9 Life Lessons To Take Into 2019

And the country music playlist that inspired them.

Unsplash: Country

I’m bobbing my head to the sound of 90’s Country. My mouth is open in mime of the lyrics:

Do you love me? If you do, check yes please.

Instantly, I can picture a middle school classroom. A boy passing a note to a girl with long hair. The girl is smiling, seeing a box for ‘Yes’ and a box for ‘No.’ Everyone around them is looking on in giggles. Life is simple. Love is pure.

And my heart is warmed.

Simple memories, simple moments in life create the greatest meaning. These moments, too, are what offer the greatest of life lessons. Lucky for us, many songs in country music — and I’m sure nearly every genre — capture these moments with pure honesty. Even more, the lyrics of country music remind us of 17 life lessons that are sure to make 2019 a meaningful year — and these lessons happen to make for a pretty spectacular playlist. For now, here are 9 of those life lessons (and dance-worthy tracks). Stay tuned for the second article to get the rest of this Life Lessons playlist!

1. “We were living every minute of the night like there’d never be another.”

From the minute you first wake up, before even opening your eyes, the world is sharing with you so many gifts. This is true of every single moment of your day. And yet many of these moments go unnoticed, untreasured. I encourage you, now, in this moment, to open yourself to gratitude and recognition of what this moment offers for you to treasure.

2. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

So? When was the last time? “Let your hair down. Feel alive.” Embrace life, and step into the unknown. For a moment, let the joy of possibility carry you away!

3. “Your memory is supposed to drown the whiskey.”

Okay, so I don’t drink alcohol; but even I can relate to this lyric. When something is painful, we do what we can to forget the memory, to drown out the pain. We run from our feelings. The secret we all know and conveniently choose to forget is that the only way past an emotion is through that emotion. Sometimes, life hurts. Loss hurts. And that is okay. That is opportunity to grow and to learn. And if country music teaches you anything, it’s that you are never alone in that feeling and you are certainly not going to be stuck in that place forever.

4. “We ain’t perfect but we try.”

You are going to make mistakes. Accept that now. Accept that it is okay to make mistakes. And accept that what you do after those mistakes are what can make your life great.

5. “Take off your makeup. Just let your guard down.”

Ryan Hurd’s lyrics really need no explanation. (And yet here I’ll go explaining 😉.) Beauty is a natural state, and comes without designer labels. Beauty is what shines from within each of us. Bravery is trusting the world to see that inner beauty. So dare to share your beauty; dare to be brave.

6. “We were trying different things.”

Some of life’s greatest moments come from opening yourself to new experiences. Today, embrace those new experiences!

7. “We may not be around in twenty years, but they’re sure gonna know we were here.”

Read this one aloud to yourself for me: You matter. You are important. And your smile offers the power to enrich so many lives every single day. “And we only get one life,” so be sure to share your gifts, your joy, your smile with the world at every opportunity you have.

8. “Everything’s gonna be alright.”

This time, there is no explanation; just pure, simple truth.

And to tie our list together, let’s remember one of the most cherished messages learned in the lyrics of country music, brought to us through a simple image:

9. “The sound of a quarter rollin’ down the jukebox.”

Perhaps the music video scenery here isn’t the ideal image for a Life Lessons article. But I’ll embrace the humor of that, because this lesson matters: the simple, beautiful moments in life are what will always mean the most. Remember to never take those simple moments for granted.

Stay tuned for the rest of the Life Lessons in Country Music playlist on Medium!
Do you have songs that inspire you? Share them in the comments and add music — and even your favorite genres — to our Life Lessons playlist.