1. Good friends are hard to find. Go out of your way to keep them. If it takes a 45 minute drive to see them, it's worth it.
2. Just because a thing is true, doesn't mean it should be said. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.
3. It's easy to be a hater. Liking things can be much harder. Try to like more things. It will make you happier, even if it won't make you cooler.
4. Being cool is overrated. Your coolness will depend entirely on the people you are with, so don't base who you are on what is cool. Base it on what truly interests and excites you. And when you drive a minivan, no one thinks you're cool.
5. Writers write. Sewists sew. Chefs cook. Scriptorians study the scriptures. If you want to be, first you have to do.
6. Sleep is more important than you think it is.
7. Don't compare your weaknesses with others' strengths. The comparison will always come out lopsided. Likewise, don't do the reverse. It will give you an unnecessarily large head.
8. Give something to the person holding a sign on the street corner. Yes, they may use it for ill, but that not your decision. When you decide to give, you will always feel better.
9. It takes a year to feel comfortable in a new place, and two years for it to feel like home. Give it time.
10. Try new things. You may like it. But you don't have to like everything. It's okay to be your own person.
11. Just because something is not a weakness for you doesn't mean that it's not a legitimate weakness. Be compassionate.
12. Buying something because it's “a good deal” isn't a good reason to buy something. If you wouldn't have bought it at full price, think very seriously about buying it on sale.
13. Conversely, when you spot a good deal on something you use regularly, stock up. Yes, the cashier will think you're weird when you buy 24 stain sticks. But if you're doing laundry for a houseful of messy kids, it's always nice to have a stain stick around.
14. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Try being nice first. It almost always works.
15. Having an awesome house isn't worth it if you can't afford to buy pizza on a Friday night. Always leave room in your budget for little luxuries.
16. Don't be afraid to go to battle if it's worth it. But not everything is worth a battle. Life is nicer when you let some things go.
17. Just ask. People are generally nice and want to help you.
18. Nothing tastes nicer than a tomato from the garden. Don't give up growing things, even if you think you have a black thumb.
19. Life isn't about quid pro quo. Do things for people, even if you don't think you'll get anything in return.
20. Being in the sun is good for the body and the soul. But when you want to tan, go on a cruise and look at all the leathery old ladies on the sun deck and ask yourself, “Is this what I want to look like when I'm 50?”
21. You make time for what is important to you. If reading is vital, you will find time to read. When you find that you're missing out on things that should be important, re-examine what you're spending your time on.
22. Don't prejudice your children against foods just because you don't like them. Who know? The weirdos may love salmon and sauerkraut.
23. Say “I'm sorry.” It's so very hard sometimes, but nothing can patch up a wound better than those two words.
24. Be generous with your judgments. You have no idea what another person is struggling with.
25. Taking the time to rock with a baby or snuggle with a child is always worth it.
26. Learn how to do things for yourself. Use power tools, change a tire, install a water fixture.
27. Action begets action. If you feel lazy, do something. You'll want to do more things.
28. Wear lingerie often. There's no need to save it for a special occasion.
29. Good leather is worth the investment. Couches, purses, boots, belts, jackets: all worth paying for quality.
30. Italy really is as wonderful as you think it will be.
31. Be a lady. Ladies are gracious. They file their nails. They don't wear too much makeup, but they do wear makeup. They wear jewelry, but are never gaudy or overdone. And according to my aunt, ladies never wear shorts.