Monday, March 16, 2015

11 Things I Wish I Learned Earlier

I’m 31 and am learning new lessons each year. Some simple, some profound...and some mediocre. As I thought about them, there were some I wished I had learned earlier in life. That is what this list is about. So, here’s my list of stuff I wished I’d learned earlier in life...but am happy I know about it now! If you don’t know some of these, I’ll be glad to share them

1. How to get bobby pins to stay in my hair.
bobby-pins.jpg    Answer- Apply hairspray first to give the pins to grab onto and use more than one bobby pin. Finish with more hairspray if needed. 

My mother was a red head, and she had coarse dry hair. She was also adopted when she was 5. I grew up being told she wasn’t able to do my hair because her mother never knew how to do hers. Anyway, thanks to my wonderful new acting friend, Brandon, whom I was honored to act beside in October 2014, I have a better idea on what’s what when it comes to styling my own hair. Brandon did my 50’s style hair for the play, and in real life--he’s a hairdresser and college student. He used professional (cosmetology store level) bobby pins too...which were so so so much better than the ones I could purchase at Target. So, now I have a chance in styling my own future hair. It’s a miracle! (Here's a video tutorial on using bobby pins.)

2. Quality varies in nail polish brand.
GNA_4-4.jpg   I never used to care about my nails. But, I started caring last fall when I bought an Essie brand nail polish, after watching a YouTube Video regarding someone’s favorite products. I was amazed at how much longer it lasted! In prior attempts to paint my nails, even in salons, the nail polish made me crazy because it would start to peel off within 15 minutes of leaving the salon. I hated wasting my money, so, I just didn’t invest in that part of the beauty industry until recently. Now, I just love painting my nails and having different colors that will stay on for a few days before I want to change things up again.

3. Perfume is amazing.
I must be going through a “lady” transition because I now delight in picking out a perfume and feeling fancy all day. I know that in the BIG scheme of things--perfume isn’t going to make or break me, but I feel more like a grown up. Besides, I like having my husband get close and smell my neck after a long day of mothering. My favorite scents so far are Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, Ms. Dior, and Ms. Dior-Blooming Bouquet. As of now, I do not have the money to invest in purchasing the real bottles, so, I keep getting samples from Sephora and Macy’s.

4. “How can my body can tell if I’ve eaten a Snicker’s bar before bed?”
Snickers-broken.JPG This was something I asked my father one day as a child, when he tried to take a Snicker’s Bar away from me. He told me it was a good question but he never answered it. So, I went my whole life hearing about health, but not understanding how to get results in my life. Any weight loss was luck. My doctors told me I didn’t have anything wrong with my body- like thyroid problem...but I think they were too nervous to offend me with anything really helpful. But, with a lot of desire, I committed to trying some things...and found out how calorie intake works. Move less….and if you eat more...move more. I don’t think I have this down perfectly yet, but I feel like I have control over my body now. I finally know the answer to my Snickers before bed question.

5. The healthier I am, the more I want to get out and live.
x.jpg Now that I’ve gotten into better shape, I want to hike and get out and do things that sounded uncomfortable before. I have more energy and feel more comfortable in my body to bend and move in more diverse ways. I just thought it was a “type” of person--outdoorsy--who liked doing all the things REI provides the products for, but it turned out I became that person when I felt better about myself in my own skin.

6. Homemade Ricotta Cheese tastes so much BETTER than the dairy case ricotta and is EASY to make.
Homemade+ricotta+cheese+2+117+-+Copy+(1024x683).jpg I tried some fancy expensive ricotta from a fancy expensive grocery store early in my marriage and it changed my views on what Ricotta Cheese could be. It was creamy but still had a slight texture….and it tasted so pure and good and simple and I wanted to eat it for dessert with honey. Prior to that day, I had only eaten regular grocery store ricotta that kind of tastes like the fridge’s collective flavors. It was boring and only really good covered in cheese and in between layers in a lasagna. I thought it was really hard to spend the extra money on such a over rated product. But in reality, it is so much more! When I made my own, I was blown away about how I could now base a meal around the highlight it’s perfect simplicity and beauty. You simply boil some milk and cream, add an acid--like lemon juice or vinegar to curdle the milk, and then dump the curds into some cheese cloth, add salt....and eat. Here’s the recipe I started with.

7. Forgiveness can take time.
galvanized-wall-clock.jpg I have always been able to get over things quickly. I could forgive and forget and move on without looking back. But, that wasn't true with one thing in my life. I was emotionally ruined and hurt over and over again by someone in my family with whom I believe had many undiagnosed mental illnesses. I couldn't get away from them and their behavior until I went to college. But it continued and still I was being battered by this person from a distance. After a lot of careful consideration, in January 2014, I stopped all communication with them because it was so unhealthy for us to keep talking. Then in July 2014, after about 20 years of feeling agonizingly unhappy about this person’s actions, I happened to be speaking with my father who said some things to me about this family member’s past. All the sudden, I felt empathy for them. I felt sorry for them. The anger I was carrying around and praying to be taken away finally faded and I experienced forgiveness. I felt peace. I knew I still couldn't talk to this person because they hadn't changed, but I could forgive them and love them and let go of the years of anger and frustration. I got what I was looking for and have been able to enter a new stage in my life, not living with the anger of the past. Forgiveness really can take time.

