Six years ago on my first foray into blogging, I wrote a post entitled “22 Lessons in 22 Years!” I can picture 22-year-old me with her Zooey Deschanel bangs and determined cheerfulness now boldly claiming, “Trust me, experience is life’s greatest teacher.”

What a joy she was despite being a little naive, a little broken hearted, and so young. I thought it might be fun to revise that list in honor of my birthday. I’m anxious to see how this list will change in the coming years.

  1. Walk your dog first thing in the morning. It brings a sense of peace, allows your imagination to wake up, and keeps you humble because you’ve got to pick up poop.
  2. Swap out a morning of music for a podcast or audiobook. Look, I love Hamilton and sometimes the best way to prepare for work is to listen to my pump-up playlist, but singing the chorus to “My Shot” for the hundredth time is not serving me the way new ideas do.
  3. Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.
  4. You will never regret getting 7-8 hours of sleep. Put the phone down, turn Friends off, go to sleep.
  5. There are certain things you should do because you want to do them, not because it’s expected or what everyone else is doing it. Running is one of these things.
  6. The easiest lane is not the enemy. I fight this constantly thinking that if I do something the hard way it makes my work more valuable. Nope. Not a thing. Finished is better than perfect.
  7. The only way to get better at something is by doing it. Practice, practice, practice.
  8. Talk is cheap. Don’t talk about people.
  9. Put the coffee in your coffee maker before you go to bed each night. (And remember to put the carafe under it…)
  10. Don’t belittle someone else’s interests because you don’t share them. Some people fish, some people read, and some people shop. The world needs all kinds of people.  
  11. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to friends. I never remember my best friend is fifteen years older than me until she mentions her oldest kid is learning how to drive.
  12. Just because something makes you uncomfortable doesn’t necessarily make that something wrong.
  13. Life is a lot more enjoyable when you laugh every now and then.
  14. People make mistakes. Bing Crosby voiced Disney’s Ichabod Crane and is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. He also danced in blackface in Holiday Inn.
  15. Proofread.
  16. Get to know your neighbors.
  17. The first mile is a liar. Don’t listen to it. You can do hard things.
  18. When you fall in love, be exactly who you are. You owe it to the person you love to be who you are and not surprise them a month, a year, or five years down the road when the mask comes off.
  19. Sometimes your friends are going to hurt. Show up for them.
  20. Compliment more than you criticize.
  21. One of the best feelings in the world is being valued and truly seen by your friends. Write down the times they make you feel loved.
  22. Writing down ten things you are thankful for every day will force you to look for things to be thankful for throughout the day.  
  23. Don’t apologize for the things that make you happy.
  24. Someone else’s achievements do not make your achievements smaller. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  25. Contribute to your retirement fund. Try to contribute as much as your employer will match if you can. Your future self will thank you for it.
  26. There is tremendous power in speaking something into being. I didn’t want to run a race until I said it aloud.
  27. Call your grandparents. And answer the phone when they call.
  28. Tell the people you love that you love them. Every day. As much as you can.



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