49 skills for a richer life: man, woman, young & old.
Over the weekend I was cruising social media, as I tend to do when Jason's watching pre-season football, and ran into a Huffington Post articles that made me say yes and be annoyed with so much no. This 49 Life Skills Every Modern Woman Should Have made me feel (1) accomplished because I could say "Done That!" to so many, (2) like there's so much more to being an independent, feminine woman, and (3) wish that I could write a list of my own for people: man and woman, young and old.
Then I remembered, I have a blog, and so I can do as I wish.
I know, lists. Eck. We all complain about them and think they're against the "blogging rules" but let's take a moment of very sincere transparency: next week is Jason's birthday and the following our anniversary which means lots of emotional feels coming up. That said, a list will balance all the emotional things right out. Also, I read lists and count how many apply to me because I enjoy keeping score (imagine how much marriage has humbled me and my scoreboard -another post for another day).
So, without further babble or boredom, my list of 49 skills to enrich one's life. Not to make you the big bucks sort of rich (though maybe that'll happen for you), but to make you well-rounded... Or at least a bit more so.
1. Establish and maintain a budget.In college I used an Excel spreadsheet. Once Jason and I wed and the finances were much more complicated we started using Mint.com and are happy with most of it's features.
2. Manage a schedule. In a planner, on your phone, however you do it. Manage.
3. Throw an awesome bash. This doesn't mean at a venue or with a Pinterest theme -nope. A bash that's got memories teeming out the windows and some tasty (no one said healthy or gourmet) food and drink -if even just Domino's and beer.
4. Discover your drink of choice. It'll make dates and dinners way less stressful. In the morning, I'm always apt to order a Bloody Mary. In the evening, a glass of Chardonnay or vodka-tonic.
5. How to turn a house (or apartment or studio) into your home. This doesn't mean decorating (though brownie points there), but how to negotiate a lease or sale contract to make it yours -legally.
7. Use tools -hand, power or otherwise- unsupervised. Screwdriver, hammer, drill, wrench: they're tools meant to make things easier and they do. Hang those pictures, plates, and shelves all by yourself babe.
8. Learn to drive a stickshift. I know, who has one these days? A lot of people. If someone's drunk or hurt or in any other position where driving is dangerous, you can step up to the plate. (Plus you'll feel like a race car driver.)
9. Sew on a button or close a split seem. Because the last thing you need is to be helpless before a big event: like a gala or a job interview. (FYI: Most hotels have sewing kits in the lobby.)
10. Use a lawnmower. Sure, you might not have a lawn, but the mower is easy to use and might come in handy later -like when a friend has a baby and you want to help out more than making dinner or your parents fall ill and need some help keeping up the house.
11. Learn to cook. Because I've never met anyone who isn't happy to enjoy a good homemade meal. (Also, helps with above-mentioned budget.) Women, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Men, the way to woo a woman is through her stomach. The Way to Cook by Julia Childs will help in every single way. Otherwise, Pinterest.
12. Navigate using a map. Old-fashioned, Google Maps free style. (Props for navigation in the subway and bus systems -still working on this one myself.) You never know when you won't have cell phone service or
15. Remove a stain from your favorite shirt or pants or dress. 99% of stains come out of our clothes when sprinkled with baking soda then drizzled with dish soap and massaged into fabric. I got hydraulic oil out of a silky-type material once using this method and wasn't disappointed.
16. Hold your own in the face of a boisterous person. Be them a doctor, a coworker, a friend, or boss. When you're trying to make a point, you deserve to be heard.
18. Diffuse a tense situation. Even if your not one of the contentious parties.
19. Operate a barbecue. Such a wonderful summer skill that adds so much dimension to every dish, salad, burger. How to Grill by Steven Raichlen covers the basics of all kinds of grill skills, plus digs in deeper to the fancy stuff.
20. Play a hand of gin. Usually served with alcohol and some interesting conversation.
21. Ask for help.
22. Learn to bait a hook, cast a line, and let off a fish. Worms, water, and wiggles all withstanding, there's a reward in there that looks like insane pride in one's self.
23. Address an issue with a coworker, family member, friend, honestly and humbly. Because when we're right, it's easy to be high and mighty, but let's take a deep breath and be kind, yet firm.
37. Draft a formal letter, cover letter, and resume. Representing yourself well is vital in all aspects of life, especially the professional one.
38. Apologize genuinely. And dole out forgiveness as well.
39. Have a general knowledge of US geography. Like where the states are in relation to one another.
40. Understand the world of finance in general, know your finances specifically. Know how a mortgage works, the workings of investment accounts, 401(k)s, taxes and withholding and deductions, the stock market.
41. Find an exercise routine that is enjoyable and sustainable. There's more options than I can begin to count, but find what you love and do it. Nothing's better for the mind but working out the body -or so I believe.
42. How to iron a shirt. Or skirt. Or coat. Or dress. Or slacks. Because almost as distracting as a missing button or split seam is wrinkles.
43. Say no without guilt or anger.
44. Hold a baby.Even if you don't want kids yourself, there's always that one family member who wants you to hold it because that'll make you want one... That said, do it right because those little nuggets of baby are pretty fragile.
45. Negotiate a salary, a raise, or a promotion.
46. Speak comfortably (or at least appear to be comfortable) in front of a group.
47. Find a charity/church/organization who's cause you support financially or with time or both. Because life's not all about you, you know?
48. Discover the best way for you to get a good night's sleep. Melatonin, soft music, sound machines, quilts, blankets, sheets. There's all kinds of advice, but your routine should be discovered and maintained.
49. Form educated opinions and respectfully share them. Online, offline, and otherwise. Disagreeing is good as long as it's done with respect.