free to be me.

There are some pretty big changes taking place around these parts. None that I care to go into great depth right now. But this year has been one of fulfillment, growth, letting go, support, encouragement and fighting the no-you-can't voice with all my strength.

I've celebrated a year of marriage with my new husband, launched a podcast with a dear friend, traveled to weddings, baby showers, held my baby nephew, made new friends, celebrated year three of hosting a small group at my house, nearly completed an e-book on dating and marriage.

And continued to chip away at thoughts here.

I can't tell you what an honor it is to write for you. Another year, another few insights.

Which brings me to today's post. 28 Lessons for 28 Candles. A listicle, yes. But I wanted to write out a few thoughts, things I've learned over the years. All of these are still work-in-progress, and are more a reminder to myself than anything else:

1. OxiClean. Everything. Dish detergent. Laundry. Cleaner. All of it. I have no idea how harmful it is for the environment, but I try to walk everywhere (except my 20 minute commute to work), so I hope it all comes out in the wash (heh).

2. Wait for the man who's too mature to play games and leave you wondering. Wait for the man who will let you know where you stand at every inch of your relationship. This is the man worth marrying. All the other boys from your past can look at your hot Instagram updates and cry.

3. Running heals stress, self-doubt, writer's block, anger, sadness, all of it. There's a joy that comes with taking a few more steps than last time and the time before that. And Target's workout clothes section is both dangerous and wonderful.

4. The heartbreak of trying and failing is easier to overcome than the

nostalgia of a dream you never pursued.

5. If you miss work because you're sick, the rest of the world will be able to carry on without you. And your co-workers will thank you for not spreading your germs. Don't be a "hero." People may gossip about you or roll their eyes, but they'll forget after a while. Stay at home and watch You've Got Mail.

6. If you're not a nice person online, you're not a nice person. Period.

7. When you're tempted to gossip about someone, turn your comment into a compliment if you can't restrain yourself from speaking about them all-together. Never speak anything ill of another person. It could come back to haunt you, yes, but it also solidifies the things that annoy you about them. Making it harder to forgive and move on.

8. If you're in a new church, stick around for at least five minutes after the sermon. No exceptions. That's how you meet people. And that's how a church becomes your family.

9. Never complain about getting older. Wear your age with honor and pride. It's not en vogue to be depressed about something you can do absolutely nothing about. We twenty somethings spend too much time thinking we're older than we actually are, anyway.

10. It's better to let others discover the genius in you, rather than trying to market yourself to death. Let your work be the gift and any recognition you get as a result, a lovely cherry on top.

11. Be kind. Be kind. Be kind.

12. Midnight premieres of movies sound like a much better idea than they actually are.

13. Ditto nights of three-plus glasses of wine.

14. Paying a few hundred dollars toward your student loans each month will hurt at first. And you'll be tempted to only pay the required monthly payment from time to time. But there's a lot of joy in watching five-digit numbers turn to four-digits over time.

15. If you can't pay for it with the amount of money you have in your

checking account, you can't afford it.

16. Meal planning. Always. It takes fifteen minutes, tops. It saves you time and money at the grocery store. And it makes date nights all-the-more enjoyable.

17. Go to the doctor. Everything on Web MD will either tell you that you're pregnant or have cancer. Chances are you have neither. Especially if you're a dude.

18. You can't drink a glass of wine and get a pedicure in the name of "self-care" if you then simultaneously go to bed at 2 a.m. Self-care starts with getting a reasonable amount of rest, eating something healthy and getting your body out the door.

19. If you're in a money crunch, delete all of your pre-saved credit card information from Amazon, Etsy and all of your other hot-button money tempters. Unsubscribe from cute but cheap clothing, or jewelry sites. You'll save more than you realize.

20. Don't even attempt to start the work day without listening to "Guns and Ships" from the Hamilton soundtrack.

21. People pleasing rarely pleases everyone. Especially if it makes you

22. Go to small group, even when you don't feel up for it.

23. Whenever possible, be the woman who honors her commitments. Be the woman who people know they can count on to show up when she says she will.

24. Everyone can pull off red lipstick. It's all about finding the 

right shade that works for you. 

Side note: you don't have to get fancy with it. Wet 'n' Wild will do just fine in a pinch!

25. To receive snail mail, you must first send it. Also applies to dinner dates, coffee dates, and time with your best girlfriends. You can't expect everyone to flock to you. You are not Scarlet O'Hara at the barbecue. Relationships take time and effort. And sometimes it means being the first to reach out.

26. Work on the art of not being offended when you get unsolicited or premature life advice. Yes, it's annoying when strangers speak out of turn about engagements, weddings, marriage, pregnancy, disciplining, saving for college. But you don't have to take it. Or let it affect your attitude. Make like Elsa and let it go. (And maybe hold on to the advice that sticks, because, admit it, you don't know everything).

27. Accept compliments genuinely.

28. Don't abandon the ship when the water gets rough. It's the water that makes the boat rock.


Laurie Tomlinson said...

18. You can't drink a glass of wine and get a pedicure in the name of "self-care" if you then simultaneously go to bed at 2 a.m. Self-care starts with getting a reasonable amount of rest, eating something healthy and getting your body out the door.


Brett W. Tubbs said...

Pahahahaha, oh, LT. As I said before, I'm learning, too :) A glass of wine and bath doesn't cancel out chocolate for breakfast and 56 ounces of coffee ;)

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