Live and Learn

Not to stereotype, but the Internet is full of people who proclaim to be experts on everything from parenting and cooking to pictures of animals wearing clothes (thank god for that last group though, right?)

I am no expert on anything other than how not to do various activities, but I have still learned a few things in my 31 years. So while I don’t always follow my own advice—or remember everything that I say—I’m sharing a few things below.

And if you make it through my list, I demand—demand, I say!—that you add a couple things you “know” in the comments as well. Why? If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you people are funnier, smarter and saner than me.

That’s one thing I’ll never forget.

Life Lessons—So Far

  1. The universe owes you nothing. You owe it to yourself to make things work.
  2. You can get through anything if don’t look too far past today.
  3. Righty tighty, lefty loosey.
  4. You don’t have to win—or participate in—every argument.
  5. It’s far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without you having to tell them.
  6. There are those who dust and then vacuum and those who vacuum and then dust. The latter group is wrong, by the way.
  7. Work is work. Most people don’t love their job, but most people also need money.
  8. Time spent doing what you like is never time wasted.
  9. Hurt people hurt people. Often those who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it the most.
  10. The best way to make yourself feel better about having to wait in a long line is to look at the people behind you.
  11. Teeth are jewels, not tools.
  12. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
  13. You learn by doing, even—or especially—if that means doing something wrong.
  14. For every action, there is an equal and opposite overreaction.
  15. There is no baseline for normal. Once you realize this, it takes the pressure off.
  16. What you do every day is more important than what you do once in a while.
  17. Share.
  18. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
  19. Non-stick pans and self-cleaning ovens? Lies, nothing but lies.
  20. Everyone has a story. Not everyone has plans and not excuses.
  21. A writer writes. A painter paints. Action trumps intention.
  22. The best sign of a healthy relationship is that there’s no sign of it on Facebook.
  23. People think their way out of doing everything that’s worth doing in life.
  24. Read. Books.
  25. Sometimes life does give you more than you can handle. Never be ashamed to ask for help.
  26. Don’t pull the tail of a goat or scratch the top of a buffalo’s head.
  27. Envy is a waste of time. Be better, not bitter.
  28. If you have more than one junk drawer, you have too much junk.
  29. Take your time.
  30. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
  31. If a car is held together with masking tape and plastic wrap, always let them merge. They obviously have nothing to lose.
  32. Drop the ego. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  33. No. 32 is really hard.
  34. Busyness does not equate with productivity.
  35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  36. People rarely RSVP to pity parties.
  37. Thinking, “Could I make a bigger mess?” is basically just issuing a challenge to yourself.
  38. No matter how lonely you might feel, there is always someone who can relate to you.
  39. Never judge a book by its movie.
  40. If you mean it, say “I love you.” Say it often.
  41. You can—and will—always be humbled by something or someone. This is a good thing.
  42. Overprepare and then go with the flow.
  43. When in doubt, just take the next small step—even if you’re clumsy.
  44. Old people are wise beyond our years.
  45. Sundays are for washing floors and clothes, not for washing hair.
  46. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
  47. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” –Buddha
  48. I hate ending things on an odd number, so this is the last one is basically filler.

Like the blog? Buy the book.

P.S. I have been nominated as one of the Top 25 Humor Blogs over at SkinnyScoop. While I’m not sure what that means, I would be most appreciative if you could to click over, scroll down to my blog icon (the second one under When Pigs Fly) and click “like.”

But don’t do that before you add your own Life Lessons here.

Remember No. 17.

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42 responses to “Live and Learn

  1. Yay, I love it! From funny to profound, you’ve learned a lot. I couldn’t add much, maybe just to never underestimate a young child’s enthusiasm for discussing bodily function in public. Also, never assume that the doctor will knock before coming in the room when you’re putting on your paper gown – change fast.

  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff–& it’s almost ALL small stuff!

  3. I voted and I’m adding.
    1) Double check the smart-ass reply you are sending via email is really going to just your friend and not “Reply All
    2) You should always check and make sure you locked the door in a public restroom.
    3) If you forget how many days are in a month, you can count your knuckles.
    4) I don’t have a fourth because you made a great list and I love odd numbers, but I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.

  4. From the wrapper of the Dove milk chocolate square I just ate while reading this post: “It’s ok to slow down”. True I suppose. Nothing like a little afternoon chocolate wisdom. :)

    Off to vote.

