Life Lessons

My favorite magazine subscription that I receive is “Real Simple” magazine.  I love this magazine for many reasons; it has beautiful pictures, the page layouts are really user friendly, I am generally interested in about 90% of the topics they cover, and I even love the paper they use.

Lately, I have been relating to their “Life Lessons” section in the magazine and this month in particular, I thought they had some really great advice.  I would like to quote a few sections from the “10 Truths I Wish I’d Known Sooner” article by Amy Bloom.

1.  Events reveal people’s characters, they don’t determine them.  Not everyone with divorced parents has terrible relationships.  If two people are hit by a bus and crippled for life, one will become a bitter shut-in; the other, the kind of warm, outgoing person (cheerful despite everything) whom everyone loves to be with.  It’s not about the bus, and a dreadful childhood is not excuse.  You have the chance to be the person you wish to be, until you die.
Cottage Mama:  There are so many people in this world that use their past as an excuse for their behavior.  They had a terrible childhood; therefore, that is why they have dysfunctional relationships as an adult.  They didn’t receive enough attention growing up; therefore, that is why they crave attention and seek it in negative ways (such as cheating on their spouse).  At some point you have to step up and take full responsibility for your actions, not blame it on the past, and realize “you have the change to be the person you wish to be, until you die.”

2.  Fashion fades; style is eternal.  Not only do you not have to wear torn jeans, a barely-there tank top, and a fedora, but you probably shouldn’t.  The point of fashion is to indulge briefly in something fun.  The point of style is to have one – whether that’s a sheath and spike heals or slouchy jeans and your husbands t-shirt – and it should last you a lifetime.  All you have to do is think you deserve to look and feel your best and spend some time figuring out how to do it.  Don’t know?  Find a woman whose style you admire and ask for a little advice.
Cottage Mama: I LOVE this quote.  I feel like I am still defining my own personal style, but as the years pass, I am finding that it is defining itself more and more.  I really do admire women that seem to have their personal style mapped out!

3.  Mean doesn’t go away.  Some people get better looking with age; some don’t.  Some people soften; some toughen up.  Mean streaks tend not to disappear.  A person who demeans and belittles you and speaks of you with contempt to others is probably going to be that way for years.  The first time it happens, take note.  The second time, take your coat and go.
Cottage Mama: This quote speaks to me.  So often have I had friendships where I have forgiven the person time and time again.  But as I have gotten older, I have realized that someone who is mean, no matter how much you hope and pray they will change or mature, is just that……..mean.  And the best advice is to take your coat and go because you do not need that type of negative energy in your life.

4.  Ask for help.  It’s possible you’ll get turned down.  It’s even more likely that you’ll feel vulnerable and exposed.  Do it anyway, especially if you are the helpful sort yourself.  Those of us who like to offer assistance and hate to take any are depriving other people of the opportunity to be generous and kind; we are also blinding ourselves to the reality of mutual dependence.  You wouldn’t wear pink hot pants and pretend they were flattering.  Don’t pretend you don’t need help.
Cottage Mama:  Since I have had children, I have gotten better about asking for help, though this is an area I am constantly working on.  Asking for help and being turned down is a terrible feeling.  I am trying to learn not to take it personally, but it is very hard when we get up enough courage to ask, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, just to have someone say no………but that is life, we are not going to have someone say “yes” to everything we ask for.  But by not asking for help, we are lying to ourselves and “blinding ourselves to the reality of mutual dependence.”

Cottage Mama’s Note:  If you are not familiar with “Real Simple” magazine, I highly suggest you check it out – click here to check it out online.  The magazine has a little bit of everything; decorating, organizing, cooking, inspiration, beauty, ect.  It is a pretty pricey magazine on new-stands, but you can get a subscription for quite a reasonable price.  This would also make a REALLY great Christmas gift for any woman in your life!!

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  1. My Mom just informed me of an awesome deal Amazon has going on right now – a year-subscription to Real Simple for only $5!!

  2. Real Simple has and probably always will be my favorite magazine. I used to subscribe to tons of different mags, but I have now cut down to ust this. I love it!!!!

  3. I LOVE real simple! They always have the most creative ideas. I still to this day keep all of my earrings in ice cube trays… genius!