Life lessons

I’m stepping away from travel for today’s post and looking at the idea of life lessons. In a way this follows on from my post last week on family. When my cousin, E, had her kitchen tea a couple of months ago one of the things she asked guests to do was write down some words of advice or life lessons for her prior to embarking on married life. So I’m going to run with that today and share a few:

Never go to bed angry: while this is applicable to any situation, it’s really directed at couples. There’s nothing worse than having an argument with the significant other right before bed. Laying there, quietly fuming, with things unspoken and unresolved, neither prepared to admit defeat and make peace. It eventually just leaves you feeling sad and lonely. It’s far better to calm down first, talk it out, and even if you can’t resolve it – at least go to bed on the back of affectionate words and hugs.

You can’t please everyone: so many people get caught up in trying to do the right thing by everybody else. To be accomodating and try to make others happy. The reality is it’s not always possible. Forgetting for a moment the difficulty of pleasing two people with conflicting needs or opinions, sometimes you just have to put yourself first. Some would say that’s selfish, I see it more as being mindful of your own wellbeing.

Smile more: not only does smiling make you feel better, it makes other people happy … it’s highly contagious. It’s hard not to smile when you’re greeted with the warmth and happiness behind a genuine smile. I’ve heard it said that even forcing a smile can make your day a little brighter.

Listen more: I’m seeing more need for this lesson in today’s world than some of the others mentioned above. With increasingly busy lifestyles and more demand on our time it can be easy to look inwards and become a little self absorbed. Take the time to really listen to people; maybe they need a friendly ear to air their troubles, maybe they just want to share exciting news – whatever it is, listening to them shows them you value them and it reinforces our relationships.

Be honest: I’ve said this before but nothing kills a relationship or friendship like dishonesty. It shatters trust and causes so much damage. Better to be open and honest. And if it’s something which could cause pain, be gentle and take the time to explain and pick an appropriate moment.

You are enough: I like this one because it’s a reminder to love ourselves. To be happy with who you are because you’re doing the best you can at this moment in time. Most of us are our own worst critics and we need to learn to pay ourselves a compliment from time to time too.

So, these are just a few of the life lessons that have ran through my mind lately. What about you? Do any of these ring true for you? Do you have any other life lessons you’d like to share?

This post is part of my contribution to the A-Z Challenge for April 2016

Click here for a list and links to all my other challenge posts!

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35 thoughts on “Life lessons”

  1. “You are enough” seems very important to me, I have put that quote on my blog a while back, too. πŸ™‚
    The reason I think it’s important is that after a certain age, there is quite a lot of “stigma” or judgement, from society, attached to being a single person. It seems society is not really “built” for single persons. Everything is intended for couples/families, from hotel rooms mostly being a “double room” (which is very expensive for singles), to groceries being packed in “family packs”, mostly, some of which singles can not consume in time before the food goes bad. Then there is the judgement, like if I go to a restaurant by myself, I can get a surprised look: “Just you?”, and, at my age, lots of new colleagues/aquaintances, get perplexed and go mute, when they find out I am single and without children… It’s like, “oh”, and then they don’t really know what to talk about. (Cause they want to talk about their families/children’ etc). Granted, the attitudes are starting to change a bit, but not fast enough. So, “You are enough”, I want to say that to all single people. We do not need a partner to be worthy human beings. πŸ™‚
    Thank you for sharing these, important! They say a lot of good things about you, as a person. πŸ™‚

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    1. You’re so right! As a single person myself, I too see some kind of social stigma attached to those in our position. Sometimes it’s as though we are the forgotten “group”. Thanks so much for contributing to the discussion πŸ™‚

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  2. Some great life lessons here, these all ring true for me. I can add “being grateful” to the list here as well Kim. One of my favorite sayings is “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more”.

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    1. Oh I really like that saying, Miriam! I haven’t heard it before. Being grateful is so important. And I think it helps us see all the good things in our life, switches our thinking to the positive. Thanks for that contribution, Miriam – very wise advise indeed.

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ yeah, sometimes it’s hard to be patient and hear someone out, particularly if you think you’ve already figured out where they’re going with the discussion. I guess that’s something else I could’ve put on the list … Be patient.

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    1. Never go to bed angry is so important. I put it in the same category as always telling the people you care about that you love them and that they are important to you. You just never know when the opportunity to say those things will be gone and I can think of nothing worse than losing someone and the last words you shared with them were spoken in anger. Glad you enjoyed this one! A little break from my travel stuff πŸ™‚

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  3. Love the idea of writing down some life lessons. However, I think a lot of this can be applied to everyone, regardless if you are embarking on the journey of marriage. I think as a single person, I struggle so much with the idea of being enough. That every rejection is not an expression that I am not good enough, rather it is that the other person is not ready or unwilling to accept the person I am. And that I need to my own hero in the story.

    I also talked about smiling more, in terms of laughter, during my blog post today. Let me know what you think!

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    1. I completely agree, Kris. The idea of being enough, just as we are, is particularly relevant to us single people. We need to be mindful that a rejection or a failed relation doesn’t mean we are defective in some way. We’re fine as we are! And when we accept that, we can find our own happiness that isn’t reliant on anyone else. I love your comment about being our own hero in the story!
      I’ll head over to check out your post on laughter – I do love a good laugh πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Maria! Not pleasing everyone can be a tough lesson to learn. It took me ages to get my head around looking after my wellbeing first … And I still don’t always remember to do that!
      On an unrelated note, thanks for finding me on Instagram! I’m heading across now to check out your gallery πŸ™‚ xx

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    1. I’m pleased to hear that, Ann. It’s quite strange but this post was harder to write than I first thought it would be. It wasn’t easy to look back over a lifetime and identify things that made life that much better/easier.

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  4. Nice of you to bring this topic up. I think it is really important. If there was one overarching life lesson that I would pass down to my progeny, which I don’t have btw, it would be this: life is not physical, life is spiritual, and if we can grasp it, all things can be made known through this one simple key.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a unique life lesson that is! You could draw so many different inferences from that. And it gives someone the opportunity to define spirituality in their own view. Thanks for contributing to the discussion πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Along with listen more, I’d add – ask questions. If you’re going to talk instead of listen, ask questions. Be curious. Learn about people and things. And when you talk again, share more. Be generous with your knowledge.

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    1. Great addition, Jen. Asking questions is often overlooked but it’s so important, not just for learning but also in terms of making better connections in our relationships. Taking an interest in someone else is a great way to show you care πŸ™‚

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