It's a New Year and with that comes another 12 months of experience, wisdom, mistakes and memories under our tightly cinched belts. There are so many things I want to teach my daughter in life and by the same token, so many things I am learning in the process of being the mother of a smart, sensitive, curious, creative little soul... if only we both would listen.
Lessons for my daughter:
1. Don't smoke.
2. Don't date or marry a man who smokes.
3. Don't worry about the boy you love at 13 who won't love you back. At 30, you won't remember his last name.
4. Do, however, worry a little about the boy you love at 24. He might become your husband, as your dad became mine. But if he doesn't, that's ok, too. You are only 24.
5. Learn only the basics in math. The quadratic equation will not come in handy. And I will not sweat you for it, I promise.
6. At your wedding, should you choose to go that route, spend the most money on your photographer and your rings.
7. Don't get in cars with drunk people. Call home instead, no matter the time or how old you are. Ask for your dad.
8. Don't stress about the cool kids. The less you care about them, the more they will care about you. And don't let them talk you into smoking.
9. Intern. We will help with the rent while you do.
10. Don't be defeated by "no." You will hear it many times before you hear "yes." Clearly, we are prepping you for that nice and early...
11. Don't wear too much bronzer. And groom your eyebrows, but don't go too thin. But you CAN sleep with your makeup on, really, it's no big deal.
12. Don't just be nice to your brother. Be his best friend, his biggest supporter, and his most constructive critic. Be the same to yourself.
13. Work really hard in your 20s, 30s and 40s, so that you hopefully won't have to after that. But play really hard, too. Without smoking.
14. You can't change people. Not men, not your friends, not your mother. Accept the ones you want to accept, move on from the ones you don't (except your mother, of course). You won't look back, I promise.
15. Know that the right music can change any mood.
16. Go to Paris. And then go again. And then go again.
17. Spend money on expensive shoes, handbags and jewelry. Don't waste it on expensive makeup and jeans.
18. Create a memory box. Keep it small, and throw out everything else. Your prized possessions will edit themselves.
19. Don't worry if you can't cook. Some things are just genetic. You won't starve.
20. You can hate me sometimes. And I can hate you sometimes. As long as we both remember that underneath all that hate, there is a love like no other.
Lessons for me:
1. Don't smoke.
2. Be happy you married a man who doesn't smoke.
3. Don't sweat the small stuff. No, really, try not to. And that includes basically everything work-related.
4. The following sayings tend to ring true 9 times out of 10: "this too shall pass" and "everything happens for a reason."
5. There is no need to learn to drive a stick. Don't let people pressure you into thinking there is.
6. Even though New Year's resolutions are a waste of time and energy and you never stick to them, don't give it up. If anything, it holds you accountable for a day.
7. Find time for your husband. Find time for your friends. Find time for your mother. But before all that, find time for yourself.
8. Learning to meditate is much harder than it sounds. If it's stressing you out too much, it's clearly not for you. And that's ok. An hour in silence with a new issue of Vogue can be just as therapeutic.
9. When your 3-year-old is heading straight into meltdown mode, tickle her.
10. A well-positioned scarf can make any outfit look better.
11. A blow-out is worth every penny. Every time.
12. You know those best friends who never find time to call you back and only send you birthday greetings via Facebook? They are not your best friends.
13. Vacation once per year. A real vacation.
15. When it is time to call it a day, call it a day.
16. When your kid is acting silly, laugh first, get annoyed second.
17. Embrace change. Of all shapes and sizes.
18. Create a playlist of your favorite songs from when you were 18. Keep it handy in the car.
19. Cry when you need to. But not at work.
20. Hate your husband sometimes. Hate your kids sometimes. Hate yourself sometimes. But remember that underneath all that hate, there is a love like no other.