I’m not a huge Oprah fan or anything, but I really like her idea of sharing things she knows for sure. We’re all on this journey together and it’s helpful to hear what other people’s experiences are sometimes…even if they conflict with our own. In that spirit, I’ve compiled a short list of things I know for sure.
So, without further adieu, here’s what I know for sure.
1. I’ve not once regretted putting on a little lipstick, blush, and concealer. And a little mascara. But there have been hundreds of times I’ve regretted not putting on a little makeup to head to the store or to pick up the kids or what have you. Every single time I’ve not made that effort, I’ve run into someone who I care what they think of how I look. Plus, I’m just more confident with some makeup on–even just a little–to brighten up my face. That confidence plays out into my interactions with other people, so I’ve found it’s best for me and for others if I’ve taken those three minutes to put my best face forward.
2. I’ve never regretted not having another drink. Whether it was a last drink at the end of an evening or the last drink I ever plan to take (almost ten months ago!) I never woke up thinking “man, I wish I would have had another.”
3. If my gut is telling me to reach out to someone, that’s the cosmos talking to me. I recently lost a dear mentor and I’d been thinking for a month prior that I really needed to call her up and take her to lunch, but in the busy holiday season, I just never did it. And now, I’ll never get another chance. Your gut or intuition or third eye or whatever you want to call it is real and you need to listen to it.
4. Everybody needs at least one hobby that’s just for them. Not having a hobby is a one way ticket to self-destructive behavior and self-destructive thoughts. Knowing I have a project to finish means that I get all of my other things done so that I can work on that project guilt-free. To be honest, I have about 4 serious hobbies and they all mean a great deal to me. I think it’s best to have a hobby that’s physical (exercise) so that you get your sweat in, a hobby that’s mental (to exercise your brain), a hobby that’s just for creative fun (to exercise that artistic element we all have, in larger or smaller quantities,) and a hobby that’s social. Since I quit drinking alcohol, I’m working on that last one, as pretty much all of my grown up friends seem to use drinking as a social hobby and I don’t have that anymore. For the meantime, I’m using my yoga class as a two-fer, as both one of my physical hobbies (the other is running) and as my social hobby.
5. I’d always rather be overdressed than underdressed.
6. There’s no such thing as being too well-read.
7. Life is easier on so many different levels if you make your health a priority. Eating well, getting enough exercise, sleeping enough, and staying hydrated should be programmed into our beings, but we seem to have forgotten a lot of this in our social dna. I definitely know this for sure–when I was in my early and mid 20s, I was overweight, I didn’t eat terribly, but I overate quite a bit, I didn’t exercise at all to speak of, I didn’t sleep enough, and I was probably dehydrated most of the time. I looked and felt not so great and it sucked. I feel so much better at 36 than I felt at 20 and I look better, too. Anyone who says that life isn’t easier when you take care of yourself is lying. I’m speaking from experience when I say that being healthy and fit makes everything better. And that saying that you choose your hard is so true–working out and watching your diet is hard, but in my experience, being out of shape and fat is even harder.
8. If you’re an adult and you’re married, frequent sex with your spouse needs to be important to you. If it’s not important to you, sex with YOUR spouse will become important for someone else. I notice that when we make sure to make it a priority, we don’t fight and whatever disagreements we have are small and easily resolved. After almost 12 years of marriage, I think that’s one aspect of marriage that people don’t pay nearly enough attention to and it’s apparent that a great many marriages suffer for it. Also–frequent sex is great for your mood and makes you want to be healthy and active. Win-win!
9. Having fewer things that are what you want and are of the highest quality is far more satisfying than having a bunch of stuff that you don’t care so much about. This is true for everything, from food to clothing to home furnishings. I’ve lived on both ends of the spectrum and love having fewer things that I love rather than lots of things that I just feel are burdens.
10. Suffering is optional. Life is life and sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s not–but when it’s not so great, it’s a choice to suffer. You also have the choice to grin and bear it and realize that life itself is a gift and you have endless options to change the bad situation.
So…what do you know for sure?