By Kristen Wood
If Ferris Bueller has taught me anything, it’s that life comes at you fast. I turned around one day, and I was 40. Not sure how that happened, exactly, but I have learned a few things along the way.
1. Never pass up a chance to pee.
2. Jeans never get dirty.
3. Nothing will make you feel as young as being with your children.
4. Nothing will make you feel as old as being with your children.
5. Cereal is a perfectly acceptable dinner.
6. High heels are not for me.
7. After college, no one will ever know or care about your grades again.
8. Always treat the people making and serving your food well. It’s ridiculous not to.
9. Wear your seatbelt.
10. Bad managers can ruin good jobs. The inverse is also true.
11. All arguments should end in a dance-off.
12. Remember when you used to judge parents with misbehaving children? HAHAHAHAHA
13. No is a complete sentence.
14. Look for the good in people. But don’t be a sucker.
15. Make sure there’s toilet paper before you go to the bathroom.
16. Denying parts of you doesn’t make them disappear.
17. Be a feminist, already. Seriously. And don’t hedge and say, “Oh, I’m more of an equalist…”
18. Having a big house just means there’s more to clean.
19. The book is always better.
20. Chocolate may not be the answer, but it doesn’t hurt.
21. Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole.
22. Everyone is making it up as they go along.
23. Sometimes the answer is as easy as eating a snack and taking a nap.
24. Laughter is more important than almost anything. When you find the people who make you laugh, hang on to them, like an
octopus on their face.
25. You can’t fix people.
26. The hardest times in your life will show you your people.
27. It’s okay not to know all the answers.
28. There’s always room for dessert.
29. People who lie to themselves will lie to you, too.
30. Being on time is important. Chronic tardiness is disrespectful.
31. Sometimes you just need a hug.
32. Be your own advocate. When your kids are young, be theirs, too. And teach them how to be their own.
33. If you want something, ask for it. Don’t expect people to read your mind. It’s not fair to them, and you’ll end up disappointed.
34. Have a spot for important papers. A spot were the kids won’t color on them and you won’t spill coffee on them.
35. Sing. Dance. Write. Do it even if you’re terrible at it.
36. Politeness is overrated. Be kind. Be generous. But stick up for yourself.
37. Always be reading something.
38. Look behind the closed shower curtain when you enter a bathroom. Because murderers.
39. Stretched-out skin is just more comfortable to live in. Like your favorite yoga pants.
40. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
I have learned nothing so much as that I have a lot left to learn. I can’t wait to see what else life has to teach me in the next 40 years.
About the Author
Kristen Wood is a writer, a mother of five, and an aspiring librarian who argues ceaselessly for social justice and feminist causes, so she really likes naps in her free time. Follow her author page on Facebook where she will attempt to make you laugh, cry, and think, sometimes all at once. You can also see her work on Scary Mommy, PopSugar, Still Standing, Mothers Always Write, and many others.