42 things I would tell a younger me. . .

I’m 42 today.  I’m less excited about this milestone than the previous 41.  The mirror seems to daily tell me that I’m so much older than I feel.  Gray hairs abound.  Lines seem to appear in places they didn’t exist just a year ago.  That being said, I find myself a bit more introspective this year than years previous.  I’ve been thinking about all of the things I wish I had known as a younger me.  Following are 42 things I would tell a younger me.  I share them with you to do with them as you wish:

  1. Worry Less – Worrying accomplishes nothing, really.  So don’t waste time doing it.
  2. You Won’t Make Everyone Happy – Someone said, and someone else repeated it, and now I do the same – “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
  3. Laugh Everyday – Laugh a lot.  Laughing is good for you.
  4. Exercise – That super fast metabolism you have now will eventually slow down.  Stay active, otherwise you spend your best years fighting the battle of the bulge.
  5. Hold Hands – She’s a gift.  Hold on to her.  Every chance you get.  Hold her hand.  Its comforting and its fun too.
  6. Dance – You’ll probably look stupid, but that’s okay.  I fell in love dancing. Who knows what other amazing things can happen while you’re dancing, besides making other people laugh.
  7. Get Back Up – You’re gonna screw up.  Fall flat on your face.  Don’t stay down.  Get back up, again and again and again and. . .
  8. Don’t Hide In Church – You’ve always thought it would be great to be in full time ministry.  You thought that meant working in a church or a “christian organization.” Its really not all its cracked up to be.  You can’t be light in a lit room.  Go where there’s darkness and shine there. You’re life IS full time ministry.
  9. Everyone Isn’t Going To Like You – You don’t like everybody either, who are you kidding?  Now move on.
  10. Talk Less – You’ve got a lot to say, I get that.  But you don’t have to say everything you know all at one time.
  11. Listen More – Its amazing how much you can learn if you just listen.
  12. Read – You hated it as a kid, but there is still so much to learn. Never be found without a dog ear page in a book close by your bed.
  13. Pray – It doesn’t have to be fancy words.  Talk to Him.  He loves it.  You will too.
  14. Value More – Don’t take things for granted.  Know the value of something and treasure it accordingly.
  15. Keep Less – So much of what you think you need or have to have, ends up at Goodwill eventually. So bite the bullet.  Give away what you don’t need.  Live Light.
  16. Bigger Isn’t Always Better – Bigger demands more, make sure you have enough “more” to give or bigger will consume you.
  17. Dream – Ask more “what if we did  . . . . ?” questions. You never know what may become a reality.
  18. Spend Less – So much of what you buy, is unnecessary.  Do you really “need” what you’re about to buy?
  19. Manage Your Time – Make to do lists, and check them off.  The urgent always drowns out the necessary, so minimize as much as you can the urgent.
  20. Take Deep Breaths Often – The name of God sounds like breath, when you breath, you’re inviting more of Him into more of you.
  21. Clean Your Room – The condition of your life is reflected by the order in your room or your car.  Keep them clean and clear from clutter, you life will likely look the same way.
  22. Lower The Bar – People will always disappoint you.  Don’t expect perfection.
  23. Don’t Just Say “Thank You” Be Thankful. – Enough said.
  24. You’re Not The Center Of The Universe – Again, enough said.
  25. Let It Go – Don’t hold on to stuff.  Not every ball thrown at you has to be caught. Don’t walk into every conflict.
  26. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) – Avoid complicating life when ever its possible.
  27. Cherish Every Relationship – You will lose some relationships that mean a lot to you.  Some, because they walk away.  Others, because you didn’t cultivate them enough.   Cherish who you have in your life, for as long as they are in your life.
  28. Don’t Hang All Your Laundry Outside – Some things you need to keep close to your chest.  Some people are looking to find fault with you, don’t give them ammunition, when you can help it.
  29. Use the Big Deal Continuum – When stressful circumstances arise, ask yourself how big of a deal is this situation. If its a 1, refer to number 25.  If its a 10 refer to number 13.
  30. Play Outside – Take advantage of every opportunity to play with the kids, you’ll blink and they’ll be gone.
  31. Do What You Can Today – Procrastination is your enemy.  Don’t wait to see if this is true, just trust me.
  32. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear – Big talkers are generally good at talking and not so good at delivery.
  33. You Can’t Help Everyone, But You Can Help Someone –  You’re not Jesus, but do your best to act like Him.
  34. Write More.
  35. Leave A Legacy For Your Kids First – If you win the masses, but fail your family, you haven’t really won.  Make sure that they can say good things about you, more than anyone else.
  36. Serve Her – She’s worth it.
  37. Guard Against Comparison – Its not healthy really.  Measuring your life against someone else’s is like comparing apples to oranges.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.
  38. Avoid Negativity – Some people just want to talk about how bad life is, what’s wrong with the world, and how everything is so terrible  – In the words of Monty Python “Run Away!”
  39. Value Authenticity – Take real over fake any day.
  40. Don’t Eat Toothpaste – Just trust me on this one.
  41. Learn When Enough Is Enough – Don’t press a point too far, don’t keep eating just because food is there, don’t let a joke become a weapon.
  42. Come Close & Stay Close – If you drift so far away from Him that you can’t hear his heartbeat or feel His breath on the back of your neck then you’ve drifted too far.

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