Monday, March 24, 2014


I came across a blog post that feels worthy of a repost

Originally written as a letter to my 16-year-old self, these tips apply to folks of all ages — not just to teens. After all, we're never as young as we are right now, right?

I've renamed them RENN'S TOP 10 TIPS FOR A HAPPY LIFE. Sit down, grab a cup o' coffee, and...

TIP #1 Appreciate your physicality. You won't always look this good, feel this good, be this flexible, be this thin, or have such perfect skin.

TIP #2 Stay true to youThe teenage you is the same you as the you you were in elementary school (stay with me here). The teenage you is also the same you that you become when you're older (and supposedly wiser). Never lose sight of her. The good news is, the young you is your beacon and your compass when the stormy seas arrive; she always knows what makes you happy. She always knows the people and things you can trust. The bad news? She doesn't always know what's best for you. (That's why you need Tip #3.)

TIP #3 Develop a strong backbone. Define what is important to you and then follow your instincts. For example, if you're certain that marriage and family are what you want, don't waste your prime childbearing years in the wrong relationship. (I'm just sayin'.) If you don't want to give your life over to your work, don't give up all your hobbies and then blame your lack of them on the fact that you haven't the time or energy because you're always working.

TIP #4 Say NO more often. (This becomes easier after you have mastered Tip #3.) People-pleasing skills are highly over-rated.

TIP #5 Cultivate a rich network of supportive friends, particularly those with varied interests and ages. That way you're not left scrambling for new social groups when everyone does (or doesn't) get married, or has (or doesn't have) kids. Build yourself a nice support network on which to fall back on; you'll need these folks to catch you when you fall. And you will fall. Oh, and remember that in order to have a supportive friend, you have to be a supportive friend.

TIP #6 Exercise every day. But not obsessively. Find things you enjoy and do them daily. Working out will keep your weight (and your stress level) down, your hormones in check, your mood more balanced — and your jeans in single digits.

TIP #7 Be conscious about what you ingest. Again, no need to be obsessive; just be smart. Your food should be of good quality, not processed, nor laden with chemicals or pesticides. If you're going to drink alcohol, have a glass of water before every drink. And please don't drink on an empty stomach. 

TIP #8 Don't worry so much about what other people think of you. Because guess what? They're not thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves. So ditch the worry and just be yourself.

TIP #9 Kindness is king. Embrace what you love about you and don't get down on yourself for what you don't. Always, always, always be kind to others — but be especially kind to yourself. And always, always, always choose a mate that is kind to others — and who is especially kind to you.

TIP #10 Keep your naturally positive attitude and sense of humor. You're going to need it.


  1. Oh Renn, you made me cry... I needed to hear a lot of these things tonight. I wrote a letter to my 15 year old self. The main thing I would tell her was to love herself, otherwise no one else could love her enough:-/

    This is a really great letter ♡

    1. Thanks, Launna. And your advice is spot on! Too bad it takes so many of us so very long to learn that precious nugget of truth.

  2. dear Renn,

    I am wowed by what you wrote to your 16 year old self! and I am grateful you posted it. it's such a comprehensive list of tips, several that are timeless and can serve as reminders to reassess if we are on course. as hard as we try live our lives well, if we keep evolving, we'll always need some tweaking. well, "tweaking" might be a bit of an understatement when it comes to cancer and so many other life-altering events!

    and renn - it's so evident that you are such a gifted thinker/writer. thank goodness you ended up just a click away from all of us who so appreciate and learn from you and your story - just sorry it was effen cancer that brought you to us.

    much love and light to you, my Friend

    Karen XOXO

    1. Dearest Karen! Thank you, as always, for being such a special beacon of light in this world of cancer and chaos and contemplation. I'll email you soon, mr friend — I promise! Thinking of you and so glad to hear you are doing A-OK! xoxo

  3. I like this repost. And you are right, this is all so applicable to today, even if the experiences have deepened - it's good to be reminded of what’s important. ~Catherine

  4. This is a great list. I don't think I read it the first time round, or maybe I just forgot! So thanks for sharing it again. There is so much I'd tell my sixteen-year-old self if that were possible... interesting concept. One of my tips would probably be, listen more to the advice of older ones around you who care about you. They really are quite wise.

  5. This is wonderful, Renn. I wish I could have heeded this advice in my teens. It could have saved lots of grief. But your post can help so many others. Thank you!! XOX


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