Lists to Live By
I have just finished my second book of the year, The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin. This book was right up my alley. I love lists, I love resolutions and fresh starts, and I love looking for change, progress and growth in myself and my family. Inspired by Rubin’s Splendid Truths, Secrets of Adulthood, and 10 Commandments, I borrowed a few of Rubin’s quotes and had fun making my own list of everyday proverbs. Jotting these down brought back a happy memory of collecting quotes I liked in a journal when I was an adolescent. At the time, I went to both parents and asked for a quote from each of them. My mom said, “Smile often,” and my dad said, “Smile often and carry a big stick.”
So there you have it.
Here’s my list. What would you add?
1. Ask for help; let other people help you.
2. Break up chores with happy activities; mix them up together.
3. It’s ok to be Ashley Suzanne. Be her. Embrace her. Love her.
4. Be more honest in the moment. It’s uncomfortable, but will save you fretting and anxiety later when you have to back-peddle.
5. Learn to laugh at yourself. Even if you don’t fully succeed, trying makes a difference.
6. Take the consequences of procrastination. Don’t shift the blame.
7. Failure is the fastest way to learn to do better. Appreciate the process.
8. Everything counts; it matters more what you do each day than what you do every once in a while.
9. The vulnerable places are also the universal ones; the differences lay on the surface. Going deeper is hard, but provides more room for connection.
10. I don’t have to tell everything I know, but if I know it will help someone, I should.
11. Love specifically; ask better questions. Don’t ask, “How are you?” or “How was your day?”
12. The world is smaller than you think, so don’t burn bridges. Count every person in your life as significant.
13. You are what you read. Be discerning (and read a lot).
14. Love covers a multitude of sins. If you fail often but love more, you’re better off.
15. Rocky roads in a relationship are a-ok and normal. Don’t overreact to conflict.
16. Items you will almost always regret not bringing: a jacket, some tissues, a bottle of water.
17. It really is not as bad as it seems. Everything looks better after a good night’s sleep and a cup of coffee.
18. Like the things you like, not the things you want to like or think you ought to like.
19. Resolutions can sometimes sabotage real change.
20. Overall, (not every minute) I am doing the best I can. And so are most other people. Give grace.
21. Generally, the harder a habit is to start initially, the more positive fruit it will yield over the course of a lifetime.