Today is my forty-second birthday. Here are 42 things I’ve learned and observed in the last 42 years. Some are more serious than others.
1. Cooking bacon without a shirt on is a bad idea.
2. You must forgive everyone. EVERYONE.
3. You will make some stupid decisions in life. Learn from them.
4. You will meet both wonderful and awful people in life. Learn from them too.
5. Tell your family members that you love them. It doesn’t matter if “they just know I do”. TELL THEM.
6. If you randomly feel like skipping church some weekend, that’s usually a sign that you DEFINITELY need to go, as there’ll be something important just for you to hear.
7. When you stop at a kid’s lemonade stand that sells their product for a few cents, give them five bucks. You will make their day.
8. Admitting you are wrong is incredibly healthy.
9. Face your fears.
10. Hornets are mean.
11. Little kids watch and listen to you very closely. Be a safe place for them.
12. Journal. Or at the very least, write down memories that you want to remember.
13. Hang out with people who think differently than you do. Ask questions.
14. Learn how to fight your own battles.
15. Swearing makes you appear less intelligent than you really are.
16. One of the best things anyone ever asked me was: “Do you want me to tell you the truth, or do you want me to tell you what you want to hear”?
17. Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t make you “intolerant”.
18. Unplug from the world for a couple of days (phone, internet, TV, etc.) at least once per year.
19. Blaming the dog for a broken window is not going to fool your dad.
20. Do you want to IMPRESS people…or TOUCH them? Why?
21. Every family member, friend, and church will eventually let you down. Choose to love them anyway, as you let them down sometimes too.
22. Be yourself. Don’t try to be what you think someone else wants you to be.
23. Sarcasm is nothing more than aggression masked with a smile.
24. One of the hardest things I ever did was to forgive the people who hurt me back in middle school and high school. It was also one of the best things I ever did.
25. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence.
26. You cannot turn the other cheek if you have no cheek to turn.
27. Six guys can live in a three-bedroom apartment for a couple of years during college and still remain friends nearly two decades later.
28. Accumulate as many mentors as you can.
29. There are “friends”, “good friends”, and “friends who help you pack a moving truck during a blizzard”.
30. You will never know that God is all you need – until God is all you have.
31. There are people in this world that make the simple things difficult – and conversely, there are people who make the difficult things simple.
32. You don’t need to be right all of the time. Let the other guy win sometimes.
33. There are painful/embarrassing/private memories in everyone’s life. If you know what someone else’s is, never betray their confidence.
34. Faith is a journey.
35. Do not take yourself too seriously.
36. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for a friend is to just be there with them and not say a word.
37. Cigarettes taste like used sweat socks (I’ve never tasted used sweat socks, but am fairly confident about the similarity).
38. Music is incredibly powerful. I have seen elderly people in walkers toss those walkers aside and dance like kids when “their” song is playing. It is a spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental thing.
39. Little kids who behave like adults are adorable. Adults who behave like little children are repulsive.
40. When someone lets you borrow something, return it in better condition than when you got it.
41. Don’t quit.
42. The past is a great place to visit in your mind, but don’t live there.
What kinds of things (serious and not-so-serious) things have you learned in life ? I’d love to hear them!