Life Lessons [Part 1]

  • Read a book [that isn’t prefaced by “face”].
  • When you’re trying on jeans, sit down in them for a minute or two. Still fit like a dream? Buy them, and commit the brand to memory.
  • Give your extra coupons to the next person in line.
  • Be [unapologetically] yourself.
  • Realize that boring salads are salads with no crunch factor.

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  • Smile, especially when you don’t feel like it.
  • Celebrate salt. Spring for pink + Himalayan when you need a real boost.
  • Know that everything looks better in the morning.
  • Pack a lunch.
  • When you go out to eat, don’t order all somethings risky.

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  • Under penalty of death, don’t lift your fork before the cook does.
  • Make lists [of words you like, places you want to go, things you’d like to do] that won’t hang over your head.
  • Don’t forget to look up.
  • Log off, shut down, go run.
  • Treat yourself to the occasional fancy cheese. And don’t feel bad about tucking it behind the old cabbage in the fridge.

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  • Speak a foreign language, even if you butcher the sounds.
  • Have a little faith, even if you’re not the religious type.
  • Know that everything will feel more manageable after a small snack.
  • Learn how to say “I love you” without saying anything at all.
  • Take the scenic route when you have the time, and pull over for pictures when something catches your eye. Don’t just roll the window down – get out of the car!

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  • Think about three steps forward and one step back as two steps in the right direction.
  • Lace up both shoes, and take them for a test drive before you buy.
  • Don’t be afraid to make something horrible.
  • Stop for gas when the light goes on.
  • Set a nice table.

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  • Sample everything you’re offered at a farmer’s market.
  • Allow Greek yogurt to act like cream.
  • Say “thank you”.
  • When in doubt, trust the meat thermometer.
  • When you bake, get your fill of the lick-able odds and ends. And then head for the sink and run hot water over the rest.

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  • Use a bookmark, especially for library books.
  • If you have siblings, know how lucky you are to have built-in best friends.
  • Dress well, first for yourself and then for others.
  • Accept that toddlers aren’t the only ones who need bedtimes.
  • Invest in a good knife, and then handle it with care.

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  • Clean as you go. Always.
  • Hold yourself accountable, and let yourself off the hook.
  • Don’t charge your cell phone when it still has a decent amount of battery left.
  • Stop and take inventory of your life more than once a year.
  • When chicken feels like a bummer, make a sweet and sour salsa.

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  • Remember that a little bit of red cayenne pepper goes a long way.
  • Repeat after me: “There are lots of ways to the finish.”
  • Arm yourself with high-quality chocolate.
  • Remember how far you’ve come.
  • Go for a walk in the woods.

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  • Always buy the pretty tissue box.
  • Along the same lines, always buy the best you can afford.
  • When it comes to dieting, exercising, and budgeting, pick any two. Don’t try to do all three simultaneously.
  • When you sit down to eat, do just that.
  • Go to where the water is, and pocket the sound the waves make.

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  • Treasure fragile things: dreams, hearts, people.
  • Take heart: There’ll be times in your life when you need to take and there’ll be times in your life when you’ll be able to give.
  • Write as it happens.
  • Make somebody feel like they’re the special occasion.
  • Plant something from seed. Or, in a pinch, send yourself some flowers.

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  • Partner avocado and red chili flakes.
  • At stop signs: always stop completely; don’t just tap your brakes.
  • Search [without searching] for someone to come home to.
  • Make eye contact and really listen. It’s a rare thing these days.
  • Get organized [and invest in a label maker]. There’s joy to be had there.

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  • Always make your bed, especially when you feel like your life is unraveling at the seams.
  • On that note, always open all the shades. Open the windows too, if it’s warm enough.
  • Round up.
  • Embrace the natural look.
  • Eat only off of things you love and can tell a story about.

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  • Explore your roots.
  • Sometimes you need 15 minutes to pout a little and complain a lot so that you can resume being sweet and sunny for the remainder of the day.
  • Let yourself swipe the hardened frosting from the cake plate.
  • Don’t blink away the stars in your eyes.
  • Don’t multitask when you’re roasting nuts.

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  • Floss.
  • Never show up empty-handed.
  • Don’t be a sitting duck in the left lane.
  • Find a friend who is a laugh a minute, and keep him/her in your inner circle.
  • Spill the beans [even if they look a lot like barley].

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  • Using a good workout as a temporary fix is perfectly acceptable.
  • Don’t forget to give yourself your undivided attention every now and again.
  • Believe snail mail is truly the best mail [especially in Grandma’s eyes].
  • Listen to the little voice inside, only not if it’s being malicious.
  • Drink from every cup. Rinse and repeat.

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  • Go easy on the raw garlic.
  • Settle on a trademark scent, and then trade it for a new one when you grow tired of it.
  • Use the Internet to connect not compare.
  • Give cauliflower a good tan – on the top rack of the oven, drizzled in oil and sprinkled with paprika.
  • Learn to love your own company.

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  • Accept that you can’t change the width of your hips or the length of your legs.
  • Put a cap on the time you spend overanalyzing.
  • Work fiercely to hold your relationships together. These are the things that matter.
  • Figure out your happy place[s], and make the re-arrangements necessary to get away often.
  • Let go of the outcome.
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