Thursday, April 23, 2015

23 Things I've Learned in the Past 23 Years.

In about six weeks I will be celebrating another trip around the sun. I'll turn 46. I'm not saying that I've learned everything there is to know about life, but when I was half my current age (almost 23), I was looking towards my senior year in college, where I thought I knew everything about life in general.

Boy, was I wrong. I still had lots to learn about the human condition and what we call life on the third rock from the sun. Here are a few. Twenty-three, to be exact.

  1. The friends you make in college will be some of the best friends you have for your entire life.
  2. Your parents are smarter than you think they are. They just want the best for you and when they are gone, you will miss them terribly.
  3. Don't force love. When you meet the love of your life, the one person you were meant to be with, you will know.
  4. A good marriage is hard work. It's not a 50/50 relationship. Each side has to put 110% into a marriage to make it through the happy times and the crappy times. But it is so worth it to wake up each morning snuggled up to your best friend.
  5. You don't have to be involved in everything that comes your way. This one was a hard lesson to learn. I've always been that type of person who would say "yes" at a new opportunity to grow professionally, volunteer for a community organization and devote lots of spare time to a cause I felt was worthwhile. I've especially learned in the past couple of years that you can get burnt out real fast when you don't have enough time for you, your family and friends.
  6. Don't give up on God. He won't give up on you.
  7. Appreciate good health.
  8. Appreciate good food.
  9. Appreciate good, healthy food.
  10. Exercise is not the enemy. Sometimes you don't want to, but a good walk around the neighborhood will make you feel better both physically and emotionally.
  11. Cherish every moment of your children's first few years. This is the time when it is the hardest to understand why you would want to remember all of the dirty diapers, the sleepless nights, the spitting up and the tantrums. Someday you will look back and wonder where did the time go? I was just rocking him to sleep and now he's getting ready to drive.
  12. A hand-written note is still one of the best ways to say "Thank You" to someone after they did a good deed for you.
  13. Do good deeds for others.
  14. Learn how to cook. Some of my most enjoyable moments are spent in the kitchen and around the dinner table with good friends and family. It is also good to know what goes into your body.
  15. Forgive. Holding onto a grudge is just hurting yourself. Someone once said, "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick."
  16. Learn to watch baseball. From little league to high school to the major leagues, there's something relaxing intertwined into those nine innings.
  17. Don't sweat the small stuff. Learn what is important to you and focus on that. When people are looking for attention by creating false drama, you must remember to focus on what's most important. 99% of the time, it isn't someone else's drama.
  18. Love your children.
  19. Hug your children.
  20. Laugh with your children.
  21. Be a parent to your children - not their best friend.
  22. Be your spouse's best friend.
  23. Call your mother every opportunity you have. Someday that opportunity will be gone.