23 February, 2010

100 life lessons for Reilly

I did this months ago, but I wanted to put it here too...100 things that I want my daughter to learn as she gets older and grows from a child into a teenager, and then to an adult.

I wish I had learned some of these things sooner, rather than later....but at least now I have the opportunity to pass my knowledge to my daughter.

1.Don't let anyone ever tell you that you aren't smart. You are.
2.On that note, don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do anything. If you put your mind to it, you can do it.
3.Share. Share your toys. Share your heart. Share your life.
4.Don't ever be afraid to ask for help...even when you think someone won't give it to you. Someone will always be there to help.
5.Just because someone has something you want, doesn't mean it will make you happy if you have it too.
6.Don't let your material possessions control your life. Its fun to have things, that's true, but don't let them take over.
7.Always be true to who you are and where you come from. Don't change yourself for anyone, ever.
8.Listen to your grandparents. They have great stories. And along those lines, respect all your elders. They are full of wisdom and love.
9. Never be afraid to fall in love. You will fall in love, and you will get hurt, but that's how life goes. You will be a stronger person for the experience.
10.Its okay if you aren't straight. I promise. Just don't hide it. We will still love you.
11.You don't have to have a relationship with anyone you don't want to. That is your choice. But listen to your heart.
12.Don't be afraid to choose your own religion. It doesn't matter what you choose to believe, as long as its you who makes the choice and you REALLY believe it.
13.Travel the world as much as you can. Or at least to places you REALLY want to visit.
14.Cash is MUCH better than debt (in other words, don't get a whole bunch of credit cards and ruin your financial future.)
15. Laughter really is the best medicine.
16.Learn how to say “no” to people. I promise, you won't hurt their feelings, and you won't feel like a door mat the rest of your life.
17.Go to college. At least for a couple years. You have all the time in the world to decide what you want to do with your life.
18.On that topic, do good in school. We know you are smart. Use that gift. Just don't push yourself to the breaking point. We don't care about straight A's...what we care about is that you tried your hardest.
19.Always try your hardest.
20.Look twice before you leap into anything...or three or four times. Along those lines, check, check, and double check everything. Don't let a downfall be because of a small mistake.
21.Be kind to animals.
22.Learn another language.
23.Learn from other's mistakes.
24.Do one thing every day that scares you.
25.Take care of your teeth and your skin.
26.Its okay to laugh at yourself.
27.You don't have to get married or have kids to be happy.
28.Dance & sing like no one is watching.
29.Take care of your body...if you don't, it will fail you one day.
30.Never leave someone you love without giving them a hug and a kiss and telling them that you love them.
31.Play one sport with your heart.
32.Learn to play an instrument.
33.Read...and read often.
34.Not everything will go your way. Its okay. Not everything goes everyone else's way either, even if it seems like it.
35.See and appreciate live concerts. And learn to listen to older music. Its much better than what's out there today anyway.
36.Learn how to change the oil and tires on your car. You might need it someday.
37.Give to charities when you can...even if its a small amount. You'll feel good about helping someone else in need.
38.Master 5 different recipes – a side dish, an entree, a dessert, and then two of your favorites. You never know when you might need to bring something somewhere.
39.At least once in your young life, host Thanksgiving and Christmas at your house, even if its a small get together. It helps take the load off of everyone else. And don't worry, they'll help you.
40.Its fun to get presents, but it feels much better to give them.
41.Recycle. Don't litter. Use reusable bags as much as you can. Buy green whenever you can. Your helping mother earth.
42.Be passionate about a cause.
43.Learn about politics. And vote in every election. That's your future.
44.If/When you have kids, be honest with them about your past. They'll learn from your mistakes.
45.Know yourself before trying to get to know anyone else.
46.Always give people the benefit of the doubt, at least the first time.
47.Love unconditionally.
48.Stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves.
49.Don't bully people. Words really do hurt. And give compliments.
50.Always take responsibility for your actions. Don't blame others. Apologize, learn, and move on. You will be forgiven much easier if you don't lie about it or blame other.
51.Appreciate the entertainment in children's programming.
52.Watch movies and really appreciate them.
53.Never buy a used mattress.
54.Housework is your friend. The longer it builds up, the more frustrating it is for you.
55.Always be empathetic towards people you have or do care for when something bad happens to them.
56.Spoil yourself sometimes. Even if its something as simple as a bubble bath after a long day at work.
57.Don't let your job become your life.
58.Friends will come and go in your life. Try to hold onto the ones that mean the most, but don't keep them prisoner if they won't stay. You'll make new friends.
59.Regret is a terrible feeling. And you can't take it back.
60.Embrace relationships that you have. You never know when they will be gone.
61.If it seems too good to be true...it probably is.
62.Don't settle. If you don't want something, try harder to get what you want.
63.You can't pick your family, so try to make the best of it. Remember, they will always be there for you.
64.Graduate High School.
65.You are not as fat as you think. Other girls will make you feel ugly, but know that you are most likely smarter than they are.
66.Don't be reckless with other peoples hearts, and don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
67.Don't brag. And don't berate yourself.
68.Be kind to your siblings. They will be there for you in the future.
69.Live somewhere other than where you grew up.
70.Do not drink and drive. You may think you're okay, but you aren't. Don't ruin the rest of your life because of it.
71.Never say never. Life is a chance. You never know what's going to happen.
72.Prices will rise. You will probably live in a recession. Politicians will be corrupt. Its inevitable. Don't fret so much.
73.Don't worry about the things that you can't chance. Everything will fall into its place sooner or later.
74.Learn to spell. And learn proper grammar.
75.It's okay to cry. Even when you are happy.
76.Take pictures. Keep them together. Keep at least one picture of your exes – but make sure it fills your heart with good memories, and not bad. Its okay to remember people.
77.Watch sports on TV. Especially football. Its really fun.
78.Don't be afraid to come to your mom or dad with any problems. We will try to help you in any way we can.
79.Have a support system.
80.You don't have to keep up with fashion trends. They come and go.
81.All humans are equal. No matter what. Treat them like that.
82.Support our troops and veterans. They are fighting for your freedom. Regardless of your political party, they are still fighting for you. Respect and support them. Always.
83.Don't try to win every argument. Sometimes you will be wrong. And don't argue with someone on something you aren't completely, 100% sure about.
84.You will grow old. Embrace it.
85.You will offend someone at some point. If you didn't mean to, apologize. And if you did, accept the consequences.
86.Nobody will care if you were cool in High School.
87.Always wear a seatbelt.
88.Have a firm handshake.
89.Store brand goods are just as good as the name brand.
90.You do not need to prove anything to anyone.
91.Its okay to tell a little lie every once in awhile to keep someone from getting hurt. But don't do it too much. Eventually, you won't be able to keep up with your lies.
92.Be faithful and truthful to those most important to you.
93.I promise, you won't hurt your child by giving him/her cookies for breakfast when you are in a rush or tired. They won't die or hate you.
94.Never back down from your opinions. They are yours for a reason.
95.LISTEN to people. Hear their side of the story. Hear their views. Its respectful, and they will respect you more for it.
96.Invest in a DVR.
97.Once you put something in writing, especially something you want no one to know, it will come back to haunt you.
98.Keep a journal. Look back every once in awhile and read it. Then look at how much you've grown from those experiences. (number 97 and 98 aren't meant to be contradictory)
99.TV, magazines, and the news are not always right. They blanket. Try to see past that as much as you can.
100.No one will ever love you as much as your mom and dad. Never. Ever.

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