Penny's Passion: Thoughts on Thursday - Haley's Turning 21 v. 2

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday - Haley's Turning 21 v. 2

Today is Haley's 21st birthday.  Happy birthday, Haley!!  Last week I started my 21 thoughts for her and today I'd like to finish with the last 11.  In case you missed it, you can see the first 10 here.  Haley is my friend Linda's oldest daughter and I've loved her since she was born.  I can't wait to get to Kansas City this weekend to be a part of the birthday celebrations!

Advice for a 21 year old

11.  Show Empathy
Let me share a little story with you:  There was a father on a subway with 4 children.  The children were being loud, crawling over others, and generally misbehaving -- all the while, the father sat silently, not even trying to control his children.  After some time, a passenger said to the man, "Sir, can you please get your children under control".  The gentleman looked over at the passenger and as a tear slid down his face he said, "I'm so sorry.  Their mother just died and I have no idea what I'm going to do without her.  She was the love of my life and best mother these children will ever have."  You never know what's happening in other's lives.  Show empathy.

12.  Don't Panic  
There are going to be a lot of times in your life when something goes drastically wrong, you forget a meeting, your deadline gets moved up, etc., etc.  Don't panic!  No one is motivated by a blithering idiot who is running around like a chicken with their head cut off.  Stay calm, take a deep breath and work through your issue.  By staying calm, others around you will stay calm.  Win, win.

13.  Love Your Sister
Since Kelsey was a baby, she looked up to you like only a little sister can.  You can see the love in her eyes when she talks about you or is sitting next to you.  Even in those moments when it appears like she doesn't love you, you can still see that deep down she does.  God didn't bless everyone with a sister, so don't take advantage of your blessing.  And she can sing musicals with you like no one else ever could.

14.  Pick Out Your Clothes The Night Before
Just trust me on this one -- your day will be off to such a smoother start if you pick out your clothes the night before.

15.  Say You're Sorry
If you've made someone sad, mad and/or disappointed, say you're sorry.  PROFUSELY AND EMPHATICALLY SAY YOU ARE SORRY.  Don't do the "I'm sorry, but blah, blah, blah."  Just be sorry.  Period.  And then try really hard not to do the thing you did to cause the need for the I'm sorry in the first place.

16.  Dance
Don't wait until you're on the Ellen show to bust a move -- just dance anytime you feel the urge come over you (and sometimes even when you don't feel the urge).  Definitely dance when group dancing is happening.  Don't be the girl sitting quietly at a table -- get out on the dance floor and have some fun.

17.  Life Isn't Fair
Fact - as sad as it may be, sometimes life just isn't fair.  Keep your head up and get on with it.  Don't wallow around in self petty because life isn't fair.  It sometimes just isn't.  Move on.

18.  Find a Hobby
Search for a hobby that will bring you joy.  It's so nice to look forward to doing a fun project on a cold, winter day when there's nothing else to do.  If you find the right hobby, it will be one you fondly anticipate starting, feel exuberant while doing it and you're proud of it when it's finished.  Greatest feeling in the world!

19.  Give Compliments
Let's face it, who doesn't love hearing a compliment!  If you like what someone is wearing, tell them.  If you notice someone's new hair cut, tell them.  Giving out compliments is free and limitless.  Go ahead -- make someone's day by giving them a compliment.

20. Use All Your Senses
Sight.  Hearing.  Taste.  Touch.  Smell.  Enjoy them all!  Savor the taste of your food when you put it in your mouth.  Enjoy the touch of a baby's soft skin.  Listen to the sound of the ocean waves crashing to shore.  Breath in deep when the honeysuckle is in bloom.  Don't cheat yourself by not using all your senses to enjoy the beauty of life.

21.  Be Yourself 
You are a beautiful, intelligent, resilient young woman.  Learn who you are and what you want.  You have your whole life in front of you -- please make the most of it.  Don't settle -- God has big plans for you!  We can't wait to continue to see the wonderful things you do in life.

Love you Haley!

Enjoy more Thoughts for Thursday at


  1. The empathy story really got me. These are all such great tips for someone turning 21 though, and great life lessons really for any age.

  2. #14 is one life hack that I have always lived by. I still do up to now. I hate being not being punctual and picking your clothes and actually trying them on the night before really help save a lot of time in the morning. It helps me not be late.

    I love the other life lessons you shared. Like what Samantha said, they're not for someone who's turning 21 but can be applied by anyone at any age.

  3. This is a great list. Showing empathy is vital for being a good human. And facing oh crap situations calmly is a great tool to have in your toolbox. Panic just adds another layer of stress, distress, or both.

    I have always laid my clothes out and prepped everything the night before and I still do it now as an almost 38 year old.

  4. This is a great list of advice. The empathy one, oh my gosh, wow. It does show that you never know what someone else is going through. I strongly believe that empathy is one of our greatest attributes.

  5. What a great birthday gift! I hope you don't mind, I think I'll be using this!

  6. That is so sweet. I think my favorite is love your sisters. Sisters are forever and stick together for sure! Your list is great (part 1 is great too!)

  7. Happy Birthday to Haley. These are awesome tips for a 21 year old indeed. I love the tips have show empathy, life is not fair and use all your senses. These are the ones that stick out to me. Thanks for sharing. This is totally awesome you did this for her.

  8. Awww, happy birthday to Haley! I love these tips for your 21 year old. Pick out your clothes the night before... LOL - YES!! I would stay in my PJs all day if I didn't do this.

    Thanks so much for sharing and for linking this post up to the #SHINEbloghop!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

  9. So much greatness in this post!! I'm so glad you'll get to celebrate with her! Such great life lessons in this post!

  10. Your daughters are absolutely beautiful. If they put these thoughts into practice, they will be way ahead of others their age. I have 4 daughters. I will have to do something similar.

  11. Happy birthday to her!! She is lucky to have you in her life! My favorite piece of advice is to be yourself! That will get her through anythings he faces in life!

  12. I just loved this whole idea and advice. Want to save for my daughter!!

  13. Happy birthday to Haley! What a huge milestone and I adore your 21 thoughts (Had to go back and read the rest!)

  14. This is a beautiful birthday post! I hope that you show it to her someday! 21 is such a huge milestone!

  15. These lines "PROFUSELY AND EMPHATICALLY SAY YOU ARE SORRY. Don't do the "I'm sorry, but blah, blah, blah." Just be sorry. Period." I agree with this and a bunch of other lines on your 21 huge milestone. But those really made a mark on my head. Others would say sorry, but there is always a big BUT after it. What a beautiful post. So much lessons you could get in there. Happiest birthday, Haley!

  16. Such a great post and important things to take into adulthood. My daughter turned 21 in July and I'm going to share this with her.

  17. I really love this post! I remember when I turned mom did similar things for me! Congrats on 21 years!

  18. Thank you so much for sharing so many great thoughts. I'm sure these posts are really useful for her. Love those don't panic and be yourself tips!

  19. Happy birthday Hayley!!!! Totally love how you are giving her advice in these post!!! Cutest idea ever :):)

  20. I love this list of thoughts. I hope Haley appreciates them as she turns twenty-one!

  21. The empathy story really got me. It is all to often we are outsiders looking in and cast judgment without knowing the situation at hand. These are great lessons to share with a 21 year old, and an adorable post. Happy Birthday Hayley!

  22. Happy Birthday. I love this list of thoughts that you have put together. I cannot imagine how I am going to feel when my boys turn 21.