  5. no one is getting any younger, and lifes end result is the same for all of us.

  6. Another to add to the list: If the package says, 4 servings, it probably means 2 servings.

  7. two permutations on a theme – live and let live & don’t judge others least you want to be judged by them. i know both old but there does seem at least to me for there to be some merit in them. but can you do something to make the wording more current? they sound like something an religous education intsructor would say.

  8. Number three reminded me that I need to go fix the front door knob. No joke here. Just going to go fix the door knob.

  9. This is a super list. I don’t have any original advice from my own, so I’m just going to quote Kurt Vonnegut who is like, WAY wiser than me and who said “god damnit, you’ve got to be kind.” I try to be, mostly, except for when I’m not. Still, good advice.

  10. I’m in love with this post, and #1 especially spoke to me today. Thanks!

    My life lessons: 1) Write love letters, and not just to a guy. To your friends, parents, old English teachers, yourself. 2) Never watch Criminal Minds when you’re home alone at night. 3) Pet a dog. Seriously, it’s 99% percent of the reason I still haven’t been locked up in the looney bin.

  11. “The wisest man is often the one who moves the least”., unless he’s sleeping or too fat, in which case the saying doesn’t work

  12. You *can* make delicious brownies. Just read the directions first. Measuring cups are your friends.

  13. Awesome list! I’m not sure what to add other than don’t grab a goat by his horns. That’s not good either.
    Also, never wear black hose with white shoes. It’s just bad.

  14. A lot of wisdom packed into that little list! My addition: never try to brush a cat’s teeth.

  15. There is no advance without adversity.

    Oh and by the way, I love you, friendo. I mean that.

  16. Swans hate children very much, and will attack them.

    If you laugh at your brother getting attacked by a swan, you will get grounded.

    It is much easier to judge someone and hate them, than listen to them and love them.

    Abby, your list rocks my socks.

    • I think you could also swap out “swan” for “goose” in that scenario as well (the first one, not the serious one.) And yes, it takes more effort to understand than it does to dismiss…

  17. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this so much!
    I would add:
    When you think something is a bad idea, it probably is.
    Don’t be afraid to let go of a toxic friend just because you have known them for a long time.
    Oh, and don’t expect to have a clean house when you have kids…it WILL not happen and you will just be disappointed.

  18. Love this! Read it while I stared dreamily at a picture of my girl-crush, Amy Poehler, on which she says, “There is power in looking silly and not caring that you do.” YES.

  19. Perfect list – so many winners in there. (“Read. Books”, “Teeth are not tools”, “Work is work”…..)
    You got a brain, use it.
    Go outside and play – at least 10 minutes a day – no matter the weather (Maria Montessori’s philosophy and modern medicine says it’s important…although if it’s flooding/ blizzard you might want to adjust that a bit?)

  20. I before E except after C or when sounded as A as in neighbor and whey. Plus some other exceptions that they don’t have rhymes for.

  21. Amen to #21. I’d like to add that, if the Tupperware has been sitting in the back of the fridge for more than six months, cut your losses and throw it out. What waits inside is worse than most nightmares.

  22. Love your list!! I would like to add, ” You have to fall down to grow up”.

  23. Always use spell check.
    and
    It doesn’t matter if you are right.

    (Awesome list. I am only adding mine because you demanded it.)

  24. “All you really HAVE to do is breathe….EVERYTHING else is optional” that and if you leave CAPS lock on in a Word doc Shift F3 will change it….

  25. Great list. Several of these I agree with but need to actually do.

    Hmm, I’ll add: Treating others how they’d like to be treated sometimes goes over way better than treating others as you’d like to be treated.

  26. How the hell did you get so wise in only 31 years. It took me nearly 60 and I’m still figuring it out! Congrats on the blog nomination!

  27. I love this list. I may print it and hang it on my office wall…
    Learning #5. Learned #21 through trial-and-error. Would like to make love to #24. My additions?
    1. If you have candles, light them and enjoy them. Why have candles if you aren’t going to use them?
    2. Eat vegetables. They will make you healthier in more ways than the media lets on.
    3. I work at a desk all day, so my brain only has the capacity to think of two right now.

  28. Abby, I was trying to pick my favorites from this list, but then I would just have to copy/paste the whole post!

  29. PS: Big congrats on the nomination!

  30. What a terrific list. I think you nailed it. A big thanks to Meleah for sending me your way.

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