As I approach my 50th birthday, I have been doing a lot of thinking and making a lot of lists. I’ve made “bucket lists”, “to-do lists” and “already done lists”. Just the other day, I thought of another list: “things I want my kids to know”. I think it’s important to share bits of wisdom with our children—a sort of living legacy if you will—before they go out into the world. I may not know it all in my almost 50 years  but, I do know this much:

1. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Yep, the Golden Rule never goes out of style.

2. Celebrate the little things. Because in the end, that’s what really matters.

3. Do what you love and the money will come. Don’t ever take a job for the money alone because you will forever be a slave to it. Follow your heart and your job will never feel like work.

4. Work hard. “The way you do anything is the way you do everything” means that you set your own standard of work from the get go so, be sure to give it your all.

5. Eat caviar. Or “be fancy” once in awhile.

6. Go to confession once in awhile. Nothing feels better than a clean slate.

7. Climb a mountain. The air really is cleaner up there!

8. Listen to country music. 

9. Learn how to shoot a gun. 

10. Remember where you came from. See #8 & #9.

11. Learn from your mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes just try not to make the same ones over and over. And over.

12. Travel while you have the chance.

13. Stay in school. Duh.

14. Remember whatever you post on the internet lives there forever!

15. Some good deeds go unpunished. Contrary to your father and mother’s favorite saying, it really is worthwhile to do good.

16. Don’t base your self worth on how many “likes” or “friends” you have.

17. Don’t call in sick unless you are. #smalltownproblems

18. Remember that true character is who you are when nobody is watching. (aka: Who you are when you’re not on social media!)

19. People will like you more if they think you like them. This really does work! If there is someone you would like to like you more, simply show an interest in them. Careful what you wish for though, because you will have a friend for life.

20. Do crosswords (and not just the Monday ones!) Strive to constantly sharpen your mind—be it puzzles, podcasts or a paradigm shift!!

21. Don’t forget to be awesome. Self explanatory, I hope.

22. Learn to run! Preferably before the age of 45!

23. Practice moderation. Preferably before your 50th bday!

24. Choose your mate wisely. Time only accentuates a person’s true character. Think about that.

25. Don’t sleep your life away. Yes, it’s true that the early bird gets the worm—or at least a better view of the sunrise!

26. If you get a chance to spend some time on a golf course, do it! The lessons you learn on a golf course will stay with you for life.

27. Take chances. Most of the things you will regret in this life, will be the things you DIDN’T do!

28. Always be kinder than you feel. You know the old adage “everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about” . . . well, it’s true!

29. Volunteer your time. 

30. Excercise most days of the week.

31. Read your Bible.

32. Practice what you preach. No one likes a hypocrite or a poser. Be who you say you are and stand your ground.

33. Give something up. Nothing feels better than giving something up that will allow you more freedom or time or money. Try it!

34. Don’t keep track of wrongs. It will steal your joy.

35. Don’t hang out with buzzkills—or ‘hoodlums! ‘Nuff said.

36. Help those who cannot repay you. Remember: “The best excersise for your heart is reaching down to help someone up!”

37. Spend time with the very young and the very old.

38. Take care of yourself. You only get one body, treat it well.

39. Stay up and watch the sunrise.

40. Splurge once in awhile. On a bottle of wine, a new pair of shoes or a once in a lifetime trip!

41. Learn how to fish. See #10.

42. Grow something.

43. Always use spell check! And just remember you can always hit the edit button once you have misspelled something.

44. Don’t believe everything you read.

45. Have a favorite book.

46. Read a classic. 

47. Listen to your gut.

48. Don’t just pray when you need something. Just like you don’t like it when a friend calls you only when he’s in trouble, neither does God!

49. Everyone deserves to be validated. 

50. You can always go home. Preferably just to visit. But, know that the door is always open and your bed will always be unmade.

Love, 
Mom 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Margie Untermeyer

I am a 52-year-old mom of two, living with MS for nearly 20 years. I try to focus on the positive and finding beauty in the everyday. I believe life should be celebrated!

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading