Sunday, September 16, 2012

42 life lessons for my daughters

I'm not sure if my oldest daughter actually enjoys conversing about her life with me, but I'm happy when she opens up and discusses her day to day happenings.  We have had some truly special conversations, especially since she hit the confusion and angst of Jr. High, and I am grateful for bond we share.  Now that she's entered high school I've been ruminating about some of the conversations we've shared over the past few years . . . these "life lessons" I'm trying to instill in her and her sisters.  So here goes, my list of things I want my girls to remember as they navigate adolescence and the future:

  • Be kind.  It's more important to be kind than to be right.
  • If you want to become great at something, work at it and put in the hours.
  • Look people in the eye when you speak to them.
  • Find a passion, do the things you love.
  • "Don't allow your happiness to depend on something you may lose." (C.S. Lewis)
  • Treat your family the same way you treat your friends.
  • Education is one of the greatest investments you can make.  Work hard in school. Make your studies a priority.  Go to college.
  • Never let a boy come between you and your best friend.  Keep your friendships strong.
  • Listen to your heart.
  • Don't worry about what other people think.  EVER.  "Be who you are and say what you will, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." (Dr. Seuss).
  • Forgive.  Be the first to say "I'm sorry."
  • Develop compassion.  
  • Take walks.  Go on a hike.  Let the beauty of the earth refresh and invigorate you.
  • Have faith that things will work out.
  • Open your heart to others.  Be the first to say "hello," the first to offer a compliment, and the first to say "I love/miss you."
  • Don't follow the crowd.
  • Be strong.  Your strength will astound you.
  • Never lose the desire to read a good book.  Never stop learning.
  • Jr. High girls are fickle.  Jr. High boys are clueless.  Everyone grows up by senior year (almost everyone ;).
  • Be careful with your language.  Never use words such as "suck, loser, piss, or fart" when speaking or writing . . . it's uncouth and not ladylike.
  • Drink plenty of water.  Stay away from soda. 
  • Listen to your dad . . . he'll offer some of the best advice you'll ever receive.
  • If you're feeling insecure or doubting yourself, reach out to someone who needs a lift more than you.
  • Keep a journal.  Writing when you are happy/sad/frustrated/elated/angry is wonderful therapy.
  • Be trustworthy.  Be someone who can keep confidences.
  • Wake up each morning with a grateful heart.  Practice gratitude.
  • Be confident.  Let it shine through your smile and demeanor.
  • Allow your mom into your life.  Believe it or not, she's been there.  Let her be your friend.
  • Never lose your childlike wonder.
  • Laugh.  Be happy.  Find joy.
  • Build your testimony.  Study and pray . . . find out for yourself.
  • Never stop asking questions.
  • Don't trust everyone.  Be selective with those with whom you share your deepest thoughts and life experiences.
  • Stay grounded and avoid drama.
  • Learn how to bake.
  • Everyone deserves a second chance.
  • Stay close to your sisters and brother.
  • Don't gossip.  Lift others, don't bring them down.
  • Practice self control.
  • Mistakes happen.  Wipe the slate clean and start again.
  • Always look for the good.
  • "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." (Maya Angelou)


Julie Pia said...

You are truly amazing Julie! I miss you and need you in my life. Your list is PERFECT! Thank you!

Melissa said...

Love it.

Kristin said...

Fantastic list. I'd only change #1 to read, Be kind, it's more important than being POPULAR. Wish I had been kinder in HS. Can't wait to see you tomorrow. My house is not going to be clean. You're cool with that... right?!

cher said...

Great list Julie...

So glad you're back to blogging! I've missed it!