125 Things I Wish I Could Actually Teach my Kids

  1. imageListen to your parents.  We are usually right.
  2. Make us crazy by testing number 1 above, and go take some risks on your own. We will try not to say “I told you so”.  You cannot truly learn until you get hurt.
  3. Don’t worry about calories.  Stay active, eat healthy and truly enjoy quality food.  It is a gift.
  4. If you really want that cookie or treat – eat it first thing in the morning: you will burn it off.  Then, please, really enjoy it.  Guilt is a waste.
  5. Comfortable shoes are non-negotiable.  If your feet hurt you won’t have fun or be fun.
  6. Get off your cell phone.  The world is very interesting and time is passing and you are missing it by looking at a screen.
  7. Family is everything and cultivating a good relationship with all your family including the sibling you hate is critical.  You will really be grateful to have someone to share your complaints about your parents later.
  8. Learn to write an elegant and thoughtful handwritten (not emailed) thank you note.  People remember gratitude.
  9. Don’t mistake enjoying someone’s company for friendship.  A true friend has your back when you are at your lowest.  Not your best.
  10. Embrace some of those old forgotten charms like fountain pens, handwritten notes, wax seals, real brewed tea, ground coffee, home baked bread, gloves, red lipstick, hats, vintage perfumes and jewelry, entertaining with invitations, place settings, cloth napkins.
  11. Fake it (see post in my blog about lessons learned from my mom on faking it). In this regard, if you want to be happy, fake being happy.  Pretty soon you will feel happier and people will also be drawn to you to know about your happiness.  This doesn’t mean I am telling you to be a phony or lie to yourself or others.  Basically we can always find some reason to be grateful and happy as usually things could be worse.  It means I am saying that it takes work to find “the happy”.  And that work is our daily work – it is a practice.  If you make it your practice and you will find you are indeed happier.
  12. Stop being afraid to be different.  Being comfortable in your own skin with all of your unique differences is the sexiest way to be.
  13. Figure out in all situations who is actually controlling things. Learn to work the room as needed in life.
  14. For girls: Be prettier than your man.
  15. For boys: Don’t worry about being prettier; worry about being more successful and polite.
  16. A smart girl finds an okay guy and bestows him with her attention which makes all the other girls wonder what is so amazing about him  — and about her and about “them’.  This empowers him and will make him attractive to all other women as well.  Hold onto that man and keep giving him attention.
  17. A smart boy finds an okay girl and bestows her with attention which will make her bloom like a flower well watered.  A smart boy will water that garden again and again instead of taking it for granted.  As long as women are watered they will always be in bloom.  It’s when they are ignored they tend to wilt and wither (bitch and moan) and lose their sex appeal.  They will in turn stop giving you what you want (a 3 letter word).
  18. Find your passion and be passionate about it.
  19. Butter makes everything taste better.
  20. Don’t call a boy.  Pretty much ever.
  21. Find a way to make the chores fun (put on music, have your brother or sister share the work)
  22. Make everything fun – you can bring joy to everything you touch.
  23. Whether everything is fun is completely up to you and your inner creativity.
  24. Most men will say anything at all to get what they want – and they are truly unable (when they are young) to think straight when it comes to getting what they want.  They are a different animal then you are and as such should be treated a bit like your dog.  Train them.  But don’t over feed or indulge them or they will literally shit everywhere on everything.
  25. Be of value to yourself and others and don’t give anything away too easily – especially your heart (and your sexuality).
  26. Don’t say “Namaste” unless you are forced to by a yoga teacher.
  27. There are very few exceptions to this rule: most women cannot separate sex from love.
  28. And this one: most men can indeed always separate love and sex.
  29. Don’t let anyone else have the power to control your self-esteem or self-worth.
  30. The only way through the pain is through the pain.  If something hurts, face it and you will get past it much faster.
  31. When you are in pain – remember me telling you this:  this is not only how you grow, but how you become a far better and more compassionate human.
  32. Be generous with everyone and everything – buy your friends gifts.
  33. Know your style limits: Some people, like your mom, cannot wear flats or go braless.
  34. Keep up contact with old friends and far away friends- good friendships require effort
  35. Don’t ever, ever, ever do drugs.  They will suck you in and suck you dry and kill you and your soul.  Don’t. Ever. Do. Drugs.   Come to court with me any day and look at the lost souls and lots lives.  You cannot go back.  And don’t think “I won’t become addicted” I am different.
  36. Listen to your mom:  wear sunscreen, brush your teeth, stop eating junk food, and read books.  Someday you will wish you did.
