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Tonight marks the first episode of the final season of Parks and Recreation, one of the best and most criminally under-watched shows on television. I, like my fellow loyal Parks fans, am fighting back tears at the fact that soon Ron Swanson's magnificent mustache and Andy Dwyer's beautiful face will no longer be gracing my television screen weekly.

So to preserve my mascara, I thought it would be better to instead reflect on all the totally awesomesauce things Parks and Recreation brought into my life. First example: the word awesomesauce.  

However, while I was reflecting I made an important realization... that yes, while Parks and Recreation has given me a new appreciation of mini horses and a ton of awesome phrases like "Treat Yo' Self," that I like to use in my daily life, what I've really taken away from the show are some valuable life lessons. And all of those life lessons have come from one ambitious deputy director of parks and recreation, Ms. Leslie Knope.  

I think it stems from the fact that Leslie, played by the enormously talented Amy Poehler, is one of the most real characters on television right now. In six seasons, she went from a small town government employee with a dream to turn an empty pit into a park, to a regional director for the national parks service.

The path to her success wasn't perfect: she won but then was recalled as a city council woman, she dated some dudes before finding her perfect match in Ben Wyatt.

*My personal favorite Leslie dating story is from when she was describing dates she'd been on to her best friend Ann, "I tripped and broke my kneecap, and the guy said he wasn't 'feeling it,' so he left and I waited for an ambulance."

No matter what life threw at Leslie, she was able to handle it with creativity, ingenuity and a little help from her friends. So with out further ado, I'd like to present the five life lesson I have learned from Leslie Knope. 

1. Being Passionate About What You Do is Awesome


So much of the time it's seen as 'uncool' to care, but not if you're Leslie Knope. She's passionate about the things she loves and isn't afraid to admit it.  

2. Surround Yourself With Good Friends


It's important to find friends you love and trust. You'll be glad to have good friends surrounding you when times get tough. 

3. Take Time To Celebrate 

leslie-knope-danceWhether you just do a happy dance when you get good news, or create an entire holiday to celebrate your friends (Galentine's day, anyone?) it's important to take a minute to recognize when things go right.  

4. Always Be Confident In Yourself and Your Abilities  


Leslie Knope doubting herself is as unheard of as Ron Swanson eating a salad. She knows that she can do anything she put her mind to, and so can you. 

5. There's Always Time to Get Waffles with Friends


Nothings more important in life than the people you share it with (and breakfast food). 

Photo Credits: Tumblr, Giphy

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