I’ve been blessed with three beautiful, spunky, brilliant nieces (currently ages 13, 9 and 6-going-on-16). They give me so much joy and many laughs, and I can’t imagine how dull my life would be without them. Although I don’t get to see them nearly as often as I’d like, as they live in another state, I hope that the time I do get to spend with them is as fun for them as it is for me.
While I do pray that I’ll have many opportunities throughout their lives to provide some guidance and wisdom on spiritual matters, today I’m thinking of a few bits of practical, real-world advice that I’ve gained over the years and hope that they will take to heart to make their lives a little easier to manage.
• Lay out your clothes the night before you wear them–it will make getting dressed that much easier and faster in the morning. Trust me, I am the QUEEN of wasting time standing in front of my closet, frantically trying to figure out what to wear at the last minute. The days when I’ve taken the time to figure out my wardrobe choices in advance are days that I inevitably feel much more relaxed and put together.
• Write the date and people’s names on the back of your photos when you have them printed. I realize that photos aren’t printed nearly as often as they used to be, but assuming that you will at least have a few photos printed and framed in your lifetime, take the time to write the date and who’s in the photo on the back of it (with a pen that won’t bleed through, of course). You’ll be glad one day.
• Good coffee is worth paying more for. Bitter, weak or just plain terrible tasting coffee is a waste.
• Good shoes are worth paying more for. If your feet hurt, your whole body hurts. If your feet hurt, you won’t wear those shoes, so no matter how great a bargain you got on them, shoes that aren’t worn are a waste of money.
• Wear sunscreen religiously, even if it’s cloudy outside. That’s especially important for your face, neck and hands, which tend to show signs of aging first.
• Find an exercise you love and do it. For me, it’s running and a group workout (like my fitness boot camp). For you it may be walking, or tennis, or swimming, or yoga, or jujitsu. Just find something that can keep your body active several times a week. The sooner you start, the better.
What practical life advice would you share with the next generation?