Carina Sitkus
Nov 1, 2014 · 4 min read

Grandma’s How-To List for Getting Through Life

20 pieces of advice written by a girl who’s not grandma.

Grandma is wise, and sometimes you just need to listen to her advice to feel a little bit better about yourself and your life.

For today, I will be your grandma since your real one likely isn't blogging on Medium.

Grandma says:

  1. Always keep a carton of orange juice in the fridge. Nothing is better for quenching your thirst or fending off a tickle in your throat before it becomes a full-blown cold.
  2. Rest. It can wait, whatever “it” is.
  3. Don’t hit the snooze button. You will feel shitty all day. Just wake up. Yes, grandmas say “shitty.”
  4. Get rid of things you don’t use. When your space is clean, your mind is clear.
  5. Work out. Or at least take a walk every day if you can. There is nothing better for your mental health.
  6. Don’t stop when you have momentum. Ernest Hemingway famously stopped writing as soon as he knew what would happen next in his stories. Don’t do that. You’re not Ernest Hemingway. Get done what you can now. Take advantage of the movement. Tomorrow you may just want to sit in bed, eat Doritos, or make a cat video.
  7. There is no secret to success. Wake up earlier than everyone else. Go to bed later. Work, work, work. That’s what it takes, and there is no shortcut.
  8. Embrace criticism. It makes you better in the end. But don’t let it damage your psyche or your confidence. Someone tells you you’re fat? Wow, that’s rough. Get to the gym, but know that your self-worth isn’t measured in pounds.
  9. Don’t dilute yourself. Pour everything into your writing. Give it your grandest voice. Say what you think in your next meeting. When you put forth your 100% self, people will still only see 20% of you because they like looking at themselves most of the time. If you only put 20% of yourself forward, they won’t look away from the mirror.
  10. Don’t delude yourself. Also know that the world doesn’t revolve around you. There are bigger problems, there are people who need more help than you do. While you are chasing dreams of publication, there are others who are going to bed hungry at night. Never lose your perspective.
  11. Volunteer. It’s a selfish thing because you feel so good after doing it, but it’s always better to be selfish in a selfless way. There are worse ways to be selfish.
  12. Get a pet. Of course, first make sure that you will love and properly take care of an animal. There is nothing more comforting than snuggling a furry friend after an awful day.
  13. Always bring both your contact lens case (filled with solution!) and your glasses. You just never know.
  14. Bad days happen. Take a shower and go to bed. It will get better. Whatever you do, don’t drink!
  15. Finish the dishes before bed. Stick to your routines, even when you’re dead tired. You’ll probably also be dead tired tomorrow, and those dishes don’t do themselves…
  16. You are responsible for your well-being. Your friends and family and coworkers can’t feel what you feel. If you need a rest, take it. If you need to get to the doctor, no one can take your body there for you. Your mind and body are connected: take care of them both, or no one else will.
  17. Not all regrets are created equal. If someone asks you to jump out of a plane without a parachute, don’t yell “YOLO” and jump. Use your judgment. Take risks and live life to its fullest, but do think twice. One mistake CAN really change everything. When in doubt, choose to regret not doing something. Don’t set yourself up to regret stupidity.
  18. Make your own lists. Someday you will want to share yours, or add to yours, or laugh at yours, or burn yours and start afresh.
  19. Never look back. Memories are beautiful and they define who we become, but forward is always the right direction. Keep your eyes and feet pointed that way.
  20. Most importantly, listen to your grandma. She’s been around the block (a few times). And she knows best.

Carina Sitkus is a writer whose work has been published in publications like HelloGiggles, Business Insider, Inside Higher Ed, and Thought Catalog, which published her first book. Work forthcoming in [PANK]. She’s also an editor for Hippocampus Magazine and the creator of The Curious Cat Project, which is the home for the Medium publication Curiosity Never Killed the Writer. She’s currently working on a literary fiction novel inspired by the rocky coast of Beavertail in Rhode Island, her soul state. Connect with her on Twitter @CarinaSitkus, Facebook, or carinasitkus.com. Get notes sent to your inbox.

Buy the book based on grandma’s advice:

General Writing: Idea, Thinking, Opinion

This is a collection for general writing, thinking, and opinions.

Thanks to Sand Farnia

Carina Sitkus

Written by

Writer when I'm not reading: www.carinasitkus.com/about. Also, amateur grandma: http://thoughtcatalog.com/book/grandmas-how-to-list/

General Writing: Idea, Thinking, Opinion

This is a collection for general writing, thinking, and opinions.

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