Things I wish I could tell my 25 year old self…

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By Anita Manley

I recently posted a throwback photo of myself on Facebook (see below). It really spoke to me and I started thinking, oh what I wish I’d known then. So, I decided to write a blog about it. I originally thought I would write 25 things, but the list grew larger. Here are 35 things, I wish I’d known when I was 25:

  1. Practice patience. (As my mother always said, “Good things come to those who wait.”)
  2. Practice self-love. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
  3. Get rid of the negative self-talk track going on in your mind.
  4. Hobbies are not a waste of time, they are wellness tools! Really!
  5. Read a book for enjoyment.
  6. Walk daily.
  7. Join a group/club/team/class to have fun and meet new friends.
  8. Volunteer doing something you enjoy.
  9. “This too shall pass.” The good times, and the bad.
  10. Be yourself – nothing more, nothing less – You are good enough!
  11. You are worthy of love.
  12. Keep busy, but calm your mind.
  13. Have a daily routine.
  14. Practice mindfulness.
  15. Enjoy your alone time. Don’t be afraid to be alone.
  16. Pay yourself first (save and invest).
  17. Relax – learn methods to keep your anxiety in check.
  18. Believe in yourself. “You’ve got this”.
  19. Trust your gut.
  20. Some things are better left unsaid.
  21. Always use the sandwich approach when communicating with people regarding a difficult situation.
  22. When angry – go for a walk, write in a journal. Take time to digest and calm down before discussing. You can’t take those words back.
  23. Compare yourself, to yourself – not to others.
  24. Learn to love and appreciate your body.
  25. Don’t be afraid to feel all of the emotions. You don’t have to be “happy” all of the time.
  26. Journal!
  27. Have an attitude of gratitude!
  28. Stop blaming others. Take personal responsibility!
  29. Have compassion for yourself and others.
  30. Stop worrying about things beyond your control.
  31. Continue to do your best and be satisfied with that.
  32. Aim for progress, not perfection.
  33. Breathe!
  34. Take care of yourself first so you can truly take care of others.
  35. Surround yourself with people who hold similar core values.
When I look at this picture, I feel so much love and compassion for my younger self. There was just so much I had yet to learn.

Things my father taught me…

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By Anita Manley

In follow-up to last week’s blog about “Things my mother taught me…”, I’d be remiss if I did not list all the things my dad taught me.

In January of 1995, when I was 4 months pregnant with my second daughter, my dad died of cancer. My world came crashing down. I was only 30 years old and he was my confidante, my hero and he loved me unconditionally. I miss him terribly, but I’m comforted in the feeling that both my mom’s and dad’s spirits are watching over me.

So here, in no particular order, are the things my dad taught me, to help form the person I am today:

  1. “Everything in moderation” (I’ve passed this onto my children)
  2. How to present a business case. (It started at the age of 13, when he’d said “convince me”)
  3. Be prompt. (Notice the double dose of this – mom and dad – thus, I’m usually early!)
  4. Think like a leader. (He was a manager and would share stories of how he handled difficult situations)
  5. Be honest.
  6. How to write.
  7. “Always vote in every election. Know the issues.”
  8. How to raise concerns to a higher level. (He would often type letters on his old Smith-Corona, to his MP, MPP, etc. if he thought his voice should be heard. Then, he would get me to read it over before he mailed it. This lesson has helped me on countless occasions over the years.)
  9. Be rational.
  10. How to compromise.
  11. He modeled how a good husband treats, respects, loves and honours his wife. (Mom and dad always held hands when they walked together.)
  12. How to be patient and kind.
  13. How to carefully listen to others points of view and to respond respectfully.
  14. How to love unconditionally. (He didn’t always “like” me, but I knew he always “loved” me.
  15. How to manage money and to invest.
  16. How to drive a car.
  17. How to ride a bike.
  18. How to read a map (and to fold one– a real talent!)
  19. The importance of a routine.
  20. A strong work ethic.
  21. How just sitting there quietly, just being there, is showing support and love.
  22. Commitment.
  23. Although he did not personally teach me, he paid for (and my mom registered me):
    swimming lessons, downhill ski lessons, cross country skiing, tennis lessons, soccer team, summer community pool membership. Yes, I do realize how privileged I was. He would also drive my brother and I to a ski hill, 1 hour and 45 minutes away, and sit all day, waiting for us to finish (since he did not ski — he had a bum knee). Now, that’s commitment!

    I am truly blessed to have had the upbringing that I did. As my husband says, I won the adoption lottery!
My dad taught me many things, and would often read to me before I went to sleep.