50 things I’ve learned in 50 years
I have birthday cards on my windowsill with the number 50 on them. It feels like they should belong to someone else… but they’re mine.
How? How did I get here?!
Well, it’s been an interesting journey to say the least.
I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned on my 50 trips around the sun, so here are 50 Things I’ve Learned In 50 Years…
1. No-one wakes up in the morning and thinks, “Right, today I’m going to make a decision that is going to screw my life up.” You do the best you can, with the information and emotions you have at the time. Forgive yourself and don’t waste time on regrets.
2. Trifle is revolting. Cold custard. Bleuugghhh. I don’t care how much sherry you put in it.
3. A few good friends who you know you can count on are worth their weight in gold. Look after them and don’t take them for granted.
4. There is little in this world more lovely than receiving a long, handwritten letter from a friend.
5. Cake is the answer.
6. Not knowing what you’re meant to be doing with your life is hellish. Knowing deep down that you have SO much more to give if only you could figure out what and how is beyond frustrating. It took me 25 years to figure it out. If you’re still searching, I can help you figure it out too. (Check out Discover Your Life Compass.)
7. Your children can make you want to tear your hair out and make your heart burst with pride all within the space of 10 minutes.
8. Music ALWAYS soothes the soul.
9. You should always trust your instinct, because it will always prove you wrong if you don’t.
10. You can never have too many fairy lights.
11. There is no point in worrying about things you can’t change. You can’t change the past, you only have control over what is happening right now, and you can influence the future. Spend your energy on that. Apologise if you need to, make things right if you can, trust that all will be well, and move on.
12. What other people think about you is actually irrelevant. If YOU like who you are that’s all that matters.
13. You find out people’s true character when you play Monopoly with them.
14. There is a silver lining in every cloud. You just have to remember to look for it.
15. Joy can be found in the smallest of things if you keep your eyes open and your senses alert. Sunshine glinting off a puddle, the smell of freshly baked bread, pausing to listen to birdsong… if you collect these little moments your day will be all the brighter for it.
16. Awareness of yourself, why you do the things you do, is SO important. If things aren’t working out for you, there’s a reason. Become aware of your thinking because what goes on in your head is the reason for everything you do.
17. Snacks and sweets are imperative for a long road trip.
18. It’s fun to explore where you live. Make like a visitor and go in to all those places that you pass on a regular basis and think, “I must see what it’s like in there”.
19. Singing with other people is the antidote to the blues every, single time.
20. If you have a dream hold on tight to it. If it matters that much to you keep chipping away at it and find a way to make it work.
21. It doesn’t matter what car you drive, they all get you from A to B.
22. It’s ok to decline an invitation without a good excuse. Taking care of yourself is perfectly valid and if that means staying in watching TV instead of going out partying there’s nothing wrong with that. Even the most ardent party animal feels like that sometimes.
23. Climbing a mountain to enjoy the view, walking along a windswept beach or lying on your back and gazing at the stars are all really good for putting things into perspective. It makes you realise how small you really are and that maybe your problems aren’t as big as you thought they were.
24. Walking amongst trees is good for the soul. You’re amongst friends.
25. It’s perfectly possible to disagree with someone and still be friends.
26. Pushing yourself to get out of your comfort zone and nailing it is the biggest buzz. I truly believe that humans NEED this on a regular basis to feel fulfilled.
27. Red wine, blanket, woodburner, good book. Heaven.
28. You can be inspired in the most unlikely places. Take notice when something or someone gives you goosebumps and work out why.
29. Good manners cost nothing.
30. If you practice putting yourself in other peoples’ position it makes for much greater understanding and harmony. Life is not black and white and things aren’t always what they seem. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Reach out and ask if they need help or a hug or just someone to talk to.
31. Humour can be found in even the darkest experience. In the last few days of my Dad’s battle with cancer we still managed the odd giggle. In lots of ways, we remember those moments now more than the heart-wrenching ones. It helps. Cherish your parents while you can. One day you won’t be able to say “I love you.”
32. There is SO much satisfaction to be had from growing your own vegetables. I remember as a little girl being so excited helping my Dad dig up potatoes, it seemed like magic. When my son and I grew peas when he was about 7 I don’t think any of them made it into the house… he’d be out there eating them raw!
33. Laughing so hard it makes you cry has a restorative effect on your whole body. My son is a comedian so this happens regularly in our house!
34. You don’t have to believe everything you think. I used to be really, really good at talking myself out of things. I still am sometimes. But it’s all to do with the STORIES we tell ourselves about why we can’t have, be or do what we want. I’m much better now at changing my downbeat “yes, but what ifs” into “YES! And WHAT IFs” and focussing on all the good that might happen instead of all the crap. It makes such a difference.
35. Never stop learning.
36. If you always put others before yourself you’ll end up tired and resentful. It’s not selfish to put yourself first sometimes, it’s necessary. You can’t pour from an empty cup so if you want to keep giving to others make sure you give to yourself every day too, even if it’s only 10 minutes of you-time.
37. Everything ends. Intense emotion dissipates, you can’t cry forever. The dentist will finish drilling your tooth. The most boring of lessons can only go on until the bell goes.
38. If you try and be someone else you will only ever be second best. Hold your head up and just be you.
39. Everyone is good at something. And if it’s something that can’t be measured by exams or seen in the physical world that doesn’t make it any less significant. It’s important to find what you’re good at and be proud of it. And even more important to help children discover theirs and praise them for it.
40. I am a whole person. I don’t need a partner to complete me but an equal to walk beside me. Same goes for you.
41. You can’t beat that new book smell. Kindles don’t do it for me.
42. Those class teddies that your child brings home from primary school for the weekend are fetid germ-fests and should be incinerated.
43. Don’t settle. Keep trying new things / people until you find where you belong.
44. The internet is both the most amazing thing and the worst thing to have ever happened.
45. You get in life what you focus on. If you’re constantly moaning about how bad things are you’ll get more of the same. If you find things to be grateful for every day you’ll get more of the same. In reality, you’ll have both, you just won’t notice what you’re not focusing on as much.
46. It’s never a time issue, it’s a priority issue. This hurt. But it’s true.
47. Wishing never changed anything. Deciding, planning and doing on the other hand…
48. Teenage crushes are SERIOUS.
49. There are things in this world that are unexplained. Call it what you like. If it feels good to you and you want to believe in it, trust, and have faith.
50. Age is just a number. You don’t have to conform to stereotypical expectations EVER.
So which ones were your favourites? Let me know
P.S. If you know someone else who would enjoy my 50 Things, please share it with them. x