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These are a few of the things I’ve learned in life. It’s random, but so am I. Enjoy and learn.

  1. Never put glitter polish on your toenails. Yes, it looks super cute and/or sexy, but it’s not worth the stress of trying to take it off later. Stick to the normal type of polish, choosing colors outside of your normal comfort zone, to get that same feeling of “secret sexy”.
  2. Always buy at least two boxes of hair dye, no matter how short you think your hair is. If you miss a spot, or the color doesn’t take, or you have far more hair than you originally thought, you just open up the next box and fix it. Much less stressful than running to the store and hoping they have more of that color later. (The amount of extra boxes increase if your hair is longer than shoulder length.)
  3. Never pass up a chance to cuddle, with your kids or the one you love. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. And BE THERE when  you do it. Don’t worry about the bills, dishes, laundry, what that chick said to you a week ago that got under your skin. Be in the moment of the cuddling. Absorb the love that flows through the arms of the one you’re holding. It reduces stress and connects you to the one you’re with.
  4. Always say thank you and mean it. It’s two words that say more than just thank you. “Please pass the salt…. thank you.” Actually says: “Thank you for handing me the salt, so I didn’t have to get up/stretch across the table/chance knocking everything over, you’re awesome.” Put feeling into saying it. Do not let it be an automatic reaction and half thought. Do this with everything you say thank you about. The thanked will notice, trust me.
  5. Find ways to make time for yourself. This isn’t easy, life is full of work/kids/housekeeping/social needs/relationship needs. But strive to give yourself at least 30 minutes out of the week, that is just for you. Read a book, a friends blog, soak in the tub, sit on the porch and breathe. It doesn’t matter what you do, just make sure it’s for YOU. Cleaning the dishes doesn’t count, I don’t care how much of a clean freak you are. Also, at least once a month, schedule yourself a larger block of time for just you. Use it to nap, watch a movie, find a new running route, whatever. Just reconnect with yourself. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR THIS. Doing this makes you a better parent/spouse/friend.
  6. Never go below 1/4 tank of gas. Not only is this getting you closer to the dreaded “E”, but it is very bad for your vehicle and can cost you lots of stress and money later. Keep it at a 1/4 tank or above at all times.
  7. Adventure outside of your normal food zones. No, not into allergy land, but into trying something you can eat, but haven’t from fear of taste. There are a lot of interesting foods out there, and you may discover something you’ll love, if you get over yourself long enough to try it. (My most recent discovery was hummus. Hate all of them except the garlic type. Oh my goodness, LOVE IT.)
  8. Never feel guilty for decluttering your life. That knick-knack you resent every time you have to dust it? Give it away, sell it, donate it, regift it. Only keep those things that are useful to you. Things that bring you comfort, strength, a smile, or you actually use fairly frequently. If something brings you negative feelings, remove it from your life. The gifter may never notice. If they do, just tell them someone else loved it far more, that it was lovely but a bitch to clean, or whatever truthful but unhurtful thing you need to say, and then it’s over, stress be gone. Why keep something, when it only causes you grief?
  9. Number 8 applies to people too. That person you only talk to because they knew you back when, that friend that spouts things that only cause you anger/stress/pain, that cousin/uncle/aunt/parent that only seems to say anything to you to get a reaction from you? You do NOT have to keep them in your life. Removing them from your life helps in keeping you less stressed and gives you more time to focus your energy on those people in your life that lift you up and bring you happiness. Life is too short to let the negative people in your life take up time and energy that deserves to be focused elsewhere.
  10. Read that book you keep putting off. It may be the best book you ever read, it may change how you see things in life, it may be the worst book ever. You’ll never know if the pages never get turned by you.
  11. Hand write a letter to a close friend every once in a while. Whether they live a few blocks away, or are on the other side of the world, doesn’t matter. It’s always nice to get real mail, it keeps your friendship from becoming stale, and you may discover something going on in your mind or life that you wouldn’t have seen until you put it on paper.
  12. Smile. Even when you feel like crying. Life is short, hard, and full of many things that can tear you down. But you’re here. You have people that love you. You have memories of good times. More good times will come. The future is unknown, but full of possibilities and change. Look forward to that. Life is chaos. Embrace it, enjoy it, but most of all, live it.