When I was a kid things were easy. I got up, went to school, did homework, ate dinner, played, went to bed ~ repeat.
Now that I am edging on 39 I spend a lot of time reflecting on things I wish I knew prior to the last 20 years occurring.
1. Use moisturizer and sunscreen – your skin won’t look like you are 18 forever. You also can’t turn back time and fix spending too much time in the elements.
2. Learn about retirement plans and start planning ahead. Social Security isn’t guaranteed and cashing out 401K’s when you leave jobs is not the answer. Save money.
3. Pay attention to your credit. Past due medical bills can affect your credit. Check your report, be vigilant in keeping your score in a respectable place.
4. Do your research. On everything. Don’t just buy it because it is pretty or your friends bought it. Check it out and double check it. Try before you buy if you can.
5. Trust your gut. It doesn’t lie. Wether it is parenting, relationships or your career. Trust it. Don’t second guess yourself and don’t always listen to others when they are chirping in your ear.
6. Get a pet. I don’t know how to explain it, but having your own pet changes your life.
7. Take all the pictures you want. Document it, enjoy the moments and reflect back on them later.
8. Make new friends, but keep the old. Friends are important, but as we get older, our interest change, kids and significant others happen. We meet new people and that’s okay. As long as we treat each other with love and respect, new friends are a-okay.
9. Listen more. Talk more. Make your opionions heard. Don’t muffle your voice. If you don’t want to speak loudly, write, if you don’t want to publish what you write, keep a journal.
Last on my list….
10. Pick up the phone and call your family. I was so happy that at 18 I was free, but I need to remember that I wouldn’t have made it to 18, let alone 38 without the help of family.
There you have it, 10 things that in the last 20 years I didn’t learn on the Internet or in a class at school.