There is a list of things that become more important as you get older.  Each day and night I feel as if my morning routine gets longer due to the extreme list I have that need to be accomplished on a daily or weekly basis.

Now that I am in my late twenties (whoa!) personal hygiene and maintenance are in a much bigger force than they used to be, among other things that take precedence.  When you are a kid and people say “you won’t be able to eat everything forever” or “one day you’ll get wrinkles and bags under your eyes too” I was like pshhhh, I’m never getting old! Well here I am, OLD(er) and at a point in my life where my nightly and morning routines have become KEY.c4d0c865af2f8fa19a013ef9389da1e0

1. TEETH. Listen up! There are people in this world who take care of their teeth and people in this world who do not.  There can’t be any in between.  I brush in the morning, I brush at night, and I keep one in my purse because you never know when you will have that taste stuck in your mouth, that you just need to get rid of or some stinky breath from lunch.  My teeth are valuable and after six years of braces and a retainer that haunts my dreams, I would like to keep them in great shape. Another big thing on my list over the years is flossing.  I used to be that girl who would floss the night before my dentist appointment and pretend that was enough.  These days, I feel like I can’t floss my teeth enough!  Every night after brushing my teeth (and my daughters) I have been teaching my 5-year-old the importance of flossing all the time etc.  I always keep the floss in my purse, but that’s mainly because I love popcorn!

2. HAIR CARE. For someone who straightens their hair A LOT I can easily tell you the difference between taking care of your hair and not.  I try to cut my hair twice a year (at least) and I know even that isn’t good enough but it is better than nothing.   The important of conditioner cannot be forgotten and I make sure Hailie is well aware of its importance. Since I straighten my hair so much as well, I need to make sure that I am using the correct product before I straighten as to not damage my hair.  Unless you plan on shaving your head hair care maintenance is important and not to be taken lightly.  You want to make sure you still have all that hair as you get older, and that it’s healthy.

3. SKIN CARE.  I was the worst with my skin for a while.  When I was younger I had this radiant Indian skin and I didn’t do a damn thing to it.  Now that I am getting older, I am truly valuing my skin and have set up a nightly and weekly skin regime to make sure that my skin is well taken care of.  I also use a coffee scrub once a week and let me tell you – it works wonders!!  While we are on the topic of skin care and the humid weather is coming – lets also not forget the importance of sunscreen!!  Another thing I used to care less about at one point but as I have gotten older, truly understand the value.

4. DONT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Seriously though, stress kills.  It literally kills people and no matter what – shit is going to play out in its own way no matter how hard you try to avoid that.  The stress is not worth it – there is no need to be frantic and upset about every little thing.  If you learn to let go of the little stuff, you will have a much happier life and be a much happier person.

5. CLEAN EATING. Remember that lady who told me I wouldn’t be able to eat whatever I wanted forever?  She was right.  Post two babies and halfway to 27 – I have started adapting the “clean eating” craze because otherwise I will truly hate myself as time goes on.  Also, hydration.  Drink lots of water world.  I drink at least a gallon a day.  This helps all of the above.  Your skin, your hair, your health – water contributes to all of these things. Sleep too – need to be well rested.  When my kids grow up – maybe I’ll sleep through the night again. 

6. MONEY. MONEY. MONEY. BUDGET. CREDIT SCORE. DEBT. These words are all important.  I wish someone had taught me the importance of these words when I received my first credit card – but they didn’t.  So when looking for a car and a house down the line – I made sure that I am on top of all the above.  When you get older – they meaning of money and debt and credit score and budget – well it sucks but it’s completely necessary so don’t skip over it.  

7. MANNERS. It seems that some adults forget that they are adults or think because they are adults that manners are no longer needed because they are in charge of them.  Say please and thank you & teach your kids to do the same.  Please & thanks.  See – Simple as that.

8. CHERISH THE MOMENTS.  Recently I have been trying to be less about my cell phone and more about what is actually going on.  Though it’s great to snap a pic and stay in touch with friends – it’s not life ending to miss it because you are actually enjoying it.  If you miss a few Facebook updates they will come back around because Facebook shows you status’ from 3 days ago all the time.  You can always go back to a post, a picture, a status – you can’t go back in time to relive a memory you just missed.

9. ITS ABOUT QUALITY.  I am talking about this mainly in terms of friendship.  For me, my circle used to be huge, now I can count the people who truly matter to me on fingers and toes.  The people who I talk to on a daily basis, truly care about, etc.  You only live once, so make sure that when you’re looking back in twenty years – you have taken good care of the people that mattered to you and made sure to keep in touch with those who mattered. The ones who didn’t make it twenty years from now, weren’t worth the time in the first place.  But the lesson you learned from them was important, so don’t forget it.

10. YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Not YOLO – let’s do stupid shit because YOLO whatever, but literally you only live once.  Don’t underestimate how quickly life can go by or how quickly you can lose someone.  Don’t assume you have nine lives.  Enjoy the moment, enjoy the time you have with the people you share it with, and treat everyday as a blessing, because it truly is.  Don’t take people for granted, don’t take time for granted, just don’t do it.  Oh and don’t live YOLO because that’s just making stupid decisions.  Don’t be stupid.

Basically — life six years ago when I was pregnant with my first child at 20 years old and my biggest issue was god knows what – these tiny little things make the biggest difference.  It’s not that I didn’t do these things before, it’s just become more evident how truly important it is.  Don’t forget what truly matters in life and also, don’t forget how far a few glasses of water and a nice skin care regime can change your future! Remember that the tiny things make the biggest difference and that every decision you make will affect you in some way – good or bad.  I truly believe everything is meant to be a lesson — look for the lesson, accept the blessing, be grateful for what you have – and remember that you only have one life to live.