It was my birthday the other day. Thank you. Now I know that I’m not that old, but I also know that I’ve reached middle-age, even though 40 is the new 30 or 20 ( I live in hope). Birthdays are like New Year’s Eve- where we reflect on the past year and evaluate our lives. In the spirit of starting a new year I spent some time reflecting on what I’ve learned in my 43 years. There’s probably hundreds that could be on the list, but these are the ones which have come to mind recently.
Family is important. They have to love you and support you. Do the same for them.
Family is often your worst/best critic. Listen to them.
People who are ‘honest’ are normally just being mean and nasty.
Those people you know who are still worried about money and status probably always will. Do you need them in your life?
The friends you have at 40 are most likely to be the ones you’ll grow old and toothless with.
Dress for yourself, your happiness and the body you have now.
Exercise isn’t that bad.
Do things which make you happy.
If you can’t see, get glasses. There’s still beauty to be seen in this world.
Don’t worry about what people think of you, except if you have teenage children- think of them and don’t embarrass them. Especially not in public.
Teach your children to dance.
Deal with problems head-on. Don’t let anger and resentment fester. You’ll get sick.
Sometimes you need to just let problems and people go. Think: is it worth the effort?
Don’t take offence to everything people say to you. Everyone has their own lives, thoughts, issues and frustrations.
Although respect is earned, every human (and animal) deserve a basic level of respect. Manners, politeness and kindness go a long way.
Listen and hear.
Charity begins at home. Often the people closest to you- family, friends and acquaintances- are in need.
Relationships take constant work.
Being silly and having a laugh are good for you.
Your life can change in about 3 seconds.
Don’t keep your dreams in jars on a shelf to admire. Make them happen.
Some dreams are just that: dreams. Know the difference. Enjoy them.
Don’t lose your imagination.
Don’t take everything and everyone seriously all of the time.
Don’t believe everything you hear or read.
Take a compliment graciously.
Say please and thank you, even to your children.
Don’t be shy or embarrassed to tell people your age. Be proud. Be happy that you’ve survived another year and you’re still on earth. Some people never get as far as you have.
Celebrate your birthday and your life.