8. Healthy Romantic Relationships Can Be Achieved--even by Me.
heart_PNG685.png My parents did not have a good relationship and got divorced in my senior year of high school. They were just shy of 19 years of marriage when the whole thing imploded. At the same time, I was going off to college having never been on a real date. I was curious to see what romance awaited me. Not much happened. So, I went on mission for my church, and took the time to really focus on my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. I was able to meet a lot of different people. I met some amazing families...and individuals, some in my church, some not...who had great relationships. I started to see what a healthy relationship could be.

When I got off my mission, I was a hot commodity and dated a lot. But, the relationships were full of “games” and I hated that. I didn't respect the men I dated because they seemed to say what they thought I wanted them to say. I couldn't trust them.

Then I met my now husband, Mr. Weldon, one day at a church BBQ. He was himself. We talked and made plans to talk more. We got to know each other’s accomplishments and weaknesses over long evening conversations. All of it was legit. No lies. No games. I said what I thought and he was bold enough to disagree with me (and vica versa). I know it sounds insane, but after some amazingly direct personal prayers...we were engaged after 3 weeks. I brought it up...and he went with it. (Phew!) Then we got married 3 months later. We moved away and I finished my last year of college. He started back at college once I had finished...and we have had 2 children together. I can honestly say, we've never had a serious fight. We've disagreed or said mean things when we were hungry, but it’s amazing how perfectly we match each other. I am most pleased to give our children the loving home I didn't have growing up. I think the communication and trust we have is what makes it so easy for love to flourish and feel safe to be vulnerable.

9. Learn from passionate people who talk about what they study and know.
public-speaking-hacks-podium.jpg Maybe this is part of being an adult, but I love learning more than ever before. I love listening to TED talks , interesting conferences (etc), reviewing my college notes from my favorite professors, and generally hearing people talk about things they know passionately. It doesn't really matter what, the speaker’s own enthusiasm and knowledge of the topic makes it worth listening to. 

It has taught me how important it is to support my children’s teachers in school and church. I want them to be able to show their passion for teaching. A burnt out teacher is no longer teaching correctly. They are not passing on the love for learning. They can’t be persuasive when they hate what they’re doing. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I enjoy seeing my friends doing things they love and become more competent and knowledgeable. It’s a transition into adulthood I never considered.

10. There is difference between searching and passively experiencing.
Power-Search.jpg There are many ways to realize how effective searching can be, but I didn't learn about this until I started keeping a scripture study journal as a missionary at age 21.

I decided I would pray before my daily reading of the scriptures, and then whatever question came to my mind, I would write that down in my study journal. (Examples: How can I be a better friend?, What traits does a leader have? How does faith help people to endure?) Then I would read a chapter or two and search for the answers to the question I had prayerfully written down. I could always find answers. I also felt the most enlightenment in this process because I wasn't reading scriptures that were prime examples of the answers….but there still was much to learn in between the lines. My attitude was different...I wasn't passively reading for content, but actively trying to find answers. Searching is an exciting way to living life. Searching a city for peaceful settings or the streets for people doing acts of service is a different way of getting to know a community than just walking through. I wish I’d learned this earlier...but I know it now, and am glad.

11. Being part of a community feels good.
 I moved a lot growing up. My parents were introverts. We rented homes. My parents didn't participate in community events. I started to understand community when I was a legal assistant after college. I met lots of business owners, talked to people in the community, worked with local government, and saw the good people did through fundraising and service.

Nowadays, I am a PTA member! Whoa! I am volunteering in my son’s school, teaching after school drama classes, and doing stuff in his classroom to help out. I am meeting parents and students who I've never met before. I value the connection and the energy greatly.

-------- . ---------- . ---------

That's all from me...for now. I am who I am because of my experiences and opportunities to learn and grow. I don't regret that. I just want to make sure my children know these way before me...if they're applicable. (I don't think my boys will care about how to put bobby pins in their hair.) What lesson's have you learned that you wish you'd learned earlier? If you don't share it with me, make sure you write it down or tell someone you care about.

Have a great week!


Lindsay (aka Mrs. Weldon)


Loretta and Alan said...

That bobby pin thing escaped me too. Lol. Thank goodness for Pinterest and buzzfeed. I am grateful that you are able to feel that healing in your heart. I adore you and wish we lived closer.

Ashley Halsey said...

This is such a beautiful post Lindsay! Loved every single lesson.

Corinna said...

You rock Lindsay! I loved this post. It was very enlightening. I have learned that you can't force a friendship with someone who doesn't want to be your friend even if you want it but you can be aware of someone that wants to be your friend and grow the acquaintance into a friendship. I don't know if that make sense or not.

Lindsay said...

Thanks Loretta, Ashley and Corinna for your comments. I'm happy to know all of you! (Corinna-- yes to the friends thing...! You can't make a person your friend if they want to be your friend.)