Hi, friends! Welcome back to the blog! I’ll be honest, though I haven’t been around here much in the last…well, quite a while, I’ve been longing to get back to writing longer posts. The ones you can sit down with, cup of tea or coffee by your side, and settle in to read. So I’m happy to be back chatting with you today about 28 lessons I’ve learned over the last 28 years. I recently had a birthday, and that’s always a time to think about what I’m grateful for, what I’ve learned so far, and celebrate where I’m going.
Last year I did a post about 27 things I love, which I’ll link here. (I still love all those things). And I thought this year we could take a deeper look at some of the things I’ve learned through my experiences, the people I’ve met, and the way my life has gone so far. Of course, though I’ve learned these things, I’m not always perfect in them, but I think they are useful to share anyway. So without further ado, here we go!
Never wish the time away.
It sounds cheesy to tell you to not take things for granted, but truly, you only have so much time with the people you love. Related to the next point, I honestly believe that there is meaning in every day, every year, every season, so always wishing to get the the next feels like a shame to me. I know it’s innocent to wish for better weather, to get to summer already, to wish that I didn’t have to spend all this time in school to get to the other side with a degree. But taking the time to appreciate those around you while they’re there, and what this exact experience you’re in is teaching you, will grow you more than it would if you hadn’t experienced this moment.
Have a solid morning routine, or at least some quiet time during the day.
I can say this because I’m not a morning person, or at least I wasn’t. A couple of years ago, though, I found out how revolutionary getting up earlier than you need to can be. Waking up when it’s dark, making my coffee, and having calm, quiet time to read my bible and pray before I go about my day is amazing, and I recommend at least trying it out!
- Be a good listener, because there aren’t that many.
- Find a hobby that you love.
- Never be afraid to sing in the car, even at a stoplight.
- Follow through on your promises.
- Find the people you trust and confide in them. You don’t need to tell everybody everything.
- Find the good in every season of life.
Forgive as quickly as possible (ask God for help because it’s hopeless on your own).
In my experience, when the people close to you, or who you really trust, hurt you in some way, it’s SO easy to hold a grudge, despite how generous we like to think of ourselves as being. But forgiveness is not only what the Lord asks of us, has given to us, and models for us, but forgiving one another is freeing in the biggest way.
- You don’t need to be attached to your phone 24/7.
- Get enough sleep.
- Faster and more are not always better; a lot can be said for slow and less.
God has a purpose for every hard thing in your life.
Knowing this is sometimes all you need to hold on to during a particularly difficult time in your life. You don’t necessarily need to know what the purpose is. And often, you won’t know the purpose right away. The reasons can continue to reveal themselves for years to come, but you can confidently know that God is using your experiences for your good, others’ good, and His glory.
- Reading is a worthwhile endeavor.
- You have to truly invest in the relationships you want to see grow.
- No one will remember the popular or unpopular things you did when you reach the end of your life, and neither will you.
- Develop gratitude before something difficult forces you to.
- Having a bad attitude doesn’t change anything, and life is so much more enjoyable when you have a positive one.
Life is not for posting online.
Social media can obviously be a great creative outlet, a place to connect with others around the world, find inspiration, etc. But social media needs, always, to come after real life. I never want to be caught in a place where I’m thinking about doing something in my real life, in order to post online. The real human connection is face to face, voice to voice, hug to hug.
Smaller, quieter, simpler pleasures can make a far more grand impact in everyday life than extravagant things.
I’ve reflected on this as I’ve had a home of my own, with spaces to fill and habits to make. And I’ve found that the small choices I make about what I will use these rooms for have a huge impact on how I feel in my home. How “homey” it feels. If there’s always t.v. sounds playing, I find it not as relaxing as if I take a few hours to read with silence or calming music in the background. If I invite people over to host them, it’s not so much about having a perfect house as it is good food, good conversation, and maybe a candle or two. 🙂
Coffee and tea are my friends, and you can’t make me choose.
Making it at home in the coffee pot, on the stove, or doing a pour over is special. It’s a wonderful part of my day, an excellent routine that makes me feel like I’m home. Stopping by my favorite coffee shop, grabbing a quick cup while I’m at work, driving through a really good drive-through…I love all of these experiences. I also love listening to the water boil for tea, picking the mug that suits my mood, choosing between English Breakfast and Peppermint (the only two options for my particular taste), and settling in with a cozy cup.
- Quiet is not a bad thing.
- The kind of leader you want to be or follow is incredibly important. Look out for the good ones, and be a good one.
- Sometimes getting your nails done, spending extra time on your skincare routine, taking a shower, or getting a hair cut (pampering yourself) is just what you need to feel like a new person.
Exercise. Even though you don’t want to and forget that it’s good for you, it will make you feel better.
I’m still learning this, and it’s one of those things that I’m sometimes so good at, and sometimes is nonexistent. Changing it up is important to me so that I don’t get bored, and finding activities that I actually really enjoy. I actually love a good dance workout, and that has been the thing that has been the longest lasting in my fitness life, though running has tried to make brief appearances. I’m also shifting my mindset to understand that working out is not always to lose weight, but to feel good physically and mentally, and I think that’s an important distinction.
- You don’t need other people (or the internet) to tell you what to like – like what you like!
- You never know what people are dealing with, so it’s helpful to treat them all with kindness.
Life is sweet.
While this sounds so simplistic, it’s also something that I hope every one of you realizes. Life is so complicated and difficult sometimes, with loss and heartache and confusing relationships, wanting without getting, dissatisfaction, and seemingly hopeless situations, but it’s also a beautiful gift. And having lived 28 years imperfectly, I recognize how gracious God has been to give me the life I have, the family and friends I have, and all the other blessings he’s given me. More and more I find that the world seems incredibly noisy, while a relationship God offers a peace that quiets the soul. And it is sweet to rejoice in Him, it is sweet to have relationships bonded in Him, and it is sweet to live life for Him.
Until next time. xx