Penny's Passion: Thoughts on Thursday - Haley's Turning 21

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday - Haley's Turning 21

In one week, my best friend Linda's daughter, Haley, will turn 21.  Twenty-One!  Every time that fact passes through my mind I have to shake my head in disbelieve.  Where has the time gone?!?  She has grown into such a beautiful young lady -- we are so very proud of her!

Thinking back on my 21st birthday, there are so, so, so many things I wish I would have known.  I guess "known" might be the wrong word.  Some things I probably "knew" just didn't really believe them when people told me.  I mean, come on.  You're 21 -- you know it all at that age, don't you!

Well, Haley -- here goes.  I'm going to be that older adult trying to give you life advice right when you already thought you knew it all.  I'm going to lay out 21 tips for your 21st birthday that I truly wish I would have taken more seriously at your age.  I'll break out 10 today and 11 next Thursday.  So, Haley -- here's my thoughts for you as you turn 21.

1.  Find a Friend
Your mom and I have been friends since the 6th grade.  We've cried together, laughed together, and everything in between.  She has patiently listened to me go on and on and on about things I'm sure she thought was really not that big of deal.  But that's what really great friends do -- they are there for each other.  To have a friend, you need to be a friend.  So be patient and put in the effort.  The reward will be worth it!

2.  Love Your Mom
No, seriously - LOVE YOUR MOM!  She has done more for you than anyone ever will and is your biggest supporter.  Don't ever forget or take advantage of that.  She loves you and she will always, always, always support you.  Her feelings are not ones you should take advantage of or mistreat (not that you do - I'm just sayin').

3.  Listen To The People That Love You
They may not be saying what you want to hear, but they are sharing their feelings with you because THEY LOVE YOU!  Respect their opinions.  Sometimes people love us more than we love ourselves.  Their opinions deserve to be heard without judgement.  Sometimes they might even be right.

4.  Laugh
Don't hold back laughter!  As a matter of fact, keep some funny stories in the back of your mind to pull out and just have a little chuckle.  You know plenty of really funny stories about your mom and I to keep you laughing for the rest of your life.  Pull them out - have a laugh.  It can really improve a bad mood.

5.  Pick Being Happy
Speaking of bad moods -- remember, you CHOOSE your mood.  Only you can decide what your mood is going to be.  Pick being happy.  Don't waste your precious time on this earth being grumpy.  Grumpy doesn't look good on anybody.

6.  Listen to Your Gut
Your mom has modeled good behavior for you all your life.  You know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad.  If you sit very quietly and really think about something, your gut will tell you if you should or shouldn't do whatever you're thinking about.  Trust your gut -- if you listen, you'll pick the right answer every time.

7.  Enjoy Good Sunsets
You never really know which sunset may be your last.  If you see a good one, pause for a moment, soak it in and smile.  Some things are just too beautiful to let pass by without enjoying it for a minute.

8.  Be Spontaneous
Some of my best moments come from being spontaneous.  You can sleep tomorrow.  If an opportunity presents itself, go for it.  Get caught up in the moment and be spontaneous.  Amazing things happen on a whim.

9.  Play in the Rain
Let's face it -- you're never too old to play in the rain.

10.  Have One Good Meal in Your Recipe Box
Know how to cook one spectacular meal.  You never know when you might want to cook dinner for someone so have one good meal you can whip up with ease.  If you want to practice, I'll gladly be
your guinea pig.

Digest this installment of my first 10 things for you and I'll be back next Thursday to wrap up my 21 things with the last 11.

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at


  1. Wow, I am turning 21 next month and, well, just thank you for this post.

  2. Some really great thoughts!

    I'm hosting The Pick, a year-long link-up every Friday for sharing your favorite post from the week, and would love to have you join! No buttons, no problem!

  3. I love this! Especially the one about listening to your gut. My kids are much younger, but that is a lesson I have been trying to teach my boys, too!

  4. I think this is a great post to share with my friends who have kids turning 21, and a great lesson

  5. These are all great tips. I think being friends with your Mom is so great- I never really appreciated her until I moved out of the house and we both had some space, and now she is definitely one of my best friends!

  6. What wonderful tips! I love every one of them, especially the love your mum one!

  7. Hayley really is such a beautiful girl. Those are great tips of wisdom that you're passing onto her, I hope she listens to them :)

  8. Oh wow how I miss being 21, though back home it does not carry as much impact as it does in the western world. These are all great tips

  9. 21 seems like it was so long ago, but I do remember turning that age!! What a great post you have written, wonderful tips!

  10. These are some great tips for those just starting out on their own. What a beautiful post!

  11. Aww..this was a really sweet post! She's a beautiful young lady. Happy birthday to her!

  12. Such a sweet post for such a lovely young lady!

  13. What a great post to share for the ladies. I remember when I was 21 and I wish that I did things a little different. Good For You!

  14. Oh to be twenty-one again. There are so many things I would do over, do differently, do more, and so forth. I love life as it turned out but I would love to go back and live it again with the knowledge that I have now.

  15. 21 was such a fun age but I also made some terrible decisions! I hope that this birthday will be wonderful for everyone. What sweet memories.

  16. How time flies. These are great tips for someone turning 21 years old. I was in boot camp for the Army and went in the gas chamber on my 21 st birthday. It was something I will never ever forget. lol Thanks for sharing.

  17. That's a great birthday party because she going to be 21 year old woman teen? not anymore!! Goodluck to your another year!

  18. Awesome tips - to laugh is so good for us - both for mind, body and soul. Gotta love ur list!

  19. What a cute post!! And loving the name Hayley. My daughter is a Haylie ;-) but loving the laugh suggestion! Laughing has gotten me threw a lot in my adult years :)

  20. Wow what a beautiful young lady! Wow what a milestone! I just turned 18 myself in September!

  21. Excellent tips for Haley, and such a lovely theme and intentions for this post. I'd like to zero in on your advice of being happy and laughing...and completely agree...I think it's what keeps us 21-ish when we get along in years.

  22. What a sweet post. These are awesome tips - not just for Haley but all of us! You are never too told to laugh and love!

  23. Oh yes, wisdom at its finest! Great list of motherly wisdom here Penny. So happy you shared with me. It is so nice to have a daughter isn't it? Even if it is through marriage. I love your #8 - something I am learning to do more. I can see you being the friend that someone could call on a whim and know would be the life of the party.