39 Life Lessons I've Learned in 39 Years: Part Two

16.  Get a video of anything out of the ordinary.  Last fall, my mom called me and said "You have to come now, I don't know what's wrong, I don't feel good."  I live a block away and hopped into my car and got to my mom's to find her clutching her stomach and practically screaming out in pain.  Her blood pressure was insanely high and everything was really, really scary.  We called 911 and she got into the ambulance and they gave her shot of nitro, and she was fine from there on out.  Everyone acted like I overreacted for calling 911 (mostly because my mother told everyone I overreacted).  If I only had a video of what was going on to show the ER doctor, they may have been more aggressive in treating her.  The same goes for my dog, the vet can't understand the types of seizures he has, so I vowed to take a video the next time he had one to show them.  Getting videos of what's going on in your life shows others so they completely understand what's going on.  You never think of doing so in the moment, so make a plan beforehand to whip out that phone and take a video.  You will save a lot of time and a lot of grief this way.

17.  Don't flip off weirdos.  Twice I've come to realize that people are so totally insane that flipping them off isn't worth it.  Both involved me almost getting hit by a car and then flipping them off.  Though the most recent one was at a much slower pace, but he still wasn't stopping (he was parking next to me as I got out of the car).  Then he followed me inside and stood behind me all impatiently and went around me to go in front of me.  So when I got back into the car and he was getting into his, I flipped him off.  He then barged towards the car and told us to get out of the car...um, no thanks!  So we drove away, with him chasing us, and luckily there was a police officer right there (we stopped and told him about what happened) who then went and detained the guy while we got to leave.  It was freaky!  The first time this happened, my son was two years old (back in 2000) and we were trick-or-treating and this guy was driving 90mph down a residential road and almost hit me while holding my son (we were dressed as Glinda the Good Witch and a lion, if you must know, but you have to guess who wore what 😛).  I flipped him off, and he stopped his car, drove back and got out and threatened to shoot us.  So yeah, flipping off anyone isn't smart these days.  You never know who's a weirdo!  It's better to just either ignore it, or tell someone about their erratic behavior if the need arises.

18. Don't try to hold onto or rekindle old friendships based solely on the fact you used to be friends once.  This usually never ends too well and will come back to bite you in the ass at some point.  You stopped being friends for a reason.  Or you grew up and moved on with your life.  You aren't the same person when you were a kid (or whenever you were friends with them) and neither are they.  And you'll soon find out that most likely do not mesh anymore.  I used to have 100 Facebook friends because I had my entire graduating class on my friend's list.  HA.  There are reasons why I never got into contact with them in the past and I soon figured out that I am no longer in high school (and some of the people thought we still were).  So yeah, don't go running around seeking out your old BFF's and try to actually be friends with them again (unless you really still do have lots in common) because it just doesn't work.  For real, it doesn't.

19. Do something.  I get annoyed at armchair activists, those who think they are doing good by only sharing status updates or complain about the state of the world or their city, yet do nothing to change things.  The other day, I posted on FB about Casey Affleck sexually harassed all the women on the set of his new project.  I said he and Chris Brown can go start a club for assholes together.  Granted, there are oodles more men in Hollywood/the music industry who hurt women (and children and men), but I just honed in on those two.  And then this guy, a friend of my hubby's, said "Who cares about the Oscars?  What do we do now that we have a man like that for president?"  I agreed.  We elected (I didn't vote for him, but America elected) a man who is the same as those I was bringing up, for our leader.  My hubby then brought up the point that America is conditioned to think abuse of women is just plain okay.  We think we've come so far, but we really haven't.  So I pointed out that if the real issue here is abuse of women (and children and men--so really, just abuse), let's not only talk about our president and Hollywood actors and the music industry's singers, let's talk about our own backyards.  So I went a found a batter women's shelter that recently was put up in my city, and I am going to organize some fundraising for it.  If I can't impeach Trump myself, then I can at least help the women (and children, and men) in my own city.  So do something, don't just complain about it.  Get out there, make a difference.  Even if you only have animal control on your speed dial (for animal abuse) or you enforce a neighborhood watch, then you're doing something.  Do what you can with what you have.  You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can change the world for someone else.

20. Be careful what you wish for.  Because you'll end up getting it.  And sometimes?  You'll never stop.  When I was 7, I wished every single night, on the first star that I saw, that I'd get a kitten.  And after a few months, I got one.  And another.  And another.  And it eventually, it never, ever stopped.  Still hasn't.  So yeah.  Make sure you really, really, really want something before you wish for it.  

21. Always bring water to bed.  If you're like me, you will wake up with a dry mouth (the curse of having allergies, I sleep with my mouth open), so having water nearby will help you not have to get out of bed to wet your whistle (Funny Fact: I can't whistle...so what am I even wetting??).   Also, I take meds before I get out of bed in the morning, so having water makes this so much more simple.  And if your spouse/partner is getting to snore-y, you can splash it on their face!  Just kidding.  Don't do that.  Or if you, don't tell them you got the idea of me...sssshhhhh....... 😁

22. Olive oil takes off mascara.  And it makes your eyes feel lusciously soft!  And it's already in your kitchen.  Any oil will work, I just use olive because that's what I have.

