Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life Lessons

If I could have, I would have liked to teach you a few things I've learned about life.
If you were here with me right now, I would tell you:

1) Life doesn't always go the way you plan it or want it to: Trust me, if it were up to me we would be together. But, even when life doesn't go your way you need to make the best of it. You will be a much happier person if you accept and find the positives in things you can't change.  But, if you can change something that makes you unhappy you owe it to yourself to do it.

2) Be kind to people: People can suck. And occasionally you might be one of the sucky ones. But, by and large treat people the way you want to be treated.  Even if you don't think it is 'paying off' you will always be able to hold your head high and feel good about yourself. (And I like to thing karma will somehow repay you.)

3) Stand up for yourself: Don't allow yourself to be bullied or walked all over.  You don't have to be nasty to be assertive.  If you set the precedent it is okay for people to treat you poorly or take advantage of you, you are setting yourself up for a miserable life.

4) Boys are stupid, but you can love them anyhow: Boys and girls are very different creatures.  We think differently, we have different strengths and weaknesses, and a lot of time, boys are oblivious. But, remember there is a difference between a 'stupid' boy and a bad boy.  Stupid is okay, bad is not. Stupid means they can't multi-task, remember dates or think ahead. "Bad" are boys who are abusive to you, themselves or others, stay away from these boys. 

5) Don't speed, you'll get there: People tease me because I am not one to speed.  I don't care because I get where I am going all the same.  Plan ahead, leave early and get there safely, that's the most important thing.

6) God is good: God can be a mystery. Sometimes you will feel like God doesn't care. He does! He will not always give you what you want or what you think you deserve, and sometimes he does.  As we tell our young ones, 'you get what you get and you don't get upset.' There is good in all that God gives us, even if we can't see it.  It is our job to find it.

7) Don't let fear rule your life: Fear can be a powerful thing.  It will control your life if you let it, don't. If there is something you want to do in life don't let fear stop you (of course except for drugs.)

8) Don't smoke cigarettes: Cigarettes are expensive and very unhealthy so why do it. It is simple and self explanatory so I'll stop here.

9) Crying is okay: It is alright to have emotions and show them.  Don't let anyone make you feel ashamed to cry.  But, be productive and don't let tears rule your life. 

10) Take pride in your appearance: Unfortunately we do live in a very visual world. Taking pride in your appearance will not only make you feel better about yourself, but others will know you respect yourself.

11) Count your blessings: Don't dwell on things you don't have or can't get. There are many kind people out there. You will find you have far more blessings than crosses to bear.  Try to see the glass half full.  Be optimistic and realistic.  Things are usually not as bad as we think they are and good things can over power the bad if you allow them.

12) Get enough sleep: Your body needs sleep.  It needs it to repair and recharge. Depriving yourself of the proper sleep will not have any benefit to you what so ever. Rest when you need it. Listen to your body.  Sleeping is not a hobby, it has its purpose to recharge and renew. You'll be a better you if you get enough sleep.

13) Study hard: When you are in school it feels like it is never going to end.  It does.  You don't realize how fast it goes by until you are older.  You also would realize how much better off you'll be if you take your studies seriously.  Always try your best, grades aren't necessarily a reflection of your effort so don't get too hung up on them. I know there will be a lot of times, especially in college, when you will want to put studying second to go out with your friends.  Trust me the bars are there week after week, and if you have a test or something, stay in and take care of business.

14) Be yourself: If people don't like you for who you are, they aren't the people for you. Self awareness is important though.  Always strive to be a better you.  Read a book, take a class, mediate.  Whatever it is, self improvement doesn't mean you don't like yourself, it means you love yourself.

15) Forgiveness is important: If you want to be close to God, you need to learn to forgive.  Forgiving can be a challenge. The ability to forgive is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.  Even if you need to remove certain people from your life because they are not healthy emotionally, still have forgiveness in your heart. It is the only way to find peace and it is the best way to emulate God and Jesus.

16) Pigs don't know pigs stink: Try to surround yourself with people who are high caliber. People you enjoy and are not selling themselves short.  Remember you are most like the 5 people you spend the most time with. So, if you don't think highly of someone, don't spend too much time with them or your likely to become like them. If you are around a bunch of pigs and become one, you'll never notice you smell, so be careful.

17) Meet people where they are at: Every one has different abilities and things to offer us.  Don't expect more from people then they are able to give (ie: socially and emotionally.) Not everyone is going to be able to give you the support you need in life the way you need it. If you have a friend or family member that is a good person but not able to give you what you need and want, except them for who they are and gift they do have to offer.

18) It's okay to say no: You are human and can't always do everything, everyone wants you too, when they want it. It is okay to say no.

19) Be selfish: You are the most important person in your life. Don't compromise yourself. Respect yourself and put yourself first. It is okay. I am not saying to be a brat. I am saying if you don't care of you first and don't make yourself a priority, you will not be good to, or for anyone. This includes your husband, children and even me.

20) Have a giving nature: The old saying, it's better to give than receive, is true. This kind of goes back to being kind to people. But, I guess the difference is I want you to think about what your gifts are and how you can enhance the lives of people around you with them. If you have a gift and you don't share it, it will have been a waste. When you give of yourself, you will get so much more in return, more than you can ever imagine.

21) Try not to lie: Lying is ugly and usually nothing good comes from it.  Remember you don't need to have a good memory if you tell the truth.

22) You don't owe an explanation: Don't feel like you need to explain yourself all the time. Be confident in your decisions and don't feel like you have to explain your choices to others.

23) Take the time to remember: Time and life goes by so fast. Take the time to stop in the moment and really absorb it so that you never forget it. Take pictures, write a journal, whatever works for you. Appreciate the 'moments' in your life. It will be easier to see your blessings if you do.

24) Therapy is OK: Don't feel like you can't see a therapist if you think you might need to, and chances are at some point in your life you will need to.  Therapists are like doctors for our emotions.  The best part is you come out a stronger person for having gone.

25) Don't be afraid to fail: Failure is the only way to find your way to success. If you fall a million times, it is okay as long as you get up a million and one times.

26) Know you are loved: I never got a chance to tell you this.  I told your brother this when he was in the womb.  Their will be times in your life (had you lived one) that you are going to feel alone and unloved.  Please know you are and will always be loved. Hold that knowledge in your soul and let it sustain you in the hard times. 

I honestly don't know if I have covered everything I would have wanted to tell you.  Somethings you would have learned along the way I'm sure. I had hoped we would be able to talk about these things as you grew up.  I didn't include things, like the birds and the bees, I suppose they aren't important in this situation.  But, as your mommy, I would want you to be a good person, and I would want to tell you things I've learned.  They are life lessons.  A life, sadly, you won't be experiencing. But, I am sure, I am confident, that you are in a far better place and these 'lessons' are something you already know. In fact, you are teaching me. And I am sure you will continue to teach me.  And sweetheart, mommy's heart is open and I am listening and learning, everyday, because of you. I love you!


  1. Will you be my mom. I could use these lessons. Especially the one about boys...weren't we just talking about that one?

  2. I think soon you will be all of our therapists.

  3. I'm going to print this and give it to Emily. Thanks for being her "secondary" mom

  4. This is everything I have in my heart for my kids, that you so perfectly and beautifully have been able to put into words. Thank you!