06/17/2013 07:51 am ET Updated Aug 17, 2013

The Pre-Empt Chronicles: 19 Things I've Learned As A Wife And A Mother

Last year I wasn't as smart or as old. This year, on the occasion of my birthday, I'm making notes. I want to remember what I've learned.

  1. Sleep is overrated. We make way more time for it than we do for living our dreams. As someone said, you can sleep in the grave.
  2. Sex is not love. It just seems like it at the time.
  3. Love is not sex. It just seemed like it at the time.
  4. We don't own our children. We shape them and introduce them to the world -- then we set them free.
  5. Shit really does happen. Sometimes for days or weeks or years in a row. You have to believe it will come to an end, or it never does.
  6. Cars are not toys, regardless of how fun they seem.
  7. Mothers are imperfect. Commit this to memory if you want a better relationship with your own.
  8. Some days are better spent staying home and watching movies. The real world will still be waiting the next day, and a break from it can be a good thing.
  9. Cooking Brussels sprouts will make your house smell. When you cook them, a neighbor you haven't seen in a long time will ring your doorbell.
  10. Men are instinctive but not when it comes to knowing what a woman needs.You have to spell it out and not enough women do.
  11. The way a man treats his mother is a sneak peek at how he might treat a woman. This is not science. It is, however, long-term observation.
  12. The way a man treats his daughter directly affects her self-esteem. This is not science. It is, however, long-term (and personal) observation.
  13. You have to keep reinventing yourself. The world is constantly changing, unless we do too, we become obsolete.
  14. Make lists. They show intent. And somehow, magically, things get done.
  15. Show up. It shows intent. And somehow, magically, things happen.
  16. Don't be afraid. It's wasted energy that you could expend doing something, which keeps you from being afraid.
  17. Believe in yourself. Nobody else will if you won't.
  18. Rethink endings. When you think you've reached one, make it a middle instead.
  19. If you have kids and see them off to college, be proud. Then remember # 18.

Join me next Monday for another installment of the Pre-Empt Chronicles, as I transition from full house to empty nest.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

5 Tips For Empty Nesters With Newly Empty Nests