If you listen to nothing else I say…

My previous post got me thinking about how I want my kids to view themselves, and the world around them. Like pretty much all kids, I know my “been there, done that” advice is going to be as wanted as Gary Busey performing your next root canal. All kids, at some point in their invincible youth, will get it in their heads that their way is far superior to mom or dad’s, and we have little choice but to sit back and let them learn through trial and error. Alas, the cycle continues throughout the generations….

Knowing all that, I still compiled a list of things that I hope to pass onto my 2 little hard headed, bundles of joy and frustration. Things that I wish I could have had in the back of my mind through junior high and high school, to make those endless, rough days just a smidgen easier. So, in honor of my 31st trip around the sun next month, here are the 31 things I hope my children will always remember. 

1.) Forgive and forget is a horrible phrase, don’t use it. Forgive, yes. Forget, never. Remember, learn, and grow from it. 
2.) Be nostalgic for the past, but don’t live in it. 
3.) Know the difference between being skeptical and being cynical.
4.) Don’t be ashamed of what or who you love.
5.) Just because somebody comes to you with a problem doesn’t mean they want you to solve it. Sometimes all a person needs is for you to listen and try to understand.
6.) Don’t let the number in your bank account dictate your happiness.
7.) That said, have a savings account. Your mechanic will ALWAYS find something wrong.
8.) The hardest thing in the world to rebuild is trust. If someone gives it to you, don’t break it.
9.) Learn how to be single and enjoy it. Boy/Girlfriends don’t make the world go around.
10.) Older generations will always have a “When I was your age…” story. Let them tell it.
11.) Texts and e-mails are nice, but don’t forget that there is joy in hand written letters and phone calls.
12.) Diets suck! Take care of your body.
13.) Don’t swear in front of your grandparents or little kids. Both have the power to put you in your place and render you speechless.
14.) Never feel tied down by your hometown. There is a big world out there. Go see it!
15.) If you like someone, tell them.
16.) Try new food. You’ll be surprised by what you like.
17.) Be kind to people, even if they aren’t kind to you.
18.) Reality television is not reality. 
19.) If you don’t know something, ask.
20.) Doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or girl, everyone should know the pleasure of a good pedicure.
21.) Knowing, and using, proper English can take you far.
22.) The perfect partner will make you laugh, think, and grow without trying.
23.) When in doubt, it’s usually best to keep your mind open and mouth shut.
24.) Never apologize for the way you feel. Emotions are natural and meant to be experienced.
25.) Compliment often, criticize rarely, insult never.
26.) Enjoy and appreciate people for who they are. There is beauty in our differences.
27.) It’s pointless to hold grudges. The only thing they accomplish is making you bitter.
28.) You are not defined by your failures or successes, but by your spirit and compassion for others.
29.) Take time to learn about politics so that you know who and what you’re voting for.
30.) You will never find true beauty in a cosmetics aisle.
31.)Last, and most importantly, there will never be anyone, in the history of music, who will ever come close to being as great as Freddie Mercury.

Like the great Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (If you have reached the age of 18 and I have not shown you that movie, I have failed as a parent and we must rectify that at once!)

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