The New Latina Guide to a Fabulous 2011 Year! is a collection of insights and tips from a group of talented Latinas (and one Latino) on how to live life to the fullest. Today, we feature Jeannette Kaplun’s piece, on life lessons. To download the free New Latina Guide, click here.
When striving to be a happier and better person, sometimes we overlook the most obvious. It seems even a Kindergartner gets it right most of the time. That is, if we judge by how happy-go-lucky they seem to go about life.
So, I observed my 5 year old and realized how much I could learn from her. Then I realized Kindergarten is underrated. It not only teaches you sight words, the basics of addition and subtraction, and how to start functioning as an independent being from your parents. It also lays down certain very important life fundamentals that, sadly, we forget when we grow up. That, along with names and other minor details that seem to escape us during the most inappropriate of times (but that is a totally different matter).
Here’s a refresher course with 7 important lessons you can learn from Kindergarten… Even if you graduated college ages ago.
1) Check your work. In this age of instant communication, we strive for being as quick as possible. But faster is not always better. Just remember that time when you cc’d the wrong person in an office email. And in the digital era, “unsending” an email or deleting a tweet do not mean people didn’t see (or even save) your mistakes.
2) Follow the schedule. The busier you get, the more you need a plan to keep your sanity. Predictability, to do lists and appointments might be boring, but they can help you keep it together when you’re overwhelmed between all your usual grown up responsibilities.
3) Go to the playground everyday. Fun and recreation are not luxuries, they are basic necessities that enable you to function better. Take a stroll around your neighborhood or meet a friend for an exercise class. Physical activity will keep you healthier, as well. Even 20 minutes a day can help keep weight gain and heart disease away.
4) Practice makes perfect. If you don’t succeed the first time, keep trying. Many things in life are learned, and the most important ones usually don’t come with instruction manuals, so keep trying until you get it right. Just make sure to learn from your mistakes. And if you can learn from other people’s mistakes, even better!
5) Everybody needs play dates now and then. Getting together with friends to enjoy the sheer pleasure of their company will make you happier, guaranteed. A true friend gives you support, can listen to you or respect your silence if you’re not in the mood for a conversation. In the digital era, a little face-to-face time with those you care about can be totally refreshing and inspiring.
6) Enjoy your birthday. It’s a celebration of life that you should embrace. Plan for it like most 5 year olds do, without worrying about those tiny wrinkles you might be seeing in the mirror. In a society in which being young is so overrated, don’t worry so much about aging. Just reflect on how far you’ve come along and celebrate it.
7) Every morning is a new beginning. When you wake up, let go of what was troubling you the day before. Kindergartners still live in the moment and if you follow their lead, you’ll realize how liberating it can be. A fresh start everyday can let you focus your energies on what you can achieve, on what you can improve, and most importantly: on what you can enjoy.
Jeannette Kaplun: With over 16 years of experience on TV, radio and online, Jeannette brings together a true multimedia background to the Hispanic social media world. Born in Texas and raised in Chile, Jeannette is bilingual and bicultural. As Chief Content Officer and cofounder of Todobebé, Inc, Jeannette oversees all Todobebé parenting content and websites, including www.vivalafamilia.com and www.blogsdemamas.com. She is the author of “Todobebé: Todo lo que necesitas saber para el primer año de tu bebé” (Rayo, 2006), co-host of the Emmy-nominated Viva La Familia weekly TV show on Univision, co-host of the also Emmy-nominated Todobebé TV show, and host of the Todobebé.