Friday, May 31, 2013

50 things I’ve learned in 50 years of living

Turning 50 got my attention. I’m solidly middle-aged now. I’m half a century old.


Birthday flowers from Larry.

For me, this month has been a time of looking back and looking forward. I’m excited about the future, and I’m grateful that I’ve made it this far.

Birthday cake.

I started thinking about what I’ve learned so far in life and then began putting together a mental list of those things.
I decided to write them down and share them with you. And since I’ve lived 50 years, I thought I’d make a list of 50 things.
There’s no great wisdom here. This list doesn’t constitute everything I’ve learned (I hope), and I’m sure I’ve left out some important life lessons. But I thought it would be a fun exercise to try to quantify what I’ve learned over the years.
So here, not in order of importance, are 50 things I’ve learned in 50 years of living:

1: You are not helpless.

2: You may not be able to control anything else, but you can control your attitude.

3: It’s important to hold on to every shred of hope we can.

4: There’s always something new to learn.

5: You don’t have to answer the phone just because it rings.

6: You cannot stop a riding lawnmower by using your foot on the ground as a brake.

7: Not everyone will like you.

8: It’s OK that not everyone will like you.

9: Having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

10: Taking medication for a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

11: The closest distance between two points is a straight line.

12: Libraries are vital to communities.

13: Gray hair is not ugly.

14: Every creature, every living thing, has a part to play.

15: Animals can save our lives.

16: If a cat’s ears are laid back and she is rapidly switching her tail, don’t try to pet her.

17: One of the hardest things to do is to forgive, either someone else or yourself.

18: Sometimes a good cry is what you need.

19: Doing your best is not the same thing as trying to be perfect.

20: You don’t know what another person is thinking unless he or she tells you.

21: Sometimes it’s best to not say anything.

22: We all make mistakes. All of us.

23: It’s natural to feel nervous about trying something new.

24: Find the balm for your soul, whether it’s prayer, poetry, music, whatever—and keep it close.

25: Listening to someone else can be a gift to that person.

26: You do not have to hang out with people who try to make you feel less than you are.

27: Everyone has burdens.

28: Uncertainty is hard to accept, but it’s freeing when you do, even for a moment.

29: Just because you are related to someone doesn’t mean you have to spend time with them.

30: Put gas in your car once it drops below half a tank.

31: It’s OK if you don’t like the same book/movie/TV show that everyone else likes.

32: Good manners can make a world of difference.

33: You are never too old to find a way to do what is important to you.

34: Remind yourself of your priorities every day.

35: Even if you’re not good at a game/sport/activity, if you’re having fun, do it.

36: Don’t let the fear of what others will think be your guide.

37: Gossip is destructive.

38: Good will win.

39: Sometimes it’s best to agree to disagree.

40: Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

41: Every situation can teach you something.

42: Don’t wish your time away.

43: If you’re angry with someone, don’t send them an email until you’ve calmed down.

44: Sometimes it’s good to remember that it’s not all about you.

45: You’re not responsible for the happiness of others, and they’re not responsible for yours.

46: Accept compliments graciously.

47: Be kind to others and to yourself.

48: Festering wounds have to be dealt with.

49: Don’t put yourself down, and don’t listen to anyone who tries to put you down.

50: Being grateful can have an amazing effect on your mood and outlook.

What’s one thing that you’ve learned that you’d like to share?

40 comments:

  1. I had wanted to arrive yesterday to say Happy 50th :-) a great list and you'll love your 50's I did...getting older is a bit strange but at least we do get the chance..hope this 50th year is full of delightful surprizes and wonderment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lynn. Getting older is a bit strange, isn't it? But as you say, we get the chance to do it, and for that, I am very grateful.

      Delete
  2. I LOVE your list Happy Birthday. I also LOVED the 50's. B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, B. I know the next decade is going to be great for you, too.

      Delete
  3. I lolve every single one of thses. Yes libraries are very vital and I TOTALLY agree that animals can save our life. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Keith. I am so grateful for libraries. And I can't talk enough about the blessing animals have been to me.

      Delete
  4. #6 sounds like there must be quite a story behind it.

    Happy 50th!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lisa. Yes, I learned #6 when I was a teenager and operated a riding lawnmower for the first time. No one was hurt in the mishap, and a valuable lesson was learned. :-)

      Delete
  5. These are wonderful things, Tina, all 50 of them! Happy 50th to you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. i enjoyed this a lot. saw a lot of my own thinking - and a lot of my own lessons i still have to learn. thanks for a few laughs, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Theresa. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I am still in the process of learning some of these, too. Sometimes it takes a while for a lesson to sink in. :-)

      Delete
  7. I'll be 50 next year and can relate to what you have previously expressed about reaching this milestone. Somehow it is more daunting than others have been - still, given the choice between growing old or dying young, I know which I prefer!!!

    I particularly like no. 19 of your excellent lista...

    Happy Birthday - have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Helen. Yes, another year is a blessing. I'm still working on #19--it's so hard not to fall into the trap of trying to be perfect.

