31 Lessons from my 31 Years

I love my 30s so far. Don’t get me wrong, my 20s were a blast. I graduated college, bought my first home, got married, and had babies. It was a whirlwind of a decade. But even just dabbling into this new decade I feel that I have both gained much wisdom and have also learned that I do NOT know a lot of things. 

Here are just a few lessons that I have learned in my 31 years on this planet.

  1. “No” is an answer. It doesn’t need clarification or justification. 
  2. Don’t keep “skinny” clothes in your closet. You may think it gives you a goal to look forward to, but more often than not it’ll just make you sad that you can’t wear them when you get ready every morning. 
  3. Find a few babysitters you know and trust.
  4. Significant others are not gifted the power of mind reading. Communication is key. 
  5. Your first full-time job does not have you be your last NOR does it have to fulfill your passion.
  6. Speaking of, if you’re passionate about a cause, get involved. 
  7. Vote. People, if you’re not registered to vote, you should be. And don’t just vote in the national elections. Local elections are just as (if not more) important. 
  8. Invest in a great vacuum cleaner. Worth. Every. Penny.
  9. Keeping up with the Joneses is expensive. Set goals and expectations that work for YOUR family, and stick to those.
  10. Always have an updated resume on file. You never know when you will need one. 
  11. Going to the movies by yourself is the best way to have no one speak to you for at least an hour and a half.
  12. Your quality of friends is far more important than the quantity. 
  13. Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. Take it one step at a time. 
  14. A shared calendar saved my marriage … a little dramatic? Maybe. 
  15. Asking for help is not a weakness. It’s a strength. (I’m still learning this one). 
  16. Learn not to be the smartest in the room, but the one who is willing to learn the most.
  17. What is good for one person might not always be good for another. Diets, trends, money, what have you.
  18. Your life is not on a timeline. There are not certain milestones you’re supposed to meet at certain times. 
  19. Make a budget. Sticking to it takes time, but making it is the first step. 
  20. A 401k is in fact a great work perk. They want to give you free money. Take it.
  21. Get a primary care physician. Hopping around from urgent care to urgent care gets old.
  22. No one knows what they’re doing all the time. Don’t feel like you have to. 
  23. Show yourself the same kindness and respect you show to others. 
  24. Don’t invest time and energy into friendships that are draining. Friendships should be life-giving, and not life-taking.
  25. Get in the picture. Your kids will want photos of you with them as they get older. Ask someone to take the picture. 
  26. For me, faith is key. Even the days where you don’t “feel it,” cling to truth and faith anyway. 
  27. Support local businesses. 50% of the dollars you invest into local restaurants, retail, etc. go back in to your community. 
  28. You can forgive without having to forget. Saying you forgive someone does not mean that you’re condoning behaviors. 
  29. On that note, set boundaries. Stick to them. Honoring your peace is one of the most important things you can do. 
  30. All moms work. Whether they’re working in their home or out of the home, all moms work. 
  31. Time goes by faster the older you get. Take in the little moments. They’ll be the ones you remember.
Jessica Hauerwas
Jessica is a nonprofit leader who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited where she runs the day-to-day nonprofit. She and her husband Chris have three littles at home (Jane, Clark, and Louise) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. Jessica also volunteers for various organizations, is a member of the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of three under 4.


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