In no particular order, here are 40 things I've learned in my 40 years of life. I've tried to give credit where credit is due for tidbits I've gathered from others.
1. Having friends is one of life's greatest joys. Missing friends is one of life's greatest sorrows.
2. Everyone thinks that their teenager will be the one that won't be difficult and hormonal, the one that will simply rise above it all. Spoiler alert: NOPE.
3. On your 38th birthday, the most surprising gift you will receive is five extra pounds.
4. Where acting/singing/improv is concerned, I truly believe that "It is better to have performed and lost, then to never have performed at all."
5. No matter what is happening in your life, or how grumpy or mad or sad you are, you go to church. (This one is from my mom)
6. A person can change into a "dog person" overnight.
7. All of your beloved friends and family members gathered together in one theater to watch your movie premiere feels like heaven. Only in heaven, I hope we are all watching the movies of each others' lives.
8. Producing a film is one of the most thankless, least glamorous jobs there could be.
9. As a recovering perfectionist, I've learned that the quest for perfectionism is really a rejection of the human condition. Perfectionism prevents you from taking risks, which prevents you from failing, which prevents you from learning, growing, and succeeding. Therefore, perfection equals eternal stagnation. (Dr. Finlayson-Fife)
10. If I could choose just one thing for my children to learn before they leave my home, it would be that having compassion for everyone is more important than anything else.
11. There's no such thing as aging gracefully.
12. Being a mom is not a competition, and if it is, guess what? You've already won, because your kids only want YOU.
13. When it comes to religion, the only thing that truly matters is your personal relationship with Christ. (Richard Bushman)
14. The older I get, the more I have to embrace my biggest weaknesses: laziness, vanity, and hoarding tendencies. But being self-aware is half the battle.
15. Everyone should have to live in NYC for at least one year as a requirement to be a human.
16. It turns out that you CAN sit next to the pool/beach ALL day and not get bored even one little bit. Sidenote: is there a better place than Costa Rica?
17. Children growing up is nature's cruelest trick.
18. Twins are the best thing that could happen to a person.
19. Marriage can only thrive when you fully embrace your partner, flaws and all.
20. Social media is the best thing and the worst thing.
21. Hanging out and laughing with your older kids is just about the best thing there is.
22. After spending countless evenings bawling my eyes out over my many failures or over the plight of a loved one or child, the best life mantra I can offer is "Tomorrow is another day."(I can probably credit this one to my dad, the eternal optimist)
23. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment that one becomes a food snob. However, there is no turning back.
24. I wish that I could spend more time with my siblings. They provide a unique strength in my life. Especially since my brother is a human Xanax.
25. Keeping a sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself is one of life's most valuable survival techniques.
26. The prettiest, most popular kids in high school often make the least interesting adults. They never had to learn how to be funny.
27. In your 20's, you are constantly worried about what everyone else thinks about you and if you're measuring up, in your 30's you start to focus more on the hobbies/interests you actually enjoy vs. what you think you're supposed to enjoy, and I am hopeful that my 40's will include having the freedom to say what I truly feel.
28. Experiencing high school with your child is like RE-LIVING it. In all the best and worst ways.
29. Winning the family-in-law lottery is truly one of the best things I ever did.
30. Everywhere you go, you make friends. But only a handful are lifelong friends. And they are the treasure of my heart.
31. Watching your parents navigate divorce and the aftermath can do one of two things: impair your ability to have a successful relationship OR instill you with a profound determination to never repeat their mistakes. I'm one of the lucky ones.
32. Other people's successes are not my failures (Tim Threlfall, BYU)
33. Other people's successes can be my successes. Karma is a thing, y'all.
34. If you love an item of clothing, pair of shoes, etc., and wear it with confidence, then everyone else will love it as well. (Also my mom)
35. Prayer is a powerful and awe-inspiring tool.
36. Family/relationships are more important than religion.
37. Acting/performing/creating just to act/perform/create is meaningless to me. Collaborating and creating with my friends is EVERYTHING.
38. There is no better feeling than belly laughing with friends and/or family. That also feels like heaven to me.
39. Love is love is love is love is love is love is love... (Lin-Manuel Miranda)
40. I don't really have any regrets. I would choose all of it again.