45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
by Regina Brett
To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.
It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:
- Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
- When in doubt, just take the next small step.
- Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
- Pay off your credit cards every month.
- You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
- Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
- It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
- Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
- When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
- Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
- It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
- Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
- If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
- Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
- Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
- You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
- A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
- It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
- When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
- Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
- Overprepare, then go with the flow.
- Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
- The most important sex organ is the brain.
- No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
- Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
- Always choose life.
- Forgive everyone everything.
- What other people think of you is none of your business.
- Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
- However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
- Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
- Believe in miracles.
- God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
- Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
- Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.
- Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
- Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
- Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
- If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
- Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
- Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
- All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
- Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
- The best is yet to come.
- No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
- Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
Regina Brett is a columnist for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. Her column runs on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Recently, Regina was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. She was also a finalist in the same category in 2008.