So Far, I’ve Learned…

Today I saw an article that a woman wrote about “what you learn in your 40s“. I thought it was well done and I enjoyed it a lot (although I’m not as inclined to be so generous with old boyfriends). Given that the author and I are pretty much the same age, I started to wonder what (if anything) I’ve learned in my 40s. Obviously not nearly as eloquent as the article, but I found it to be a good exercise. Here are just a few things I came up with, utilizing some photos from the past few years:

– You can’t appreciate where you are unless you travel someplace else. So travel. Often.

– Don’t be a snob; generic brands are fine. Unless you’re talking toilet paper. Don’t skimp there.

– Holiday mishaps happen. The turkey that was dropped on the floor, the case of Christmas pageant stage fright, the dog that peed on the Christmas tree…these become life’s best “remember that time” stories. (Only one of these is an actual example from my life. You can decide for yourself which one. Mom, you don’t get to play.)

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– When forced to choose between the work function and your kid’s function, go with your kid. You’ll have lots of other work functions…and other jobs.

– Allowing yourself to be authentic is scary-hard, but it’s necessary. Sometimes the person you really are is the very person that someone else needs you to be.

– Be wary of anyone who is rude to the server, the cashier, or the person who can’t do anything for them. And if they’re mean to animals, avoid them completely.

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– Anyone who tells young people that high school will be “the best years of your life” probably peaked there.

– It cannot be overstated how grateful I am that Facebook didn’t exist when I was a teenager.

– Fresh flowers are not a luxury. Neither is a full night’s sleep, although it feels like it.

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– Don’t give up or give in to despair. Every day is an opportunity to do better and start over.

– Your and you’re. Its and it’s. These are not interchangeable. That apostrophe matters.

– As long as we walk this earth, we’re meant to love and be kind.

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– At one point, we’ll all be in the position of needing help or being able to help. Accept gratefully and give generously.

– The moment you consider paying more for a tiny jar of anti-wrinkle cream than a full tank of gas is a 40s rite of passage.

– You are only as happy as you make up your mind to be. Your reaction is the only thing you can control.

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– Other religions and denominations have golden nuggets of wisdom that can be taken to heart to make your own faith stronger. Borrowing a building block or two from other faiths to create your own faith foundation isn’t the same as copying their entire blueprint.

– No matter what the news says to the contrary, people are amazingly generous and kind. And at the end of the day, most of us really just want to do good and make a difference in the world.

– In running and in life, go fast enough to get there, but go slow enough to see. Beauty is everywhere and is a gift that is meant to be noticed.

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