31 Lessons from 31 Years

31Sunday was my 31st birthday. I can’t believe it. I enjoyed the morning with my husband and got homemade cards from our girls. Then my in-laws took the girls for the afternoon while my husband took me out. I had a good day and we had some blessings along the way; our lunch was with gift cards that someone from our churched gave to us as a thank you for our work there, I went shopping with gift cards from Christmas and my birthday, we got new phones (which had become more of a need then a want) and we stumbled upon a great deal that resulted in free phones without much change to our plan, and I won $50 from the Turn It Up Tuesday linkup!

It was a great day, but I’m having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that I am now in my 30s. Last year I was just 30, but this year I am just in my 30s. It got me thinking about my past 31 years, both the good times and the bad times.

I have been realizing lately all those things that people tell you when you are younger, but you just can’t believe… until you are there. So, here are 31 things I have learned in my 31 years.

  1. You don’t know anything about real life when you are a teenager and other people don’t think you are so funny when you are being obnoxious.
  2. If you don’t have a real plan for your life after high school, go to college. I don’t think everyone needs to go to college, but at least have a plan so you keep your options open and don’t get stuck in an dead-end job you hate.
  3. Your parents actually know some stuff. I realized this one a little bit after my oldest daughter was born.
  4. Sometimes the old school way of doing things is better then what the pediatrician says to do. And, you should listen to your gut over your doctor sometimes.
  5. Sometimes “Because I said so” is an acceptable thing to say to your child and sometimes it just comes out because there really isn’t another reason why.
  6. Credit cards are from the devil.
  7. Life is HARD, in just about every single way possible.
  8. Marriage makes life even harder, but can still be wonderful.
  9. Your spouse is going to let you done, plain and simple. Sometimes in little ways, and sometimes in big ways. If you don’t know that ahead of time you are going to have a hard time learning to forgive.
  10. Don’t let people convince you of what you “can’t” do and don’t focus on getting approval from people about what you “can” do. For some reason lots of people don’t want others to succeed or step out and try something new.
  11. If you are doing something that you enjoy and others are making fun of you, keep doing it. The chances are that you are enjoying your life a lot more than they are enjoying yours.
  12. Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’ because they are in crazy debt and probably fight about money behind those beautiful closed doors a lot.
  13. Be honest.
  14. Keep your word.
  15. Look for the good and the fun in life. This life was meant to be enjoyed. It even says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” God didn’t create us to live in the mundane and drag around depressed all the time.
  16. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Ask for and receive God’s forgiveness.
  17. Serve your husband. This is not a bad thing, it is a good thing and one of our purposes, “to serve others”.
  18. Exercise. Yes, it usually sucks, but in the long run you will be thankful.
  19. Let your kids be kids.
  20. But, be a parent. Kids need you to be a parent much more than they need you to try to be cool and fit in with their friends.
  21. When you go on vacation make sure you budget well beforehand so you can relax, enjoy yourself, and not think about money while you are away.
  22. God needs to be the center of your life for your life to work the right way.
  23. Disney World is an amazing place and everyone should go. But, plan a lot before you go because this is the key to having an awesome Disney vacation.
  24. Realize and act on the fact that there are people older and wiser then you. Talk to them, learn from them, and follow their advice because they know some good stuff and have been there before.
  25. Have a few good friends. You don’t need a 100 close friends or 1,000 facebook friends, just a few good ones.
  26. Don’t allow getting the approval of others to ruin your life. Don’t be a people pleaser.
  27. Spending time being organized saves time in the long run.
  28. Study things for life and personal development. The Bible should be first and then find some other good resources and put them into practice.
  29. Your kids watching tv is not going to be the end of the world. Monitor what they watch though because there are lots of things that children should not be exposed to.
  30. Learn to cook from scratch because it is cheaper and taste better.
  31. You only have one life, so do your best to make the most of each day. It unfortunately is a short life; some have less than others, so do good and enjoy life.

What lessons have you learned along the way?

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