Well, I'm calling it. I have now officially moved from my mid-thirties to my late-thirties. For what it is worth, here's a life lesson for each year I have muddled through. (I figure I'm old enough now to try to dish out a little wisdom.)
1. Real friends are people who know your middle name, biggest flaws and hidden talents.
2. Having a job is a good thing, but it is never really the ultimate thing.
3. You can't be happy if you aren't submitting to the right person.
4. Some people you know will never ask the big questions of life.
5. The key to a happy marriage is being a servant.
6. Being a parent of a toddler is exhausting...and you will miss it when it is over.
7. You can't be spiritually fit while being a glutton or a drunk.
8. You can be spiritually fit while enjoying a hamburger and a stiff drink now and again.
9. Some people know God really well but just haven't learned his name yet.
10. Embrace the geekiest and/or nerdiest things about you.
11. When you don't know what else to do, tell a story. If that doesn't work, be silent.
12. You will be embarrassed in ten years of some of the things you believe today.
13. Winter, for all its flaws, makes the other three seasons better.
14. God lives in the mountains and the beaches, but he is even more visible in the city.
15. Jesus is misrepresented about 90% of the time both inside and outside of the church.
16. If both your religious and irreligious friends think you are crazy, congratulations.
17. A loving dog is worth the pain of having a dog...but just barely.
18. If you want to be a Christian, study what Jesus meant by the "Kingdom of God."
19. It is ok to not have answers about God. You aren't his PR department.
20. A worthy life is about not giving up.
21. If you are going to waste money on something, let it be a family vacation.
22. Don't partner with anyone in business you wouldn't want your wife and kids to live with.
23. Unrestrained cynicism will make you and everyone you love miserable.
24. When you look back, your hobbies will have shaped your life. Pick good ones.
25. Every new friend will end up hurting you. Then they might become a great friend.
26. If you fancy yourself an artist and don't do art, you will never feel complete.
27. History is not boring. Some historians are. Know the difference.
28. Sometimes good ideas and organizations need to die. Euthanize and eulogize them.
29. If a friend loses a loved one, go and be in the same room with them.
30. Be alone with your husband or wife for at least one week every year.
31. Take a massive risk every five years.
32. If you can walk somewhere on a nice day instead of driving, do it.
33. Learn to love the things your kids love.
34. Sometimes a pen and paper is still the best option.
36. Find an exciting author smarter than you and read everything they have ever written.
37. Re-read your favorite books from each decade of your life.
38. Learn to pray in a way that doesn't really feel like you are praying.