  37. Don’t ever post anything you wouldn’t want to principal of the school (or your father) to see.
  38. There. Is. No. such. Thing. As. A. secret.  There isn’t.  If you tell anyone anything – it’s no longer secret.  Period.
  39. Don’t wait for apologies – forgive and forget.  As someone famous said; life without forgiveness is like drinking poison but expecting the other person to die”.  And another one of my favorite quotes of all time by Mark Twain: “forgiveness is the fragrance the violet leaves on the heel that crushed it.”
  40. With respect to style – you will not shine and look beautiful if you are uncomfortable in your own skin – so find a way to look great but be comfortable.  Having said that – never be slouchy and sloppy.  Wear the heels and makeup and do it right.  My mother quoted to me: “Il faut suffrir pour etre belle.” And I lived by it for many years – one must suffer to be beautiful.  A little discomfort is worth it to look fabulous.
  41. Watch carefully how a man treats his mother – if he is too close to her, he might never have room in his life to make his wife his number one partner.  But he should have love and respect for his mother.
  42. Watch carefully how a man treats all the people around you on your first date:  is he polite to the waiters?  Did he let you order first or order for you?  Was he pushy about what you should eat?  Did he pay for you? If he did not pay on the first date, I say no more dates.  Did he ask questions about you or your family or your dreams?  Does he have any weird food issues?  Adventurous eater might be adventurous and fun in life.
  43. There is power in being the first person to say you are sorry – sometimes even when you know you are not.
  44. Be the kind of woman who supports and encourages other women.
  45. Don’t have sex with a man quickly – or at all.  Yes I know you will say “he is different; he says he loves me.”  Refer to rule 25 above.  A man will say anything to get what he wants.  And it isn’t that he is sinister.  Remember he is wired that way.  No offense – but you aren’t “different” and “it” isn’t “different”.
  46. Once you give “it” up – there is no going back.  Think about it: he might not call you again or ever.  Ouch.
  47. There will always be a prettier, thinner, richer, cooler, more successful person then you.
  48. Travel as much as you possibly can before having children.  Everywhere and anywhere.  Travel broadens your horizons and life.
  49. Never be bored with anything – or face the fact that you are boring.  There is always so much to learn and do and see and READ.  Read read read – your imagination can be filled with stories and adventures right in your own home.
  50. Generally speaking, it takes a really really long time to know a person so you cannot have a best friend quickly.  You might have a lot in common or enjoy someone but you will learn they will disappoint you over time.  Everyone will in some way.  It takes a long time to know how someone might react in any given circumstance.
  51. As to that last rule – note that very little, if anything anyone ever does, has anything at all to do with you.
  52. When you are invited to someone’s home, bring a thoughtful personalized house gift of some sort.  And, refer to rule 9 above: afterwards say “thank you” by text, email or even a personalized note.
  53. Learn to say “no”. Practice saying “no”.  The reason you don’t want to say “no” is for fear of being disliked or hurting someone.  It is much more hurtful to say “yes” (which is a lie) and then flake and disappoint someone who had an artificial expectation of you.
  54.  Learn to setting boundaries with others. (much easier said than done)
  55. If you want to know about a person ask yourself how you feel when you leave their company – are you drained or exhilarated?  Do they feel dangerous and risky?  Are you feeling good about yourself or doubtful?  Check in with how you feel and you will know a lot about how toxic that relationship might be or become.  If you pay attention.
  56. Pay attention.
  57. Don’t take the easy path.
  58. You can’t draw someone into your world unless and until you are truly deeply happy.
  59. Journal.
  60. Therapy can sometimes be a great thing if you have a great set of ears to listen and help you unpack things.
  61. Therapy can sometimes be a bad thing if you over think things – and rationalize staying longer then you should in places that you shouldn’t be or with people who are not best for you.  So: Learn to trust your own gut.
  62. Learn to love being alone.
  63. Don’t have a best friend – have many friends but be the best friend you can to many.
  64. Learn to really listen.
  65. Be true to who you really are – don’t try to be like anyone else.
  66. Don’t compare yourself – “comparison is the thief of joy”
  67. Learn a little about many things so you can always be part of any conversation.
  68. Learn to tell a great story.
  69. Practice the art of being poised and elegant in your speech: don’t say “Like”, “sort of”, “stuff” and “he/she was all…”  You will often be judged for your elocution and it takes practicing good speech daily to have good habits.
