Things You Should Know

My momma should have told me

16 Things I Wish They had Taught Me in School


I found this on stumble upon. Thought I would share it.

But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.

Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn’t pay attention.

Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.

But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.

So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).

  1. The 80/20 rule.

This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.

So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.

You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.

And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.

  1. Parkinson’s Law.

You can do things quicker than you think. This law says that a task will expand in time and seeming complexity depending on the time you set aside for it. For instance, if you say to yourself that you’ll come up with a solution within a week then the problem will seem to grow more difficult and you’ll spend more and more time trying to come up with a solution.

So focus your time on finding solutions. Then just give yourself an hour (instead of the whole day) or the day (instead of the whole week) to solve the problem. This will force your mind to focus on solutions and action.

The result may not be exactly as perfect as if you had spent a week on the task, but as mentioned in the previous point, 80 percent of the value will come from 20 percent of the activities anyway. Or you may wind up with a better result because you haven’t overcomplicated or overpolished things. This will help you to get things done faster, to improve your ability to focus and give you more free time where you can totally focus on what’s in front of you instead of having some looming task creating stress in the back of your mind.

  1. Batching.

Boring or routine tasks can create a lot of procrastination and low-level anxiety. One good way to get these things done quickly is to batch them. This means that you do them all in row. You will be able to do them quicker because there is less start-up time compared to if you spread them out. And when you are batching you become fully engaged in the tasks and more focused.

A batch of things to do in an hour today may look like this: Clean your desk / answer today’s emails / do the dishes / make three calls / write a grocery shopping list for tomorrow.

  1. First, give value. Then, get value. Not the other way around.

This is a bit of a counter-intuitive thing. There is often an idea that someone should give us something or do something for us before we give back. The problem is just that a lot of people think that way. And so far less than possible is given either way.

If you want to increase the value you receive (money, love, kindness, opportunities etc.) you have to increase the value you give. Because over time you pretty much get what you give. It would perhaps be nice to get something for nothing. But that seldom happens.

  1. Be proactive. Not reactive.

This one ties into the last point. If everyone is reactive then very little will get done. You could sit and wait and hope for someone else to do something. And that happens pretty often, but it can take a lot of time before it happens.

A more useful and beneficial way is to be proactive, to simply be the one to take the first practical action and get the ball rolling. This not only saves you a lot of waiting, but is also more pleasurable since you feel like you have the power over your life. Instead of feeling like you are run by a bunch of random outside forces.

  1. Mistakes and failures are good.

When you are young you just try things and fail until you learn. As you grow a bit older, you learn from – for example – school to not make mistakes. And you try less and less things.

This may cause you to stop being proactive and to fall into a habit of being reactive, of waiting for someone else to do something. I mean, what if you actually tried something and failed? Perhaps people would laugh at you?

Perhaps they would. But when you experience that you soon realize that it is seldom the end of the world. And a lot of the time people don’t care that much. They have their own challenges and lives to worry about.

And success in life often comes from not giving up despite mistakes and failure. It comes from being persistent.

When you first learn to ride your bike you may fall over and over. Bruise a knee and cry a bit. But you get up, brush yourself off and get on the saddle again. And eventually you learn how to ride a bike. If you can just reconnect to your 5 year old self and do things that way – instead of giving up after a try/failure or two as grown-ups often do -you would probably experience a lot more interesting things, learn valuable lessons and have quite a bit more success.

  1. Don’t beat yourself up.

Why do people give up after just few mistakes or failures? Well, I think one big reason is because they beat themselves up way too much. But it’s a kinda pointless habit. It only creates additional and unnecessary pain inside you and wastes your precious time. It’s best to try to drop this habit as much as you can.

  1. Assume rapport.

Meeting new people is fun. But it can also induce nervousness. We all want to make a good first impression and not get stuck in an awkward conversation.

The best way to do this that I have found so far is to assume rapport. This means that you simply pretend that you are meeting one of your best friends. Then you start the interaction in that frame of mind instead of the nervous one.

This works surprisingly well. You can read more about it in How to Have Less Awkward Conversations: Assuming Rapport.

  1. Use your reticular activation system to your advantage.

I learned about the organs and the inner workings of the body in class but nobody told me about the reticular activation system. And that’s a shame, because this is one of the most powerful things you can learn about. What this focus system, this R.A.S, in your mind does is to allow you to see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on. It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.

