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.
- “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
- There are healing powers in a cat belly.
- Some of the best conversations are those without words.
- 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.
- Make a joyful noise.
- Play with Lego every chance you get. You’ll feel like a kid every time you do.
- Friends come and go, but there are a precious few who will stalk you for life.
- Try everything (food related) once. You never know what you may like that you first thought you wouldn’t.
- 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…”.
- Conversations over pints are conversations you’ll never forget.
- I am responsible for my own happiness.
- Be honest. Even if it hurts.
- Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur – let it be heard, even if others don’t get it.
- Don’t be afraid to say “no” – you can’t do everything all of the time (I’m still working on this one myself)
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to old friends – time may have passed, but chances are they’re thinking of you, too.
- Don’t judge too quickly. The next person you meet could be a future friend.
- Make mistakes. If you’re open to them, they will teach you a great deal.
- Expect amazing things to happen when you least expect them.
- Listen. Everyone has a story to tell, and chances are they want to tell it to someone.
- Never underestimate the words “I’m sorry”.
- Don’t be afraid to stop and ask for directions.
- 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.
- Believe. Even when you are alone. What you hope for is bound to happen someday.
- Sing. Even if you make a fool of yourself – life is too short to impress everyone.
- The best gift you can give someone isn’t tangible – it’s your time and undivided attention.
- 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).
- Call your mother at least once a week. She loves hearing from you.
- 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.
- Clean up after yourself.
- 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?