35 Things I’ve Learned Over the Last 35 (Sigh…) Years

Written by Lotus on Wednesday, 7 of November , 2012 at 9:15 pm

To celebrate my birthday this Friday, I thought I’d put together a list of things I’ve learned over the years. Some are funny, some are serious.  I hope all are somewhat useful!

1. If your message in an email, text or phone call is a gussied up version of “F*** You!” don’t send it. Unless you’re willing to actually say “F*** You!”

2. It’s ok to not have plans on Friday night.

3. The average dog is a better person than the average person.

4. Rather than dieting, practice the principle of “diminishing returns.” In her book, Betheny Frankel explains that it’s ok to taste and try everything. But stop after it’s no longer pleasurable. Rather than plowing through a candy bar or steak just to finish it, stop when you’re no longer enjoying it.

5. Invest in high thread-count sheets. Mine are Egyptian cotton, 1200 thread-count from Macy’s.

6. A new outfit, haircut or eyeshadow won’t change your life. But it might lift your spirits for a few hours or a few days and sometimes that’s enough.

7. Send hand-written thank you cards within two weeks of receiving a gift or good deed.

8. Make Cheez-Its from a scratch. They are amazing. Here’s a really good recipe: http://www.cookingalamel.com/2012/04/homemade-cheez-its.html

9. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe, but it takes even more courage to admit when you’re wrong. One of the most difficult things I’ve done is admit that I was wrong when I denied the existence of God and the power of faith.

10. When people who love you seem to be sending silly emails or calling you for silly reasons, indulge them. They might be lonely and just want to talk.

11. Have a set of recipes that you do really well and share them with friends.

12. Twitter and Facebook aren’t real life. People aren’t as popular, rich, fun, and perfectly posed as they appear to be. Thank, God.

13. If The Godfather (I or II) are on TV just watch it. No need to channel surf as there is nothing better on TV.

14. Bangs are cheaper and sexier than Botox.

15. If you’re writing something that will be seen publicly, ask at least one person you trust to read it first. Also, be open to their corrections. Having someone edit your work usually makes you look better.

16. It’s ok to say “I don’t know.” Often people will give a BS answer rather than just admit they don’t know.

17. Use produce from Trader Joe’s within 24 hours. I’ve wasted so much money on the good intentions of using fresh fruit and vegetables. I love Trader Joe’s, but the fact is their produce comes from thousands of miles away (for East coasters) and doesn’t last as long as other grocery store produce, which is more likely to come from closer sources.

18. Manicures only look good for 48 hours.

19. Guys will tell you who they are. If he says he’s a jerk, a bad boyfriend, drinks too much, or anything else that seems like a warning, wish him well and walk away.

20. You find out who your real friends are during your lowest points in life, not your highest points.

21. Substitute butter-flavored Crisco for butter in all cookie recipes.

22. There is no substitution for Diet Coke. Or Hellman’s mayonnaise.

23. I do not respond well to people who use guilt to provoke my actions. It’s best to just state your reasons for what you want to do in a non-confrontational way and let them have their moment to sulk.

24. I wish I would have purchased pet insurance.

25. Life is too short to eat fat-free cheese.

26. You can’t take too many pictures of your dog. And don’t feel silly for backing up the repetitive photos, too. A few years ago my digital camera was stolen from my suitcase and I lost hundreds of photos of my now deceased dog, Buster.

27. Bruce Campbell is underrated as an actor… and sex symbol.

28. It’s ok to not finish a book if you’re not enjoying. If you’re not reaching for it when you have a spare moment, move on to another book.

29. Keep negative people at arm’s length. Don’t let them suck you in to their negative view of the world.

30. Do everything you can do avoid college loans. Go to school in-state, work, go to community college for the first two years. If you’re a parent, pay into the state-sponsored college fund. I’m so thankful that I never had school loans. Thanks to scholarships, working at least 30-40 hours a week, my parents paying into a college fund and doing my freshman and sophomore years in one year at a community college I was able to avoid school loans. Never taking out college loans is literally the best financial decision I’ve ever made.

31. The younger a person acquires publicity, the more entitled they feel to continue getting it. Whether it’s actors, singers, writers, or pundits once they’ve been in the spotlight they expect to stay there regardless of their own efforts.

32. Don’t wear a low-cut or sleeveless shirt or dress to the gun range. Nothing is more awkward (or dangerous) than trying to fish out a hot shell from your cleavage with a loaded firearm in hand.

33. Don’t think you’re too good to do menial office work. If you get the boss’s lunch, you’ll get a few extra minutes with the boss and show that you’re a person who can deliver on a task. Also, check that the order is right before you bring it back to the office.

34. Chick-fil-A is the only fast food worth eating.

35. Make lists. They make you feel like you can accomplish anything.

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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.