So you really need to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And keep that focus steady.

Setting goals and reviewing them frequently is one way to keep your focus on what’s important and to help you take action that will move your closer to toward where you want to go. Another way is just to use external reminders such as pieces of paper where you can, for instance, write down a few things from this post like “Give value” or “Assume rapport”. And then you can put those pieces of paper on your fridge, bathroom mirror etc.

  1. Your attitude changes your reality.

We have all heard that you should keep a positive attitude or perhaps that “you need to change your attitude!”. That is a nice piece of advice I suppose, but without any more reasons to do it is very easy to just brush such suggestions off and continue using your old attitude.

But the thing that I’ve discovered the last few years is that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality. When you for instance use a positive attitude instead of a negative one you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before. You may think to yourself “why haven’t I thought about things this way before?”.

When you change your attitude you change what you focus on. And all things in your world can now be seen in a different light.

This is of course very similar to the previous tip but I wanted to give this one some space. Because changing your attitude can create an insane change in your world. It might not look like it if you just think about it though. Pessimism might seem like realism. But that is mostly because your R.A.S is tuned into seeing all the negative things you want to see. And that makes you “right” a lot of the time. And perhaps that is what you want. On the other hand, there are more fun things than being right all the time.

If you try changing your attitude for real – instead of analysing such a concept in your mind – you’ll be surprised.

You may want to read more about this topic in Take the Positivity Challenge!

  1. Gratitude is a simple way to make yourself feel happy.

Sure, I was probably told that I should be grateful. Perhaps because it was the right thing to do or just something I should do. But if someone had said that feeling grateful about things for minute or two is a great way to turn a negative mood into a happy one I would probably have practised gratitude more. It is also a good tool for keeping your attitude up and focusing on the right things. And to make other people happy. Which tends to make you even happier, since emotions are contagious.

  1. Don’t compare yourself to others.

The ego wants to compare. It wants to find reasons for you to feel good about yourself (“I’ve got a new bike!”). But by doing that it also becomes very hard to not compare yourself to others who have more than you (“Oh no, Bill has bought an even nicer bike!”). And so you don’t feel so good about yourself once again. If you compare yourself to others you let the world around control how you feel about yourself. It always becomes a rollercoaster of emotions.

A more useful way is to compare yourself to yourself. To look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished and how you have grown. It may not sound like that much fun but in the long run it brings a lot more inner stillness, personal power and positive feelings.

  1. 80-90% of what you fear will happen never really come into reality.

This is a big one. Most things you fear will happen never happen. They are just monsters in your own mind. And if they happen then they will most often not be as painful or bad as you expected. Worrying is most often just a waste of time.

This is of course easy to say. But if you remind yourself of how little of what you feared throughout your life that has actually happened you can start to release more and more of that worry from your thoughts.

  1. Don’t take things too seriously.

It’s very easy to get wrapped up in things. But most of the things you worry about never come into reality. And what may seem like a big problem right now you may not even remember in three years.

Taking yourself, your thoughts and your emotions too seriously often just seems to lead to more unnecessary suffering. So relax a little more and lighten up a bit. It can do wonders for your mood and as an extension of that; your life.

  1. Write everything down.

If your memory is anything like mine then it’s like a leaking bucket. Many of your good or great ideas may be lost forever if you don’t make a habit of writing things down. This is also a good way to keep your focus on what you want. Read more about it in Why You Should Write Things Down.

  1. There are opportunities in just about every experience.

In pretty much any experience there are always things that you can learn from it and things within the experience that can help you to grow. Negative experiences, mistakes and failure can sometimes be even better than a success because it teaches you something totally new, something that another success could never teach you.

Whenever you have a “negative experience” ask yourself: where is the opportunity in this? What is good about this situation? One negative experience can – with time – help you create many very positive experiences.

What do you wish someone had told you in school or you had just learned earlier in life?



When Money Talks…


A lot of people say money can’t buy happiness……..those are the people I would like to smack. let me tell you why. First, I doubt those people have ever been down on their luck. Second, you may not be able to buy happiness however, when you stress less about money you are happier. Third, I am happier when I can afford everything I need.

