1. Forgive - Don't hold grudges. Life is too short, and you do much more damage to yourself and your own state of mind, by holding on to anger. In the words of Queen Elsa, "let it go!"
2. Slow Down - Learn when to say, "no." Savor alone time, and make "nights off" a priority.
3. Family Is Everything - Plain and simple.
4. Save Your Feet - Wear sneakers when walking on the street and driving. Heels are amazing, but if you want to be able to wear them for the next 30 years, opt for flats when you can. (A tip from my Aunt Lisa.)
5. Moisturizer - This is the fountain of youth! Don't forget your eyelids and around your mouth and lips, elbows and knees. (Another great Aunt Lisa tip.)
6. Work Out - Get into the best shape of your life before you turn 50 because menopause does things to your body that you can't even dare to imagine right now. (Oh Aunt Lisa...)
7. Indulge - "Eat all you want now because your metabolism laughs at your from here on out." (Thanks for this gem, Stephanie T.)
8. Travel - If there is anything in the world that makes the long (hard) days worth it, it's being able to see the world (or at least new parts of the country) in your "off" time. This past year we took a lot of weekend trips, where we only had to miss 1-2 days from the office during the week. The great part is, that because of that, we got to take several trips last year!
9. Don't Try To Be Everything For Everyone - You have your best friends, your good friends, and your acquaintances. You wouldn't necessarily share a secret with an acquaintance, that you would with your best friends, so value your time in the same way.
10. God First - This is something that I struggle with when life gets busy. It's usually the first thing I put on the back burner when I'm trying to juggle work, blog, QT with my husband, walking my dog, working out, and everything else under the sun! But it's also the thing that empowers me to be able do everything else, and when I carve out time for God, first, I'm usually able to accomplish my daily tasks with more joy and ease.
11. Invest In Basics - I swear my closet is becoming a sea of "basics" in a neutral color palette. I feel much better about the money spent on basics, that I can wear over and over again, than I do on trendy pieces that I will quickly retire.
12. Learn People's Love Language And Speak It - My love language is gifts, so it's often how I show love. And, even thought gifts are typically appreciated by the receiver, sometimes the gift of quality time, or words of encouragement, would be so much more valuable in their eyes. Learning each other's love languages and speaking them is a meaningful way to live.
13. Trust In The Lord's Timing And Plan - For years I have questioned God over a topic and prayed it would change, only to recently learn that I had it all wrong. This lesson taught me to let go of my need to be in control, and trust that God has got this, and everything.
14. Be A Doer - Don't just say you're going to do something. Do it. And if you're not going to do it, don't say it.
15. Change Is Necessary - One door must shut for another (infinitely better) door to open.
16. Take Care Of Yourself - Your mom is not going to make your doctor appointments anymore, so fill that cavity you've been putting off, go see a physical therapist to deal with that pain you've been having, and make regular physical check ups.
17. You Don't Need Everyone To Like You - In fact, everyone won't. That's ok. There are plenty of other people that do.
18. Keep It Real - Honesty really is the best policy. And, at our age, it goes noticed. Being respected and known for integrity is priceless.
19. "Comparison Is A Brutal Attack On Oneself" - Cameron Diaz
20. It Doesn't Matter What Strangers Think Of You - I think this is something that every blogger has had to get over and deal with. If you want to take a picture of your food at restaurant, or snap a selfie to post on IG, just do it. Chances are people are looking at you, sure...but who cares! Chances are you'll never see them again! And, if you're a blogger, pictures are your livelihood and strangers aren't paying your bills.
21. Be Grateful - Never forget where you came from, or where you used to be. At one point, you dreamt about being where you are now.
22. Forgive Yourself - I am my own worst critic, as many of us are. Just remember, you are human. You make mistakes. Seek to be whole, not perfect.
23. Pay Off Your Debt - There is NO better feeling in the world than being debt free!
24. It's Not All About You - Stop talking about yourself and ask others questions.
25. Give - And give without recognition and expectation. There is no greater blessing than to give to someone without letting them know it was you.
26. Don't Be Afraid To Speak Your Mind - But also know that your opinion doesn't always matter, and that's ok too.
27. Hydrate - Drink half your body weight in ounces each day, and you will see tremendous improvements in your skin and overall wellbeing. I don't even feel normal if I don't do this!
28. Save - "Put money away consistently for your retirement and have a stash on the side - you never know when you might need an extra pair of Louboutins." - Aunt Lisa
29. Less TV - We haven't had cable throughout our entire marriage, and it's amazing how much more time we have! We still catch up on our shows on Hulu and Netflix, but we never come home and just turn the TV on, and it's allowed us the freedom to accomplish a lot of other things.
30. Experiences Are Worth More Than Things
If you have any lessons you'd like to share, please share them in the comments!