Here’s something a little “not normal” about me. I never thought I’d live to see 35. Honestly, I wasn’t sure I’d live through my 20’s. See, I lost many friends in my young adult years. When I was 15, my manager, who was 21, passed away. A few years later, a very close friend, who was 17, passed away. For the next few years, I would lose someone under 30 almost every year. I have attended so many funerals of young adults, and old adults. So, there was a part of me that thought I wouldn’t make it that long. In honor of them on my 35th birthday, I want to share how they have changed my life, even though they are gone.
1. Enjoy today as if it was your last.
2. Tell people you love them at every opportunity. Bret and I almost always say “it’s been real” when we say goodbye. Because you never know when it will be your last goodbye.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff…
4. …or the big stuff.
5. Laugh often, and without reservation.
6. Don’t hold too tightly to the negative things people think about you.
7. Stop and enjoy where you are right now.
8. If you wash dishes, wear an apron.
9. If a t-shirt is made for a teddy bear, you can wear it, really.
10. Don’t forget your wallet on a date.
11. God is the most important thing.
12. Don’t hold grudges for other’s mistakes, cover them with love and gratitude.
13. You can have another career in your “retirement.”
14. Use your “retirement” to build tree houses.
15. If you fail at something the first time, try again tomorrow.
16. Sacrificing yourself for someone else’s benefit, is the ultimate gift.
17. Greet everyone with a smile that genuine.
18. Take the trips, and laugh often.
19. You can leave a part of yourself for someone, even if you leave before they can remember you.
20. You can always take extra helpings of mashed potatoes.
21. Even if you are limited in some way physically, you can still make an incredible impact on others.
22. Hug others as fiercely as possible. You never know when your last hug will be.
23. Don’t hold tightly to winning fights.
24. Sing if you have the voice.
25. Have a second home, if you can.
26. Enjoy the small things.
27. Live in the moment.
28. Others can be impacted by your joy.
29. Every day is a chance to try again.
30. Visit the places you’ve always dreamed of before it’s too late.
31. Everything can change in an instant.
32. Do what you love.
33. Don’t make excuses for your mistakes.
34. Treat everyone as important.
35. But don’t waste your time on negative people.
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