Last week, I celebrated turning 50. I spent the day relaxing with my husband and kids, which is exactly what I wanted to do with the ones I love most.
The next day, I sat down and journaled, reflecting on my life so far – amazing moments and unbelievable heartache over the years. I ended up having an interesting conversation with my younger self.
Don’t worry, I’m a writer, so these schizophrenic conversations with myself are totally normal. I took away my titles, like, ‘wife’ and ‘mom’, and just focused on me, as an individual. Bottom line – I’ve come a long way, baby.
I wanted to share you what I learned. Here are..
Fifty Life Lessons I Wished I’d Known at 25
1. Life can be both wonderful and terrible, all at the same time. Don’t panic.
2. It’s easy to fall in love. Be with someone you respect.
3. You never ‘arrive’ in life. There are always new lessons to learn.
4. Pleasing others is a drain. Focus on honoring yourself.
5. Being kind to yourself works so much better than punishing yourself.
6. You’d NEVER talk to others the way you speak to yourself. Change this one sooner, rather than later.
7. Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s a recipe for misery.
8. Say, “I’m sorry,” or “I was wrong”, to your kids in ways that parents never did.
9. Going to therapy may be the bravest act you ever do. It saved your 20’s.
10. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
11. You teach people how to treat you.
12. Letting go of people who aren’t good for you is a painful, but rewarding journey.
13. Sleep is a priority. You become an inoperable wench after 9 p.m.
14. Yoga is amazing. It connects your mind, body and breath like nothing else.
15. Your faith will be your saving grace.
16. Read more and watch TV less.
17. You’ll have to learn to set boundaries and disappoint others, in order to save yourself.
18. You won’t have your shit together at 50. That’s okay.
19. Sharing trips and experiences with your family is 100x better than giving each other ‘stuff’.
20. Stop fearing failure. Make it your friend and learn from it.
21. Don’t give up on your dreams. It’ll take 20 years to publish your first novel.
22. Spend time alone with your thoughts every day.
23. Do #22 more.
24. Laughing is your favorite pastime.
25. Sometimes, it’s hardest to forgive yourself. Try to anyway.
But Wait! There’s More…
26. You can’t undo the past. Work to make your todays and tomorrows better.
27. Allow others to be imperfect.
28. You’re much more of an introvert at 50 than the extrovert you were at 25.
29. If loving someone involves lots of drama and tears, that’s not love.
30. You’ll no longer care if others like you. (!)
31. Be with REAL people. Folks brave enough to share the good, the bad and the ugly of their lives.
32. You don’t rock a bikini like you did at 25, but you’re so much more comfortable in your own skin.
33. Don’t be afraid to try new things: scuba diving, cooking classes, a new haircut.
34. Your thoughts control your actions. Your actions control your beliefs. Your beliefs control your life.
35. Don’t be stingy with saying, “I love you,” to those who deserve it.
36. Tell the truth. It’s easier than keeping up with lies.
37. Cultivate gratitude. It makes a world of difference in your attitude.
38. Stop putting off your dreams until tomorrow. You might wait until it’s too late.
39. Don’t waste time envying other people’s lives. Invest in making yours the best.
40. Perfectionism is a socially acceptable form of abuse.
41. The world is made of Somebodies and Nobodies. Treat everyone as if they’re a Somebody.
42. You can’t undo your childhood, but you’re responsible for your happiness in adulthood.
43. Be flexible. Life rarely goes as planned.
44. You’ll find for what you search for in life – positive or negative.
45. Resentment eats at your soul. Let it go.
46. Practice following your intuition, so you’ll trust it more when big decisions come along.
47. Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from trying.
48. Figure out what you want out of life, then go for it. One step at a time.
49. Being real is so much sexier than looking cool.
50. Be good to yourself. If you aren’t, why should anyone else be?
And, one to grow on…
51. When life feels out of control, double-down on the basics: exercise, eat healthy and get enough sleep.
I look forward to the next part of my journey…