What Have You Learned, Leah?

Today I turned 35-years-old.

I started thinking about all the truisms and life lessons I’ve learned in my 35 years. So to that, I quote one of my favorite movie characters, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, “What have you learned, Dorothy?”

Well, here is what I’ve learned.

1. Don’t start using credit cards.

2. There’s no place like home. Really. I love my home and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be; which is a good thing considering we’re spending so much on it.

3. Always look out for yourself. Don’t wait for someone to look out for you.

4. If your ship won’t come in, swim out to it.

5. Once you have a child, your life is not your own anymore. And there’s a mourning process that goes with that.

6. You have to do what’s best for you and your child, no matter what anyone else says.

7. You are the expert on your body. Insist that you’re listened to by your doctor.

8. Like credit cards, don’t start using caffeine.

9. Find joy in something for yourself and make time to do it.

10. Having a religious connection is important.

11. Don’t wait until someone is dying to have important conversations.

12. Think about how your actions affect others.

13. Those perfect movie/TV families don’t exist.

14. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude at work.

15. Don’t fill your time with stuff. It’s okay to do nothing.

16. Stop and smell the pine needles.

17. Only fill your life and your house with things that hold meaning.

18. It’s better to be comfortable in your body than comfortable in your jeans.

19. Don’t let your life be ruled by fear.

20. When you have a child, sleep when you can.

21. There’s no substitute for good manners and treating people with respect.

22. Diplomacy is sometimes better than honesty.

23. Children and cat litter don’t mix.

24. Never think you’re above doing something.

25. Children are the best mirrors.

26. I’m not going to die by not using antibacterial gel.

27. Never forget your history and what your ancestors went through.

28. Life’s too short to fill it with regret.

29. Dogs love you no matter what.

30. Learn early on that money is freedom. Don’t live a life where you’re dependent on every cent you earn.

31. Weddings are easy. Marriage takes work.

32. It’s never too late to be what you want to become.

33. Life’s too short to finish reading a bad book.

34. You will never come out of Costco with only one item.

35. Always trust your instincts!

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