Life Lessons

A List of Life Lessons | the beauty in simpleYesterday my daughter graduated from high school. I can’t linger on that fact too long or I’ll set myself into another fit of tears. I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate that it would be so emotional for me – my baby all grown up. I’m so proud of her. This girl of mine is well prepared for her next steps. She’s an intelligent, capable, determined, independent, and thoughtful young woman. She’ll do great things. But she’ll be dearly missed this fall when she leaves to attend college in another state. In a last ditch effort to pass on any wisdom to her as she starts her next chapter I made a list of life lessons that I’ve come to value. Many of these lessons have come hard and some I still struggle with, but all are meaningful to me. In no particular order, here are they are.

  1. Make requests, not complaints. Complaints fall on deaf ears. Requests, although not always agreed upon or followed through on, are more likely to be heard.
  2. Always greet the ones you love with smiles, hugs, and kisses.
  3. In your relationships, give up being right. You don’t have to agree, but there’s little or no benefit in trying to prove that you’re right.
  4. Freedom is gained by owning, spending, and doing less.
  5. When acquiring stuff, be thoughtful. Consider sustainability, ethics, beauty, usability, quality, durability, and timelessness.
  6. Buying stuff with money you don’t have makes you a slave.
  7. Enjoy the journey, for the destination is not likely what you planned or expected.
  8. Find joy in simple things.
  9. Failure is inevitable. Don’t sulk in it, learn from it.
  10. When you find yourself judging other people, remember that you’ve never walked in their shoes.
  11. Let go of past grievances and forgive.
  12. Spontaneity is way more fun.
  13. If you don’t like the story you’re living, rewrite it.
  14. Be nice, especially to those who aren’t.
  15. Take care of your body, mind, and soul. They are your biggest assets.
  16. Don’t wait for tomorrow.
  17. It’s OK to change your mind.
  18. Practice gratitude daily.
  19. Be practical.
  20. Don’t be practical.
  21. The most worthy experiences in life are typically the ones you’re most fearful of trying. Take on your fears.
  22. Show people what’s important to you, don’t tell them.
  23. Don’t let your excuses stop you from getting what you want.
  24. Happiness is a choice. Choose it.
  25. Be a good steward to our planet by protecting, respecting, and honoring it.
  26. As far as other people’s advice and wisdom, take it or leave it (even your mom’s). It’s your life to live.
  27. Let the ones you love fly. That’s your greatest chance of having them return home.

My daughter will discover her own truths and learn her own lessons in life, which will likely look very different than mine. Hopefully she’ll add to and scratch from this list. Friends, what life lessons would you add or delete?

6 thoughts on “Life Lessons

  1. Julie, thank you so much for this post. Parts of it bring tears to my eyes. Jordan is a delight and you have done a beautiful job of raising her. Love, Patti

    1. Thank you, Patti! It takes a village to raise these kids, and you’ve played a big role. Thank you for all your love and support. Love you!

  2. Ooh, don’t talk about tears at graduation time. I’m flying out next week to my eldest’s university graduation. Just reading your post has got me tearing up already. I’m going to be a mess next week.

    1. Kari, congratulations in getting your eldest through college! These milestones can tug at our heartstrings, both for the joy they bring and the hardship of letting them go. Enjoy the celebration (and pack a hankie to wipe the tears)! 🙂

Leave a Reply