Yes, it’s true. This month will mark the completion of my 40th year!
In commemoration of such a significant milestone, I’ve written down 40 things I’ve learned through trial and error as I’ve grown. There are many, many more of course, but I’ll keep it to 40.
Without further adieu, here are 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years:
1. Life is about so much more than making yourself happy. It’s about loving and serving others.
2. When you pretend to be a spy, you can talk yourself through anything.
3. Meaning is found in the moments between.
5. Stop and savour. Soak in the sunlight, study the smile lines on your children’s faces, breathe in the scent of the wildflowers on a cool, spring morning.
6. Life is too short for uncomfortable clothing.
7. Dreams are important, but people are more important.
8. Shower. You can always find fifteen minutes each day to take care of yourself.
9. Prioritize. You can’t do everything, but don’t forget to do the things that matter.
10. Give thanks. Be grateful for what you have.
11. Spend within your means.
12. Kids need down time. So do their parents.
13. Busyness does not make you special or more important.
14. Whatever you find yourself working at in life, do it with all your heart. Even when you don’t like it.
15. Listen when your kids speak, even when they’re just talking about Minecraft or frogs.
16. You can’t control your children’s behaviour. You can teach them well, direct and guide them, mentor them and discipline them, but ultimately, they choose their own actions.
17. Invite people over. If you’re self-conscious about your housekeeping skills, chances are, so are they. So put them at ease and invite them to your house.
18. Use the good china, unless you want to enjoy yourself. Then use paper plates.
19. Dress your baby in those cute, expensive outfits you received as gifts at their baby shower. Your baby will be too big for them in a few short months.
20. Always have extra clothes with you for your children. Then you can let them get dirty.
21. Go outside more. Enjoy the outdoors.
22. Very little is important enough to spend time stressing about it.
23. It very rarely needs to be perfect.
24. Laugh. Teach your kids to have a sense of humour.
25. Eat at the table as a family at least once every day.
26. Read the Bible.
27. No one but you can teach your children to respect you.
28. Be a person of your word.
29. Work now, play later. Then you can play without guilt.
30. When someone says something that offends you, assume they’re tired/stressed/ignorant, and forget about it.
31. When you feel like you should apologize, do it.
32. If it’s in your power to help without sacrificing your family responsibilities, do it.
33. Donate blood.
34. Take your kids to church, weddings, funerals and fancy restaurants, so that they can learn how to conduct themselves in those situations.
35. Give your children experiences, rather than things.
36. Time is short. Use it wisely.
37. Take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you.
38. You can’t do everything and fix everyone. Be okay with that.
39. Keep clutter under control.
40. Everyone fails. No one is perfect. When you fall, get up, brush yourself off, and move forward.