23. Lot of clothes doesn't mean you have more selection.  It just means you have more laundry to do.

24. Art works better with the right tools.  So does photography.  You can't expect great results with sub-par tools...though, if you have natural talent, I suppose anything would work.  I once knew a guy who could take Windows 95 Paint and create masterpieces.  That jerk.

25.  Always be situationally aware of your surroundings.  Don't be paranoid, but always be aware.  Know where yours stuff is, where other people around you are, and always look for exits (now that doesn't sound paranoid at all!)  But really, this is just a part of who I am.  It's not a constant thing, to be always watching out, just occasionally when I first enter a new situation.  In my town, crime is rampant, so it's better to be aware than a victim.

26.  Just because you're not good at something doesn't mean you'll never be good at it.  I was horrible typist.  Like 20 wpm for years and years.  And now I type around 80-100 wpm.  And years ago, I knew for 100% fact that I could never paint or put color into my drawings.  I knew I'd be stuck to only drawing with pencil for the rest of my life.  Now?  I only paint.  And use nice colored pencils.  The thought of using a pencil ever again to draw something makes me giggle!  So yeah, if you really want to learn to do something, keep seeking out the right teacher (youtube, in person, books, etc.) until you find the right one that hits home for you.  They are out there, and you will learn 😊

27. Love isn't always sunshine and rainbows.  Anyone who thinks it is, is stuck in a teenage idea of what love is.  Love is hard work (not always, but sometimes).  Despite the saying of the opposite, love is always saying you're sorry when you're wrong.  Love is changing yourself as much it is your loved one changing themselves.  The trick is to change together.  The trick is to forgive and be understanding and be patient and acknowledge when you've been wrong.  If your love is always sunshine and rainbows?  Then maybe you should ask yourself why you're in denial of the truth 😏  Nobody is perfect, and neither are relationships.  To pretend they are is to deny yourself of the awesome reality of life: growth and change.  Without those two things, you become stagnant.  And who wants that?

28.  Smoking is for losers.  Not the kind of loser who everyone makes fun of, but the kind who loses out on something.  I smoked a pack a day for 8 years.  And here I am, fourteen years later, with all sorts of things wrong with me I blame on cigarettes.  Smokers lose good things (like the ability to breathe right) and gain bad things (like yellow teeth and aged skin as the least of the culprits).  I will never pick up another cigarette (though I have dreams about smoking again--which I wake up really mad at myself for) because I don't need to lose one more damn thing.  If you smoke, I suggest finding a way to quit.  What you'll lose is far more than what you feel like your gaining when you smoke.

29.  Despite what Forest Gump says, life is not like a box a chocolates.  Because the damn flavor are written on the inside top of the box.  Life doesn't have a top of the box.  No, life is more like a bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans, where two identical items could either taste like on a good day, popcorn, or on a bad day, earwax.  You just have to roll with it.  Spit out the bad day and move on.  Because tomorrow could totally taste like something actually delicious 😎

30.  Always get paid first, and up front.  Don't give your friends breaks just because they are your friends (once is okay, but not more than that!).  Because they will expect it over, and over again.  When I used to read the tarot (I read for over 26 years), I would have friends come to my house and ask for reading, and then leave.  I would be stunned they didn't offer me payment, and was hurt they thought they could take advantage of my time like that.  They knew I got paid for what I did, so why did they think they didn't have to?  Because I didn't tell them to, that's why.  So, from then on, I'd say "Sure we can do a reading.  My price is $25."  And if they said they didn't have $25, I'd negotiate with them, to find a price they could afford.  But the next time they asked, I would repeat the same thing.  And if they say "Last time you only made me pay $10" I'd reply "Yes, but last time you didn't know my asking price.  Now you do.  So whenever you can afford $25, let me know, okay?"  I never lost a friend over this.  And if I did, it would be worth it because that's not a true friendship if someone would get angry that I was expecting to be paid for my time.  It's a great way to weed out fake friends.  Another friend commissioned me to take photos of her son's rugby game.  And she talked a big talk about paying me what I was worth, but in the end, never paid me until I hounded her for weeks on end until she relented.  She then immediately commissioned me to do a piece of art and I just kept saying "I will get to work on this when I get payment." She wanted the artwork so badly she quickly paid me (though it took me a few times of sending a Paypal invoice to her to get her to do it).  And then, she never picked up the art work.  I still have it years later LOL  Oh well, at least I got paid to do it 😏

That's it for this section of 39 life lessons I've learned in 39 Years!  I only have a few weeks left before 40, so I need to finish this list ASAP!  Just 9 more to go!!

Do you have any great life lessons to share?  Please share them below! 

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