When I just had my two daughters things were a lot different. I appeared to have more money. I joked with people for every kid I had I had to work another job, I was working 2 at the time. I quit when I got custody of my nieces thinking financially I would be ok. I had extra money every payday and even a savings account! Had is the key word here.

I didn’t have 4 kids to feed at every meal, 4 snacks 3 times a day etc. I didn’t have 4 sets of school supplies to buy. School stuff is getting out of control. Where we live seriously for my niece who is going into kindergarten I have to buy her 6 packs of the 16 count crayons. My boyfriends child (whom attends kindergarten at a completely different school) needs to have 4 packs of the 24 count Crayola crayons. Why if I have 1 child am I buy 4-6 packs of crayons per that child? When I went to school my parents bought me 1 pack, and it lasted throughout school. And our local schools don’t seem to use regular glue bottles anymore. Now we are told to buy anywhere from 6-18 glue sticks. Let me be clear also I have no problem buy what my children need, I just find it ridiculous that some of the quantities are so high.

I have been so thankful for the learning how to make my own laundry soap. I have figured I would spend well over $100 monthly in laundry soap had I not of learned this skill sooner. We do so much laundry I would be happy if I never ever saw dirty laundry ever again.

I’m sure the longer I have mynieces the easier things will get. I have hopes for this.


My Daily Struggles

This post should really be listed as my weekly struggles. Now that I have 4 girls things are becoming harder! There is a lot more laundry, dishes, meals, items to pick up.

I thought it would be helpful if the girls helped with some of this responsibility.  This was not how it happened. In reality the house was supposed to always be clean. This is not at all what happened! The chores got done less and less and the mess got bigger and bigger. I found clothes in the laundry that were never even worn!

My daughter was told to clean her room. She decided what clothes she didn’t want to put away she would put back in the laundry to be cleaned all over again. Grr….

Now when the girls go outside to jump on the trampoline there are 4 sets of socks instead of 2. You would think it would be easy enough to bring their socks in but nope.  Then they all wonder where their socks have gone. All I can think as I am staring out the window is I have no clue.

I try to explain to the girls that the dish washer will clean the dishes a whole lot better if they would just rinse the dishes off first. This is a concept we are apparently still working on. It is just easier to hand wash all dishes.

School starts next month. I am assuming the messes will get smaller and the tears will start with the frustration of having to do homework before playing outside. I love all of the girls and hope that there is some form of smoothness here very soon.



Mixture 1


~ 1 1/2 cups very warm water

~ 2 cups Elmer’s glue (I’ve tired it with generic white school glue and it never works as well)

Food coloring

Combine in a small to medium bowl and stir with a clean spoon.

Mixture 2:

~ 3 teaspoons Borax (you can buy it on Amazon or at the grocery store)

~ 1 cup very warm water

Combine in a large bowl, stir until dissolved (or almost dissolved) with a clean spoon.


Happy Family


Having children is a blessing. there are always issues with kids some are minor some are major. I have two girls of my own and recently just obtained custody of my younger sisters two children. In raising my children whom are 11 and 12 now, I forgot about the little girl issues. My nieces are 4 and 6 years old.

Some of the little girls issues seem so minor but so huge to the little girls. I do not remember my girls ever throwing fits like muy nieces. And the shrills the youngest makes omg. She sounds like what I imagine the New Jersey Devil would sound like!

I have patience and I believe the more patience you have the better parent you are. There are sometimes I wonder what I am doing raising my sisters kids? I am constantly trying to retrain them how to behave and act while also trying not to piss them off so they don’t cry.

Every day is a constant battle, with new struggles. Everyone keeps telling me I am doing a good thing getting the girls out of a bad situation and taking care of them. I am constantly struggling with whether or not I want to aim for reunification back to their mother or if I want to pursue full custody. Some of the things my sister does makes me wonder if  they should be returned at all. This is the perfect time for her to enter into counseling, and get her life together but she is to busy trying to find dirt on me. I have begged her over and over to take parenting classes and learn to manage her finances, yet she has not done so.

I give props to any parent during a custody battle! I never realized how vicious they could get. I mean I am on my sisters side and she is fighting against me and not the courts. She honestly thinks I am the bad guy.

