Live, Laugh, Love… And Other Lessons of 2016

The lessons I learned in 2016 seem to be a lot. Between being a wife at 23 years old, and owning my own home (almost paid off!), I get told I’m very mature for my age. I like to think I have some wisdom to impart into the world. I’m sure half of these were read along the way in books, articles, things said to me by friends and relatives, etc. But you know how the really good ones just stick to replay in your mind like your favorite soundtrack along the road of life?

These are the ones that did that for me. I’d like to keep ’em around.

  1. It’s easier if you clean as you go. OK, this is obviously one imparted to me by the women in my life, and it’s about cooking. Not going to pretend it’s any deeper than that. It’s not a metaphor for cleaning thoughts, negative vibes, nothing like that. It’s about cooking. If you clean as you cook, the clean-up at the end is so much less stressful. And the process is easier because you have more space, your cooking utensils are ready to be used, and you don’t have drips of food all over your counters. Although the bones of this one has a lot to do about not procrastinating. Hmm.
  2. Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back. Goes for waving, or any other nice gesture too. The main that actually comes to mind is about turning off your bright lights when approaching another car on the road, or riding right behind someone (my new biggest pet peeve other than loud chewing). I always make a point to dim my lights. NO… the other person doesn’t always do the same, which my husband has pointed out. But, as I told him, it’s better to add to the good, kind part of the world than the other.
  3. Don’t save things for special occasions. Every day of your life is a special occasion. Those candles, your favorite perfume, the outfit that makes you check yourself out in the mirror. Just use the dang things! I got this lesson from a story about a girl’s mother who always saved her best china for a “special enough occasion”. The occasion never came, and after the mother passed, the girl was left to get rid of the china. Celebrate every day; special occasions are made by you deciding that today is going to be special so make your own “special”.
  4. It’s not a good deal if you don’t need it. A lesson from minimalism.
  5. More stuff = More problems. Again, a lesson from minimalism. The more you get it seems to only ignite a desire for more “stuff”. Try putting that energy towards getting rid of excess, and you’ll find you get the same high.
  6. You’ll always feel better after a good shower.
  7. Sing/ dance in the car without worrying about people seeing you. What’s the harm of brightening someone’s day as they’re sitting in 5 o’clock traffic? And at no cost to you I might add. Which leads to…
  8. If you have the ability to make someone smile, do it. Just do it!! Why not devote this year to making someone smile every day? Let’s put the focus on what happiness we can give instead of what happiness we can get. And who knows… we might just find our own in the process.
  9. Don’t be afraid to befriend the misfits. I used to care how it would affect my social status being seen hanging out with people who weren’t as high on the ladder. Now I realize those “misfits” are some of the most genuine friends you will ever have. And they’re actually cooler than the cool. (They’re ice cold?)
  10. The best way to make a friend is to be a friend. Honestly, people get busy in life. It’s easy to get out of touch with the people that matter to us, and it’s not necessarily by choice. I’ve found the best  way to make sure my friends don’t forget about me is making a point to check up on them, and help whenever I can. The conversation isn’t always crazy awesome, but when they think of the friend that has their back?

To be continued… Looking forward to the lessons of 2017!

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