31 Things I Have Learned (so far)

Happy Birthday Shaftora

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Today is my birthday.

I spoke with a supporter on the phone the other day and she asked how old I was going to be.  I replied with, “Old enough to know better, young enough not to care.”

Actually, today is my 31st birthday.

I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve never been a big fan of the number 31.  Call it a superstition, but for whatever reason I’m tempted to just say I’m turning 30 again or 32.  Still, for today at least, 31 is ok.  We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

Anyway, here are 31 things that I have learned so far in life.  Feel free to submit your own list of things you have learned – I enjoy reading your thoughts.

  1. “Three things in human life are important.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind.  And the third is to be kind.” – Henry James
  2. There are healing powers in a cat belly.
  3. Some of the best conversations are those without words.
  4. Read as much as you can about every subject you can – you never know when you’ll be asked to answer a random trivia question.
  5. Make a joyful noise.
  6. Play with Lego every chance you get.  You’ll feel like a kid every time you do.
  7. Friends come and go, but there are a precious few who will stalk you for life.
  8. Try everything (food related) once.  You never know what you may like that you first thought you wouldn’t.
  9. Love.
  10. Take risks in life, even if you’re scared.  It’s better to look back and say, “Ok, so that didn’t work out like I had hoped…” than to look back and say, “I wonder what would have happened if…”.
  11. Conversations over pints are conversations you’ll never forget.
  12. I am responsible for my own happiness.
  13. Be honest.  Even if it hurts.
  14. Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur – let it be heard, even if others don’t get it.
  15. Don’t be afraid to say “no” – you can’t do everything all of the time (I’m still working on this one myself)
  16. Don’t be afraid to reach out to old friends – time may have passed, but chances are they’re thinking of you, too.
  17. Don’t judge too quickly.  The next person you meet could be a future friend.
  18. Make mistakes.  If you’re open to them, they will teach you a great deal.
  19. Expect amazing things to happen when you least expect them.
  20. Listen.  Everyone has a story to tell, and chances are they want to tell it to someone.
  21. Never underestimate the words “I’m sorry”.
  22. Don’t be afraid to stop and ask for directions.
  23. Don’t look down on someone just because you may not see eye to eye on a given subject.  You can learn something from everyone you meet.
  24. Believe.  Even when you are alone.  What you hope for is bound to happen someday.
  25. Sing.  Even if you make a fool of yourself – life is too short to impress everyone.
  26. The best gift you can give someone isn’t tangible – it’s your time and undivided attention.
  27. Be open to change.  Too many people are set in their ways that they fail to learn and improve themselves.  You haven’t arrived yet.  Trust me.  (I haven’t either).
  28. Call your mother at least once a week.  She loves hearing from you.
  29. Thank everyone who helps you – whether a barista at the coffee shop, a bagger at the grocery store, or your bus driver – kindness goes a long way in making someone’s day.
  30. Clean up after yourself.
  31. Make sure those you love know that you love them. (I love you, Rebecca).  Tell them every day if you can.

What are some of yours?

Traveling mercies,



One thought on “31 Things I Have Learned (so far)

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Joshua. It’s interesting how we’ve learned some of the same things. It’s always nice to be reminded, though. I especially liked number 16 :) Blessings…

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