41 in 41

When I started making this list in June, inspired by another blog post I read, I thought it’d be easy to come up with 41 things I’ve learned in my 41 years.

Uh … not so much. With my birthday a week away, I was still scrambling for the last nine. Guess I’m not as smart as I thought. And when my birthday dawned Sunday, I was STILL stuck on No. 33.

Even now, two days into my 41st year, I’m racking my brain to come up with a few more “lessons learned.” Maybe it’s because there are some things I have to keep re-learning … over and over again.

Ahem. Anyway, here are the forty-one bits of wisdom I can say I’ve accumulated in 41 years of living my life. Hopefully I’ll continue adding to the list.

  1. All diets will work for certain people. The key is to find the one that works for you … the one you can stick to day in, day out, forever.
  2. Never put anything online that could come back to haunt you later. I’m too old to worry about Facebook photos of drunken revelry, but the lesson applies equally well to tweets/status updates. Think first, then type.
  3. Don’t skip breakfast. It only makes you overeat later in the day.
  4. Even if you had a miserable experience in middle school/high school PE class, exercise can be fun. Try Zumba, spinning, yoga … even running. (Running? Who am I?)
  5. Never doubt Tom Cruise’s acting skills. Witness “Rock of Ages” and “Interview with the Vampire.” Both times, you were convinced he wouldn’t make a good ___ (rock god) / (Lestat) __. Both times, he blew you away. Those could very well be the best flicks in his repertoire.
  6. If you want to stop being frustrated by politics, move to a state — or at least part of a state —where people are more tolerant and less judgmental. Flagstaff is a decent fit for me, even if the jokers running Arizona don’t have a clue.
  7. As long as we’re talking politics, I only thought I was a liberal. Actually, I have some libertarian tendencies and, yes, some conservative ideas, too. Darn Midwestern upbringing!
  8. Not everyone will like you, no matter how hard you try to be friendly, affable, etc. What’s most important is that you like yourself.
  9. Meat Loaf the singer rocks; meatloaf the food is of dubious value, especially when you can’t eat ketchup because of its sugar content. (You can, however, make a tasty low-carb meatloaf.)
  10. Don’t be afraid to try new things, whether it’s a strange, new food or a brand-new experience. The unfamiliar can lead to some fantastic experiences.
  11. If you smile at people, they (usually) will smile back. A friendly smile will make you seem approachable, and you just might meet a new friend.
  12. Floss.
  13. Movie reviewers inevitably get it wrong. I tend to love the movies they can’t stand and vice versa. Rare is the occasion we both enjoy a movie. I think their tastes are too highbrow for me.
  14. Popularity is overrated.
  15. Treasure time alone as much as time with friends. You never get enough of either one.
  16. Fast food is the speedy route to poor health. You can make something just as tasty and twice as good for you in about the same amount of time. (I need to practice what I preach with this one.)
  17. Getting a credit card “for emergencies” is a bad idea. Especially when you’re young, everything is an emergency.
  18. Go with cash/debit whenever possible. Credit cards just tempt you to spend money you don’t have.
  19. Your parents were right: Money does not grow on trees.
  20. Money isn’t everything — but it sure is nice to have some.
  21. Almonds make an excellent snack.
  22. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
  23. You can’t say “yes” to everyone all the time without driving yourself bonkers.
  24. Take care of yourself first. You have to take care of you before you can care for others.
  25. If you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut.
  26. Never underestimate the power of being nice. You really do catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
  27. Don’t say something behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying to his/her face. If you trash someone aloud, there’s sure to be a friend/acquaintance/relative of the trashee around to overhear your comment — and it WILL get back to them.
  28. No matter how busy you think you are, or how much you say you have to do, you will ALWAYS find time to waste on Twitter/Facebook.
  29. No matter how much you wish it otherwise, life is not fair.
  30. There will always be things you don’t want to do but have to do anyway.
  31. A new haircut (or outfit) can make a world of difference in your mood.
  32. It’s not hard to make your own mayonnaise.
  33. Surprise: Homemade almond milk tastes better than the stuff from the carton — and it’s relatively simple to make.
  34. The race is long — and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. (I totally stole this one from the “Sunscreen” song, but it’s so true. Comparing yourself to others, whether it’s your looks or your fitness abilities, is a recipe for unhappiness. Strive to best your own times/achievements, not someone else’s.)
  35. You have eat right and exercise … every damn day. Even when you don’t want to. If you don’t, you’ll never get where you’re going.
  36. Persistence pays off.
  37. You get out what you put in. Mediocre effort will yield mediocre results. (Read that gem on the Whole9 blog the other day, and was struck by the truth in it.)
  38. Save your money. Infomercial products rarely live up to the hype. (My roommate and I did love the Gazelle … and my Magic Bullet blender got a lot of use until I replaced it with a Ninja. But the Red Exerciser goes unused, as do a ton of workout videos.)
  39. Cleaning/organizing is easier when you stay on top of it. (Intellectually, I know this … I just have a heck of a time putting it into practice. Cleaning is the last thing I want to do with my time.)
  40. There is, sadly, no magic formula for weight loss. It’s a matter of combining good food and consistent workouts. Eat well, move more.
  41. Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

2 responses to “41 in 41

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