Raising my children is the biggest responsibility of my life. Although my greatest joy, it is also my heaviest burden. To raise four kids into well adjusted, compassionate, responsible, educated, happy people is my dream. Right now they are all little and these are the easy times. One day soon enough they will be older, making decisions for themselves. At that point I will have very little say about their choices. That is tough for a parent. We have learned a thing or two in our years of experience, but just like we didn't want to listen to our parents, I am certain they won't either. I have a list of things that I would like for them to accept as fact. I could save them so much time learning life's lessons. Things that took me too many years to learn. Things that my mother probably told me but I was too busy to stop and listen.
Always use sunscreen As I have knocked down the door of 40, one of my greatest regrets is not taking better care of my skin. Too many days on the lake and not enough sunscreen has left its toll. Even though we as mothers tell them how important it is and slather them down every time they go outside, eventually it will be their responsibility. Trust me. Take the time.
Be financially responsible Some people are born with this skill, most are not. I learned it the hard way. When I was 24 I had a job grossing 500 dollars a week and I carried around a 400 dollar purse. I don't even have a 400 dollar purse now. Begin before you have great responsibilities. There is a good balance between enjoying life and planning for the future. Use your twenties wisely.
Put effort into your friendships While in high school and college you are always surrounded by your friends, the older you get the harder it becomes to make time for friends. Relationships are the most important thing in life. Don't let months and years pass before you check in with those who have meant something to you. Time changes who we are. Letting people fall out of your life is a mistake.
Pursue a meaningful career It seems to me that people who are the happiest, are those who do something that they love, that just so happens to pay the bills. Don't just work for a paycheck. Follow your heart and figure out what your dreams are. Nothing is better than a fulfilling life.
Express your feelings This is a tough one for women and men. We all sweep things under the rug or fail to be forthcoming with others about how we feel. Be honest with people. If someone has hurt you let them know. If you have hurt someone, say I am sorry. Unresolved feelings can cause many regrets in life.
Always say yes to a opportunity The regret of things that I have not done, far outweighs the regret of the things that I have. If you are offered an opportunity or an experience, go for it. The older you get, the harder this becomes.
Eat healthy This one seems logical but if I had a dollar for every Big Mac or entire frozen pizza that I ate in my twenties. When you get older you start to think about all of the horrible things that you have done to your body through the years. You start to wonder which one will be the one that kills you one day. Treat your body well. You will never regret that.
Spend time with your grandparents Young adults often get caught up in their own lives. They have SO much going on. But don't forget about the people who have always been there for you. They have so much wisdom and your time means the world to them. Trust me, you will miss them when they are gone.
Live your life as though people are watching Even more so in today's times, everything that you do is transparent. Always remember that. We all have things that we did in our early years that we wish we could take back. The 30 year old you will be nothing like the 20 year old you. Think hard about choices before you make them. Look at the big picture. Would your 40 year old self be happy with your 20 year old self?
Smile! Your smile is a powerful. It will draw people to you and spread happiness in the world. Smiling will leave you with wrinkles that you will actually be proud of one day. Smile at strangers, because you never know when you are making someones day.
For my daughter: Always wear the tallest shoes This is way deeper than my adoration of shoes. It is also about a zest for life. Take time for things that mean something to you. If it brings you happiness, it deserves a place in your life.
Dance It has been said over and over but it is so true. If you ever get the opportunity, always dance. There is just something about it. It is medicine for the soul. Don't worry about how silly you may look. No one actually cares that much.
Don't take things too seriously Laugh as often as possible. There is nothing better than laughing until your stomach hurts, with friends. Surround yourself with uplifting people who make you happy.
I could make a list of a million things that I would like to tell my kids before they are too big to listen. As a mom, I try to lead by example. I strive to set a good one every day. Kids always seem to point out the bad habits, but hopefully they are noticing the good ones too. Maybe they will take some of my wisdom to heart, instead of having to learn everything the hard way. Not many will admit it, but sometimes your mother was right.
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