In honor of having lived 40 years now, let me save you younger ones some of the hassle. Older ones, feel free to leave more in the comments!
1. Yes, you CAN have too many tee shirts.
2. You never regret going out for a run
3. It is never wrong to show love
4. Love is something you do, not how you feel.
5. Bake often, but not on hot days. Save those for ice cream
6. Give your husband something to be proud of.
7. At a restaurant, don't be afraid to go with what you always get. You will know you will like it.
8. Prepare all of your end-of-life plans before it becomes essential (funeral, will, etc.). It will make it so much easier on the ones you leave behind.
9. Never procrastinate. Getting the necessary done now, which leaves more time later for the fun.
10. Take any opportunity you can to go to the beach. But never alone.
11. Shopping: never buy on impulse. If you happen upon something you have needed, and it is a better price than you have seen, get it. But if it was not something on your list, think first, don't buy. If you are still thinking about it later, go back for it.
12. Kids need down time. Let them have as much as they can tolerate without being bored. They will have to be structured soon enough.
13. Every time you go upstairs, take with you something that belongs up there.
14. Mess first, clean later. Sounds obvious. But don't scrub counters before you bake. This also goes for vacuuming AFTER, not before playgroup comes over.
15. Let machines do as much work as possible. They don't complain as much.
16. Sometimes it is better to forego things like having yard sales and participating in consignments because having more time is better than having more money.
17. Eat ice cream for breakfast. There isn't any reason not to.
18. Choosing a movie? Go with the comedy. If you laugh even once it's less disappointing than a movie you don't understand or sleep through.
19. Hold your child when he is sick no matter how old he is.
20. Have at least one tradition at birthdays. It will make everyone look forward to it. For my July birthday daughter, it's water balloons.
21. Shiny is good. Sparkly is better.
22. Good is fine.
23. Don't skip dessert.
24. Cereal for dinner sometimes makes everyone happy.
25. Get a large iced coffee, take out the ice and keep in the fridge what you don't drink.
26. Invest in lots of command hooks. Bring them on vacation and hang everything up.
27. You cannot have too many organizers.
28. Flowers are pretty, but roses from the grocery store aren't any less special than the flower store's.
29. Always have a list of places you want to go/ things you want to do when you suddenly find that you do not have your kids for an hour. Make another list for longer periods of time. Don't let that time slip away!
30. Read the book first and then watch the movie. It will make more sense. Especially Gone with the Wind.
31. No caffeine after 4pm. Go to bed when you're tired. It's better for your body than forcing yourself to stay awake.
32. Water is the only thing worth drinking for the sake of drinking. (Special treats are different. But make those worth it.)
33. If you have a book in your head, write it! Work through it after you write it to make it good. And then make it better.
34. Never waste time with TV if there's something better that can be done. Never waste time, period. Always have a plan.
35. Time DOES indeed pass. People DO change.
36. Sports are fun and they get you going. And since you never know how any given match up will go, it's never the same game twice. Play, if you can.
37. Be careful about what makes you cry early in your marriage. It will be remembered For.Ever.
38. Sometimes even things that were good will have "run their course" at some point.
39. Don't hang on to stuff. Really. It's just stuff.
40. I know that in another 10 years, most of this list will be obsolete and laughable. And I will have so much more to add, but not nearly as much as when I am 80!
Passion Under Grace,