Since I'd edited myself down to ten, I figured I'd keep it going. Ten might be a perfect number for a list but it isn't necessarily the perfect number for advice. Here we go:
- Be nice to people. Don't burn any bridges. It may feel good in the moment to light a match and set the building on fire when you quit a job, but guess what? You might be interviewing ten years later and be sitting in front of someone who's the best friend of the gal whose cube went up in flames. Keep it to yourself. Walk out the door with dignity. No one cares that you're mad. But they'll remember it and not in the way you want them to.
- Don't buy things you can't afford. This includes little things like shoes and dinners out. And big things like houses. Read the fine print. Live within your means.
- Save money (as a corollary to not buying things you can't afford - see #2 above). Every pay check. It may only be $20 every two weeks when you first start working. But eventually it may be $500 or $1000. And then maybe you can buy those things that you want but couldn't afford when you were younger. Or... you can retire without fear! Or ... you can send your kids to college without them having to incur any debt! Or... you can breathe easy simply knowing your kids won't ever have to take care of you.
- Don't live through your children. They are their own people. From the day they feel the rush of cold air on their little tiny bodies. They are ornery or calm or chatty or extroverted. They don't want what you want. They don't always like what you like. Give them time to develop an internal life, to be alone, and explore what they enjoy, what they are good at.
- Dance and sing. A lot. Even if you suck at it. Do it at home alone when you've had a bad day. Or when you've had a good one. Do it with your kids. My kids love to dance with me to Madonna or Bruce Springsteen or Michael Jackson or Train or Lady Gaga. Or any old thing. I don't think I ever danced around the house with my mom. It's a beautiful thing to dance with your kids. Do it. They won't want to do it later.
Alright. I think that is all the life advice I have. I think I'm writing it because I need to remember to take it myself. I'm going to turn on some music and dance now.