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The Blob


The home made water slide/blob. This was an amazing amount of fun. Kept my kids and the neighborhood kids busy and cool for hours. It took some time to make but well worth it! You only need duct tape and plastic sheeting (the kind you use while you are painting).

Start by Folding the plastic sheeting in half and tape the three open sides with duct tape (it helps to have assistance) but leave open a small hole for the water hose. I put duct tape on every seem. I made mine 10×20 so I had a line of duct tape in the very center. It took me a few hours to get it done. Mostly because the kids were so excited they kept interupting me.

Put the water hose in it and let it fill. When it’s totally full, tape the small opening shut and let the kids loose.

I laid on this my kids ran, jumped, rolled, wrestled and it held up great. Make sure when you begin to add water that is where you want it to stay, there is no moving it with water. So find the flattest spot possible.

The laughs and giggles you will hear come from your kids will amaze you in ways you never imagined. There may be times where you want to give up but it will be worth it!

School is back


I have always been the mm that counts down the days until school is out. Yes, you saw that right! I love my kids being home. I hate that I have to “share” them with the school system. I always dread the first day of school. Other moms always ask me what’s wrong with me. Nothing, I just really love my girls. They are going into 6th & 7th grade and I guarantee I will still cry like a baby on the first day of school . I will want to grab them and take them home thinking I can’t make it through the day.

Now that I have custody of my two nieces I now understand how the “other” type of mothers are. I now know why you guys can not wait for the kids to go back to school. There is so much little girl drama on a daily basis I need a break. I would say a vacation but I would still worry about all 4 of them on vacation and would need a vacation from my vacation!

I feel weird this year. As I buy all the many, many school supplies that I usually enjoy buying. I’m frustrated with the teachers why does my niece need 6 packs of crayons she is 1 person. not even a big person at that. I had to buy to many packs of crayons and I know they are only $.50 but I have 4 kids to buy for. School supply shopping for me this year has just got annoying. I feel like the grumpy mom/aunt now. I hate it I hate feeling grumpy!

I am ready for my lil girls (my nieces) to go to school but stil not my girls. I’m sure once the lil girls are gone for a few hours I will begin to miss them also. I just need a break from the little outburst we have daily.

I am already dreading all of the first day paperwork. All of the billions of papers that are the exact same but different colors that I have to write the same info on over and over. I wish I could just fill one out and copy it times 3 but no it has to be a certain color. And then that’s just my homework what a horrific mess it will be once we have 4 girls and homework every night. I can already imagine the drama queen throwing a fit because she wants to go outside and play. The cutie pie that never has homework because she is in preschool. The first year middle schooler that is overwhelmed by the homework she is not used to. And the 7th grader who is maybe pulling it off because she got used to it last year.  Oh, the joys, the tears and the panic attacks I will have. Why can’t I wait for school again?






My New Motherhood


I have 2 daughters of my own, they are 11 & 12. Recently I had filed for custody of my sister’s kids. I won temporary custody for now. I will probably end up with full custody by the time it is all done and over with. It has been a big change in our lives. I finally got to the point where I could sleep in on Saturday mornings and not worry about the kids getting into something. Now I have a 4,5,11 & 12-year-old and that fear is back!


No more sleeping in on any day, at all. Back to begging the kids to take naps. Sometimes I think I need the nap more than the little girls. And the little girl issues, how I forgot that they even existed! I forgot how such little things were turned into things that caused melt downs. Such things like not being able to find a shoe or hoodie that is located just inches away. Sometimes I feel like having a break down right there with the little girls.


Sometimes the emotional stress will get the best of you. You just have to remember it will always get easier. Children and you need time to adjust to your new life. Everything will fall into place eventually. The beginning is always the hardest part. Patience will get you to where you want and need to be.


The struggle is real when you take on the care of someone else’s kids. You have their rules the kids are used to. The rules you have, the rules they want. When you are in the middle of custody battles thongs can get even more complicated even if it is your family. Especially if one party was not willing to admit they needed help in raising their kids. People can be so brutal and use their kids as pons. Children should NEVER be used as way to get the upper hand on another parent, family member or anyone else involved in their lives.


Communication between both parties is crucial when there is no communication there will always be problems! It never helps when one party tells the child(ren) they don’t have to listen to the other party. Please don’t ever put your child(ren) or any child(ren) in that situation.

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