Stuff I’ve Learned the Hard Way

flowers1) Love, when done right, is an endless act of forgiveness, under-promising, and over-delivering.

2) Tequila, when consumed, should always be chilled and chased with OJ.

3) It is not enough to have a goal, you must also have a plan that outlines how you’re going to get there.

4) Children should be celebrated for who they were born to be, not molded into who we want them to be.

5) Travel is important…especially for children. And while I love the beach, I don’t mean just that.

6) The laziest person you know will get a job because of who they know. Connections are everything.

7) Everyone has the power to make a difference for someone.

8) Being dependent is dangerous, especially if you’re a woman.

9) Allowing someone to be dependent upon you is dangerous, especially if you’re a man.

10) All pets should be spayed and neutered, regardless of how cute they might be. There are lots of really cute, really awesome dogs and cats out there looking for a home, right now.

11) Always buy white towels and linens.

12) What’s inside a person can make the outside really attractive….and vice versa.

13) There’s no intimacy without vulnerability.

14) If you still have your best friend from when you were 12, at 50, you’re pretty darn lucky. I’m pretty darn lucky. Raise your hand, Sarah Williams Fisher.

15) I may be as wise now, as I believed I was in my 20’s.

16) Always put your best foot forward, but don’t stress too much. Not once, in my adult life, has anyone ever asked what my class rank was or what kind of GPA I graduated with…..thank God.

17) There’s always going to be someone prettier, smarter, and more successful than I…and I’m good with that.

18) Personal integrity is not overrated. Look for people who have it. Keep them in your circle.

19) Parents should never coach their kids.  You’re much better suited to be a #1 fan. If you’re the coach, they are never really sure how good they are.

20) Eat the damn doughnut; but only once in a while, not every day.

21) If you have a personal struggle, the best way to combat it is to get outside of yourself and do something for someone else.

22) Watching too much TV kills productivity and creativity. Turn it off.

23) Expose your children to information and encourage them to develop their decision-making skills. Don’t force feed them your beliefs. Critical thinking skills are crucial to survival. The internet and helicopter parenting have created a world full of followers.

24) Gossiping about what other people’s children are doing is a slippery slope.  After all, did your parents know everything you were doing? Do you think you know everything your kids are doing?

25) Once your children are in high school, the die is cast. Stalk them all you want to but they’ll find a way to do exactly what they want to do, and it will erode your relationship in the process. Instead, set reasonable boundaries and resist the urge to freak out when they come to you with something you kind of wish you didn’t know.

26) Some days you won’t like your significant other….at all. Guess what? That means you’re normal.

27) The right man or woman will love your kids from a previous marriage as much as you do.

28) Regular exercise fixes a lot of problems that medications, therapists, and booze won’t.

29) Nobody likes an idiot. Don’t be one. And yes, it’s a choice. Read a book.

30) Down time with your kids is essential. No TV, no phones.  Just conversation, and maybe a card game or some Scrabble.

31) If your relationships aren’t working, it’s because your selection criteria sucks.

32) Being positive gets you a whole lot farther down the road than negativity ever will.

33) Almost everyone looks good in pink.

34) Whatever you’re currently saving for your retirement, probably isn’t enough.

35) The reason that church and state need to remain separate is because this is where the majority of corruption lives. To combine the two would be catastrophic.

36) You will open your heart and trust people. Some of them will betray that trust. Only a jerk does that. Move on.

37) Fresh cut flowers make a house a home.

38) Beneath anger you will almost always find a thick layer of hurt.

39) Emotional people never make good decisions. Close your mouth and wait.

40) There will be times you have to choose between your job and your children. Choose your children every single time. They grow up entirely too fast and this Merry-Go-Round only makes one rotation.  Enjoy every single moment.

-by Rhonda Stephens
To Catch a Falling Cactus

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