  70. Black is the new black.
  71. Be the person you want to fall in love with.
  72. Don’t worry about age. I don’t.  Ha.
  73. Realize social media is just that: media. Posts about people doing things (partying etc.) is their own propaganda.  It has very little to do with reality.  It certainly does not mean they are happier or better then you.  No matter how many “likes” they get.
  74. Don’t define yourself by “likes”
  75. Don’t define yourself.  Surprise yourself.
  76. Shop Nordstrom’s – their return policy is awesome.
  77. Being vulnerable is brave and highly attractive – it means a person is willing and capable of growth.  Without growth everything is dead.  Boring.  Over.  Growth is sexy and wonderful. So be willing to be vulnerable and value this in others.  Vulnerable does not mean weak.
  78. Don’t define how you will treat others by how they treat you – don’t lower yourself to their level.  Make everyone around you rise to yours or sink and fall away from you.
  79. If a tree has a dead limb – cut it off – be willing to let go of friendships or people that no longer serve a positive influence in your life.  In a kind and loving and quiet way.  No need to try to tell anyone or teach anyone anything.  So, if you had a cancer in your arm, you would love your arm but surely cut it off to save the organism (said my mother wisely when I was young).  You can continue to send love to anyone not in your life – but be prepared to take a break if they are not serving the highest best interest of all involved.
  80. Laugh.
  81. Cry.
  82. Dance.
  83. Exercise.
  84. Sleep – it’s important to rest.
  85. Have downtime.
  86. Love animals.
  87. Live life sensually: For me, candles, incense, music, smells, perfumes, oils, fresh flowers, baths, art, and cooking are all sensual pleasures.  Find some you enjoy and surround yourself with small things of beauty that create spaces of wonder to inspire you.
  88. Try to wake up and go to sleep with a feeling of gratitude in your heart.
  89. Have dreams
  90. Chase dreams
  91. In fashion it is said that less can be more.  This is true everywhere.
  92. Your parents may not always see things the way you do – but they will always love you unconditionally and with all their heart and might in a way you cannot fathom until you have children of your own.  Just accept that to be true.
  93. Learn to love lots of music styles – not just that of your age group and time.  There is a ton of great music out there besides “One Direction”.  Someday you will thank me for playing you the crazy Brazilian and world music while I cook.
  94.  Be happy your mom wears hats.  My mom said she was a mushroom in a past life.  Be bold.
  95. Always ask what you can do to help or give back – Try to be of service in any situation.
  96. When things are not going right with your friendships, you might ask yourself what you might have done or said to contribute to the problem (rather than being a victim and thinking it is always everyone else’s fault).
  97. There isn’t anyone who can rescue from the work we all need to do on ourselves.
  98. You won’t get “there” when you get “there.” There is always more work to do.
  99. As the Dalai Lama said “sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”
  100. Remind me to stop and listen to you and be present with you when I seem not to be – I ALWAYS want to hear from you and about you but sometimes get wrapped up in chores.
  101. Don’t serve the cloudy ice from the freezer with cocktails.
  102. Don’t quit your job when you are 40…
  103. Don’t whine.
  104. Use bounce sheets in the drier or your dad will get mad.
  105. Think before you speak – but not so much that you never voice your opinion.  Don’t be afraid to be a bit foolish.
  106. Laugh at yourself.
  107. Don’t go to bed angry or upset with anyone.
  108. Don’t get into drama or gossip and be wary of friends who always come with both.
  109. I will be your parent first – not your friend.
  110. I am not your maid.
  111. I am not your bank.
  112. Everything that comes your way is an opportunity and a lesson.  You just need to figure out what it is.
  113. Forget that last shot you missed in tennis or the last moment – it’s over and cannot be taken back.  Don’t let that moment effect this present moment and what you can do or create.  Let go of the past mistakes – all you have is now.
  114. The world doesn’t owe you anything at all so stop being entitled to anything.  Your life is magnificent – it’s up to you to figure out your purpose and give something back to the world with the gifts you have been given.
  115. When you don’t know what to do in a tough situation – don’t do anything at all.  Get very quiet in yourself and listen.  The answer will come to you when you are ready and the time is right.
  116. Breathe.
  117. Take one moment at a time.
  118. Don’t be lazy.
  119. Never be mediocre.
  120. Overcome fears.
  121. Show courage and love in the face of everything.
  122. Really know your own self and your own values and live from that place.
  123. loving yourself and your growth is not selfish — it is the only way to love others.
  124. Change the world.
  125. Realize the only thing you can truly change is yourself. Start there.


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