It’s my turn to add to our awesome “Things I’ve Learned” series. I have to admit, after reading everyone’s insights so far? I’m not sure I have much to contribute… but I’ll do my best!

  1. Sleep is underrated. Like, whoa. Get as much as you can, whenever you can.
  2. Related to number one, take the time to set your coffee pot up for the next morning before you go to bed. Trust me on this.
  3. “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”   Thank you, Hunter S. Thompson. Don’t half-ass it, people.
  4. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
  5. You don’t have to wear black to a funeral. In fact, nobody really cares WHAT you wear, just that you showed up.
  6. The past does not determine your future unless you let it.
  7. Family is so important, but everyone’s definition of family varies. I’m lucky enough to have many friends who I consider my family. Y’all know who you are.
  8. Piggybacking off of #6, it IS possible to make incredible friends later in life.
  9. There are so many things in life that are out of your control. What you can control is how you respond to them.
  10. Try, if you can, to appreciate your parents for who they are, not what you wish they were, while they’re still around.
  11. Parenting is hard at for me at age 37. I can’t imagine being 18 and 24, as my parents were. PERSPECTIVE. Wow. I forgive a lot more now.
  12. Learn to sew if the opportunity presents itself. At least how to sew a button.
  13. There is no easy way to fold a fitted sheet. Don’t even try to tell me otherwise.
  14. Don’t compromise your values for anything or anyone. Ever. It’s not worth it. Ever.
  15. What you spend on your wedding has ZERO impact on the success of your marriage.
  16. Quality is so much more important than quantity.
  17. Write things down. You won’t remember all the little details of life when you had small children. You — and they — will be grateful for the written reminders in the future.
  18. My husband and my children were so worth the wait. I often wish I could go back in time and assure my single 26 year old self of this.
  19. I know this has been mentioned before, but it is worth repeating: It’s almost always better to be kind than to be right.
  20. I use humor and sarcasm as a defense mechanism. Seriously, I didn’t always know this.
  21. Sarcasm can be interpreted as hurtful. Another thing I never even realized. This was mind-blowing information to me, as it is NEVER my intention to hurt people. OK, unless they deserve it. (See? I CAN’T STOP MYSELF.)
  22. Kids remember what you say, especially in anger. They will carry those words with them.
  23. Luckily, they are also incredibly resilient and forgiving. Or, at least, I think I was. Jury may still be out on the resilient part.
  24. These next few are courtesy of my husband: Don’t borrow from your 401k unless it’s a life or death emergency.
  25. Save for retirement. DO IT.
  26. Your kids can borrow money for college. You can’t borrow money for retirement.
  27. However, this life is the only one you get. Take the time — and sometimes, the money — to live it.
  28. See an attorney and draft a will. Whether you have children or not, but ESPECIALLY if you do.
  29. It’s ok to have a bad day. Be kind to yourself.
  30. Good photography is worth the money.
  31. Get over yourself. Be humble. Be grateful. Your life is worth celebrating.
  32. Evening family dance parties are a fabulous way to destress. My three year old can break it down to Pitbull like nobody’s business.
  33. Judge less. You don’t know everything. About anything.
  34. Dude, let them wear costumes to the grocery store if they want. Who CARES?!
  35. Make yourself a priority, even in small ways. Eat healthy, read a book, watch a show, take a walk…
  36. Make your marriage a priority. Your children learn about relationships from you first. Make their first impression a good one.
  37. I am — and always will be — a work in progress. As long as I’m learning, I’m making strides toward becoming a better me.

These are all things I’ve learned about myself in my life. Do any of them ring true for you, too?

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