I think about living my life to the fullest, day to day, but I cannot. I have too many responsibilities and obligations at hand at this point in my life. I would love to take off and travel the world, or rent an Airstream and drive cross country. I would love to eat brownies every day, but alas I know I cannot. But I have learned that I can take off and discover new places from time to time and that I can have the brownie (insert latest craving) from time to time. There are also the simple things we teach our children when they are little, like please and thank you, that take on an even more important meaning as we get older, together these all form 52 lessons for a life well-lived.
I always get introspective around my Birthday. I’m introspective by nature, but I always get more so in the months leading up to it. This June I will be 52. I am older than many reading this, and younger than many others. And so, along my 51 trips around the sun I have indeed learned a thing or two. I hope I am around to learn many more. And so to my daughter, and the rest of you out there, these simple thoughts and gestures are really quite powerful.
I’ve shared this before, and I will share it again - and every year I’ll add a new piece of advice.
Eat chocolate. Dark chocolate is good for you and life is too short not to enjoy all the pleasures it has to offer.
Drink wine. See above.
(Clothing) Size does not matter. Buy what you like, what looks good on you and, what feels comfortable. The latter - within reason!
Save the yoga pants for the gym - or the running trail. You'll remember this when your jeans are no longer easy to button!
Make time for yourself. A little bit. Every day.
Don't take yourself too seriously.
Don't take life too seriously.
Work hard. You can't wish a dream - You have to make it happen.
Make mistakes. They're life's way of teaching us a lesson
Don't repeat those mistakes. (Mistakes are only mistakes once repeated)
Always say you're sorry when you're wrong.
Always let others know you appreciate them.
Pay it forward.
Be kind no matter the situation. It's easy to be kind when you're having a good day, but much harder to be kind when things aren't going your way.
Pay compliments. Often.
Don't give up.
It is better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all!
If something isn't working out try a different approach.
Don't let your fears hold you back.
Step out of your comfort zone. You'll be glad you did.
Be generous. If not with money then with your time or your words.
Learn a new skill and perfect it.
Pick up a hobby.
Respect your elders.
Be someone's role model or mentor.
Be open minded. Simple minds will never move forward.
Listen to both sides of the story.
Don’t listen to just to talk.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Don't compromise your beliefs.
Do compromise in the home.
Always give your best.
Always wear a smile.
Learn how and when to walk away. And do so gracefully.
Family comes first. No matter what.
Invest in a few pieces of well made, timeless clothing.
If it fits and looks good buy it. Don't wait for the sale - it might be gone!
Speak up - you have a beautiful voice. You deserve to be heard.
If you have a dream chase it. No matter what anyone says, it is never a waste of time.
Take chances. Takes risks.
Learn all the rules. Play by the rules, then learn when to break them.
It always works out in the end. If it's not working out, it's not the end!
Close your eyes, hold your breath if you must, and take that leap!