The other day my daughter and I decided to go outside for a puddle walk. I couldn’t help but be in awe of her as she splashed through mud puddles. She was free in the moment, overflowing with joy and happiness. She is growing up so fast. There are so many things I want her to know before she begins life on her own. In time, I vow to teach her each of them. Until then, I savored this moment of playing in the rain.

  1. Travel to other countries and value your own.
  2. If an acquaintance, co-worker, or friend loses a loved one, go to the funeral. Even if you can only stay a moment to sign the guest book…GO.
  3. Listen to your gut.
  4. Few problems cannot be made easier with candy. Always keep a stash of your favorite candy hidden in a box of tampons. Nobody is looking in there.
  5. Do not wait for someone to ask for help. Not everyone is capable of asking. Do not ask someone how you can help. Think of something and do it.
  6. Always have a means of supporting yourself financially even if you do not necessarily have to.
  7. Begin every day and end every night giving thanks for some aspect of your life. There will be days when everything seems bleak. Give thanks for that, too. It helps you appreciate the days that are not.
  8. Focus less on how your body looks. Focus more on what your body can do.
  9. Practice random acts of kindness. Bonus points if they are anonymous.
  10. Do not expect hard work to be enough to get the raise, the respect, the job, the promotion. Many hard workers in this world deserve far more than they receive. But, do not let this deter you.
  11. Think critically.
  12. You do not owe anyone a smile. You do not owe anyone a pretty look. You do not owe anyone a hug. Your body is yours alone to use it how you wish. That includes your mind. You can change it at any time.
  13. Listen to your gut.
  14. Be kind to others. Be kind to animals. Be kind to plants. Everything is connected.
  15. Never underestimate the importance of a firm handshake.
  16. Be cautious of first impressions. They are often wrong.
  17. When you receive a compliment, say thank you.
  18. Spouse, sister, brother, daughter, grandparent, or cousin, it does not matter. A title never obligates you to withstand disrespectful, physical or mentally abusive behavior. It also does not give you the right to unleash it on others. Set your behavior accordingly.
  19. Give more. Take less.
  20. The key to a happy life is balance. Take inventory of what is lacking and what is overflowing. Adjust accordingly.
  21. Set boundaries.
  22. Base your judgments on intentions. No one is perfect, cut a little slack.
  23. At a dinner among friends, eat the damn cake.
  24. Play in the rain.