Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Life lessons

It's official. I am 45 years old. Halfway to 90, if I should be so lucky.

In preparation for the big day, I challenged myself to come up with 45 things I've learned so far. I'd like to say I've learned all of the important things, but many of the lessons elude me. However, I've compiled a list of things I've learned over the years, in hopes of reminding myself that age does bring a measure of wisdom, with plenty of room left for more.

Lessons from life – chapter 45:

  1. When you find a swimsuit that fits, buy it in at least two colors.
  2. Dogs make life better.
  3. If you date someone you don't want to introduce to your closest friends and family, re-evaluate the relationship.
  4. Being a parent is much harder than it looks when other people are doing it.
  5. Be honest if you want something from someone else. Dropping hints rarely works.
  6. When you said you'd love "for better or worse," that included the things about your beloved that drive you absolutely bonkers.
  7. Don't buy the least expensive item. Pay a little more for quality.
  8. Life doesn't always seem fair. There are always people who are prettier, smarter, richer and more successful. Yet life seems to even out. Focus on what you are, not what you aren't.
  9. Keep in touch with important people in your life.
  10. Sometimes if you pretend you know what you're doing, people will believe in you. And sometimes they'll see right through your little ruse.
  11. It's better to be a little overdressed than a little underdressed. It's better to bring a little more than not enough.
  12. For $3 and some change, you can buy a carry-out order of chips and fresh salsa from Cancun's Restaurant. Really, there's no reason to buy salsa at the grocery store ever again.
  13. It's never too late to say thank you.
  14. Don't move to a retirement community when you're single and in your 20s. It's not fun.
  15. Hate wastes valuable energy.
  16. The English language has more than 200,000 words, so you can rid your speech of the words that hurt: retard, faggot, stupid.
  17. Do not forward a mass email until you have checked it out with Snopes.
  18. Everyone should have at least one friend who can make you laugh until you cry.
  19. There's a fine line between healthy competition and unhealthy obsession. If you're not enjoying the journey because you're focused on the finish line, you're probably taking things too seriously.
  20. Everyone is good at something.
  21. Listen to the little voice. When your gut is telling you something isn't right, it probably isn't right.
  22. When someone your age dies, you realize that getting older is not the worst thing that can happen.
  23. Your dreams for your children may not come true. Sometimes our kids don't want the gifts we want to give them.
  24. Your child's accomplishment is not yours. Go ahead and be proud, but you don't own the accomplishment.
  25. "They" won't have a cure for everything by the time you get older. Turn down the music and wear sunscreen.
  26. Your perception of beauty will change over the years. So will your perception of "old."
  27. Cats always like to walk over the keyboard when you're trying to use the computer.
  28. It's great to have the heart of a child, but sometimes you need to be the adult.
  29. Occasionally you have to let go of your skepticism and just believe. I believe there's a lot I will never understand about this world and beyond, and that's OK.
  30. Sing out loud in your car. People can assume you're using a hands free device.
  31. If you really hate your new haircut or color, give it a week. If you still hate it, go back and ask for a fix.
  32. Things that annoy the heck out of you now may not seem like such a big deal in 24 hours.
  33. You will need math skills again one day when your child needs help with her math homework.
  34. Exercise is a lot more fun when it's over.
  35. Everyone should visit Hawaii at least once.
  36. We will make mistakes. We are wonderfully human. Don't get so hung up on mistakes that you forget to move on.
  37. You don't have to convince everyone to agree with you. You may even be wrong.
  38. It is possible to gain three or four pounds overnight if you indulge a bit too much in the evening. It is impossible to lose three or four pounds overnight, unless you have a horrible stomach ailment.
  39. Some of the worst times in life really are the precursors to something better.
  40. Bring an Ipod to your child's sports games. Listen to your favorite music and resist being pulled into any sideline drama.
  41. Throw away any underwear you wouldn't be willing to wear to a doctor's appointment.
  42. I should never wear the home team jersey on game day, unless I want to jinx them.
  43. A jalapeno plant produces lots of peppers.
  44. Success is a combination of hard work and luck. Work hard, but give luck credit where it's due.
  45. Love is so worth it.







Amy said...

Happy birthday! So many truths here. I'd elaborate on my favorites, but I have to go throw out some underwear.

Nancy said...

Like this... I'll have to try for 63:-)

Anonymous said...

This is fabulous! I love the list...great blog post!