Denise DuBois: I’ve got my own life list

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I spent some time this week reading lists of things that women in their 30s should know.

Sharing life lists seems to be popular right now, especially with Chris Pratt sharing nine rules for life with the younger generation audience during his MTV Generation Award acceptance speech. If you haven’t seen that speech, I encourage you to find it on the Web. Between listening to him and researching other lists, I’ve come up with my own list of things I think women should know. This definitely isn’t comprehensive, but these are a few things to think about.

Stop comparing yourself: to your female friends, co-workers, gym partners, Sunday school leaders, neighbors in the grocery store. Every woman has her own path in life. You have no idea where she came from, the struggles she’s endured or the sacrifices she’s made to get where she is right now. Her path is certainly different from yours, so you cannot possibly expect to be like her. You can’t look like her, talk like her, relate to others the way she does, or have the money or life she has. But you can look like yourself, be yourself, be kind and compassionate with others, have your own job or purpose in life and live the way God called you to live. I promise when you stop comparing yourself to other women, you’ll find your own sense of peace and self confidence.

Serve others: If you’re having a wretched day and everyone is on your last nerve, take a second to survey the people around you and help one or two of them. Is there another woman struggling with a project at work that you can aid? Help her. Is someone at the grocery store trying to manage a screaming child and put groceries in her car? Say a quick hello and ask if you can help. I promise these gestures aren’t creepy or weird. I’m certain the mom would love some help. When you’re serving someone else, it takes your mind off your own bad day and puts it in perspective. Suddenly, your own day isn’t quite so bad. You may even realize that it’s pretty good.

You don’t have to buy all the things: This is a hard one because I can spend my money on the most useless things in the world. I promise: I do actually need 25 of the most expensive eye shadow palettes. Not! Ulta has this really cool thing where it tracks all your purchases if you’re using your phone number to get the reward points. It’s really a mistake, because when you see how much money you spent in one place over a year, it hits you that you probably didn’t need half the things you bought. It really helped me to see how much money I was spending on things I really didn’t need. That was an eye opener for me. I don’t have to buy everything just because I want it. Save your money instead. Or spend your money on experiences. Nothing is worth going into debt. If you can’t pay cash for it, don’t buy it.

Find something to focus your time on: What do you love to do? What have you never tried? There is always something new you can try. There is always a chance for you to step out of your comfort zone. You never know what you’ll find. You’re capable of so much more than you even realize, but if you keep yourself in a box, you may never see what you can accomplish. Personally, I never thought I’d be picking 300-plus pounds off the ground or putting nearly 300 pounds on my back regularly. When I gave powerlifting a try, I fell in love. Added bonus: I found inner and physical strength that I never thought existed. There’s nothing like the confidence that comes from finding out you’re good at something.

Eat good food: You may not know just how much food affects your body and mood, but it does! Food is fuel. Think of it that way.

Love yourself: There is so much that your family and friends love about you. There is no reason to hate yourself or to talk down to the person you see in the mirror.

Love the Lord: God loves you so much that we can’t comprehend it. Jesus Christ came to the world to live a sinless life and be a perfect sacrifice for us. He is the giver and sustainer of life, joy, strength and hope.

Do you have a list of things you think women should know? Let me know!

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