As I get
older, I'm realizing something: all of those old-timey expressions are true. Your
mother and your father, heck, even your grandmother was right. You really shouldn't judge a book by its cover,
only time will tell and you should
never, ever, EVER swim on an empty stomach.
Here are a few
others that I'm realizing are true, the older I get:
1. Good manners don't cost anything
When I was
younger, my grandmother always made sure I spoke and acted "like a lady." "What a waste," I would think. "I'm going to take over the world, I can't be
bothered with niceties." But in my career as a lawyer, and now in my life in
the publishing world and as a wife and mom, I realize saying "please" and
"thank you" goes a long way. And I really like hearing them said to
me. And what I really love? Hearing my kids say them, too.
I've been a
pretty Type A person my entire life. But now that I'm a mom, I've realized
something: Parenthood is not the sort of thing you can master and just be good
at all the time. Life as a parent changes daily. Your kids get older, your
marriage evolves. The important thing is to try your best each day.
Beating yourself up about how you could do things faster, smarter, better is
just that: beating yourself up. Don't do it. Just try your best. There's always
tomorrow to try again.
3. If you can't say something nice, don't
say anything at all
constructive criticism? It's just criticism. Especially when it comes to your
parenting. We're all doing the best we can (see: No. 2). So if you can't say
something nice, just keep your damn mouth shut.
Life gets harder as you get older, and it's so important to keep your sense of humor intact.
4. Don't go to bed angry
hard work. I once asked my mother how she stayed married to my father for over
40 years and her answer was simple: "Just don't get divorced." Sounds easy
enough, right? So, don't go to bed angry. Iron out what's bothering you before
you go to sleep. Grudges don't do anything but breed resentment. Get it all
out and then have a good night's sleep. God knows you'll need the energy for
the next day.
5. Treat others the way you would like to
easy to be toughest on the person who you love and trust the most: your spouse.
But you should always treat your husband or wife the way you'd like him or her
to treat you. And you should especially be modeling this behavior for your
children. Our kids learn from watching the way we interact with the world, so
let's show them the best way to live life, how to get what we want out of life and how to be good people along the way.
6. Laughter is the best medicine
It truly is.
Life gets harder as you get older, and it's so important to keep your sense of
humor intact. OK, I mean, first take the antibiotics if you're actually sick,
though. Laughter isn't the ONLY medicine. Anyway, I now see the wisdom in this one.
Marriage and parenting is tough. If you can't laugh through the tough times,
that'll make them that much worse.