      Delete
  8. Tina, this is a GREAT list. I love it! I guess the one thing I've learned that I'd share is "There is always hope."

    Happy Birthday! The 50's are good years :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Janet. I'm looking forward to the 50s. And having hope--oh, that is SO important. Thank you for sharing.

      Delete
  9. I have learned that it is important to not lie to yourself - be who and what you are and things work out much better that way. Happy Birthday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, JoAnn. I agree with you: lying to ourselves is so easy to do, but not healthy.

      Delete
  10. Your list makes me happy.
    I don't answer the phone - unless i want to - which isn't often - and definitely not always. I'm super grateful there are always new things to learn. I've never been on a riding lawnmower - But, I'll remember that truth, in case i need it . . . or, I see someone riding one that doesn't know - perhaps i can make a video and send it to America's Funniest Videos . . (unless they are in trouble, then, of course I'll tell them your truth and they'll be saved . . I wonder if AFV is still on the air . . hmmm)

    I won't go on - because my comment already looks too long . . still - Your post is happy making.

    love & love,
    -g-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Georgy. Yes, the riding lawnmower incident has stayed with me for many years. :-) I ended up hitting a tree but I didn't get hurt. Isn't it freeing when you realize you don't have to answer the phone? It was for me. :-)

      Delete
  11. I LOVE your list, Tina!

    I just know there is a story behind: "You cannot stop a riding lawnmower by using your foot on the ground as a brake." ;-)

    #24 is my favorite :-)

    I think I'm still trying to learn a lot of the items on your list-- especially #29.

    Again-- Happy 50th :-D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Yes, I was operating the lawnmower for the first time when I was a teenager. I kind of panicked and wanted to stop the thing but couldn't remember how. So down my foot went. Didn't stop anything. But I wasn't hurt. :-)

      Yes, #29 is one I keep having to relearn.

      Delete
  12. I think these are all good. I especially like the one about grey hair since I don't color mine and think others should just let their hairs be. But if someone else wants to do it, I won't try to talk them out of it. It's their hair after all. But it came up recently as a friend who is a bit younger than me decided to quit coloring hers and is suffering quite a bit of angst over it. It's just not that important. Thanks for this list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Barbara. I don't plan on covering up my gray. I did have highlights put in about 10 years ago that probably covered up some of it. But I've decided for now to keep it simple. But like you say, if others want to do it, that's great, too. I just hate to think that people, especially women, think they HAVE to cover it up.

      Delete
  13. mean people suck....if you don't want to suck, be nice!!

    the other, very important thing i have learned in my life is that people will often forget the things you say, but they will never forget the way you made them fell!!

    great list, each and every one important!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debbie. I love the lessons you shared. Yes, be nice! And I do remember how people make me feel.

      Delete
  14. This is a wonderful list, Tina. Every word of it is true and important to remember. I can identify with every single thing.. well except for the lawn mower one. Ouch. I'm sorry if you hurt your foot doing that..

    You have a great weekend, and Happy Birthday to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary. No, I didn't hurt my foot. Just a tree (not permanently, thank goodness) and my pride. I should never have been on the lawnmower in the first place. :-)

      Delete
  15. Happy Birthday!!! What sweet flowers, so pretty.
    And a FANTASYIC cake!!! I think the design and star is the best cake ever!

    #17 (I agree!)

    Happy 50 more to you!!
    Blessings, Deanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Deanna. I liked the cake decorations, too. And the cake is yummy! :-)

      Delete
  16. Oh I disagree, Tina! I think there is lots of great wisdom here! I was going to pick my favorite one, but there are too many great ones to choose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sunny. I'm still in the process of learning these things!

      Delete
  17. Replies
    1. Thank you, Karin. Good to hear from you! :-)

      Delete
  18. Neat list, Tina. Lots of good ones for me in my continuing saga with OCD and depression. The one about stopping a riding lawn-mower with your foot wins the most amusing prize.

    I've learned... to keep plastic spoons in my car so that if I want to eat something that needs a utensil while I'm away from home, I can without purchasing a spoon on the spot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Abigail. I learned a lot of these while learning to deal with OCD and depression. And I'm still learning, and always will be.

      I like to keep some plastic utensils at work, too, in case I need them. You never know!

      Delete
  19. Excellent list, Tina. Full of insight and some fun. I am younger than you and agree with many of your thoughts. A few of them I really needed to hear and think about for myself. Thank You and Happy 50th Birthday!!

    Robyn
    http://theranchwifechronicles.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robyn. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I think all of us could make a list like this, and we'll keep adding to it as the years go by!

      Delete
  20. This is an excellent list- it should make you feel proud to be 50. I did chuckle a little at the thought of trying to stop a riding lawn mower with your foot and not petting a cat with its ears back - ouch to both. Have a nice week and happy birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Karen. I'm grateful to get this far. Yes, I've learned some lessons the hard way. No injuries from the lawnmower, but I have been scratched by a cat numerous times. :-)

      Delete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.