Fifty. Fifty. FIFTY.
That’s right. As of today I am officially fifty whole ass years old. I had big dreams in my blog planner. “FIFTY THOUGHTS ON FIFTY” and all that jazz. I probably should have started this sooner. Like last month.
So what have I learned in my time on this big blue planet? Plenty.
1. It’s my understanding that reaching this magical age brings with it a certain level of eff it. Conveniently this aligns nicely with my personality.
2. Fur babies, yea or nay? Totally recommend, just be forewarned they steal your heart. Sometimes your food. Definitely your couch.
3. Brush your teeth, morning and night. It matters.
4. Washing your hair every day strips natural oils from your scalp.
5. Kindness matters. Your please and thank you can make someone’s day.
6. Comfortable shoes are important but won’t matter if you wear scratchy socks. Invest in your feet.
7. Trim your toenails. If they get too long you’ll rip one off when you kick the coffee table.
8. Stick to your boundaries. People who like you will respect them and people who won’t respect them aren’t worth your time.
9. Know how to change a flat tire. Sure, you can call AAA, but only if you have a signal.
10. Same note: Pay attention to your gas gauge. You don’t want to get stranded on some back country road ten miles from town.
11. A good vacuum cleaner is worth the money.
12. Once in a while have ice cream for breakfast.
13. But mostly that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” thing is no joke. Eat some protein before starting your day.
14. Drink plenty of water.
15, Listen to your body. It’ll tell you when you’re doing something that makes you feel crummy.
16. Find your medium. Books, podcasts, online classes, seminars, travel – whatever’s your jam, make sure you never stop learning.
17. Music creates pathways in the brain so sing in the shower, listen in your car – incorporate music into everyday life.
18. Work on learning another language. Even if you never master it you’ll gain an appreciation for those who learned yours.
19. Pay attention to politics. Today’s decisions shape the world for future generations.
20. Recycle, use a refillable water bottle, buy less plastic.
21. Support the arts, whether that means theater or dance or buying from local artists.
22. It’s okay not to be okay.
23. It’s also okay not to be great at everything. We aren’t superheroes and bad things happen when we pretend to be.
24. Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know something. Kids watch us to see if not knowing leads to curiosity or means that you’re dumb.
25. Put on a sweatshirt and turn down the heat.
26. The American Dream™ looks different for everyone. Don’t let someone else’s perceptions drive your choices.
27. Sometimes creativity is its own reward. You don’t need to be paid to validate your art.
28. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Be careful who you judge.
29. Better yet, don’t judge what you’re not living.
30. Ask for help when you need it.
31. If someone makes you feel stupid for needing help cut them loose. There are people who will cheer you on. Those are your people.
32. Verify information before sharing.
33. Don’t out other people. If it’s not your story then it’s not yours to tell.
34. Own your preferences. The world won’t end if you skip the family outing to [insert activity you despise here].
35. Learn to cook at least two vegetables well.
36. Learn how to make and stick to a budget. Debt that builds in your twenties will drown you in your thirties.
37. Laugh. Often.
38. Surround yourself with people who support you.
39. Don’t expect any one person to be your everything all the time.
40. Use the egg shell to fish out a stray shell piece after cracking an egg. It’s some sort of science-y attraction thing and keeps you from getting egg goop all over your fingers.
41. Seasonings. Use them.
42. Write down family recipes you think you’ll never forget because your mom made them a hundred times.
43. Be known for something. Forget fame – integrity, loyalty, generosity, and authenticity are worth striving for.
44. Chocolate releases endorphins. Period.
45. Real talk: Constantly holding in gas gives you a horrible stomachache. Do you want to let one rip at the family gathering? Probably not, but giving yourself crippling cramps because high society says it’s uncouth to fart is just dumb. That is all.
46. New kid in class, new parent at the meeting, new coworker in your office – it’s hard being new no matter the age. Be welcoming.
47. Close your eyes and just breathe. Repeat as needed.
48. Randomly compliment people. Someone told me they liked my boots last week and I smiled the rest of the morning. It costs you nothing and brightens someone’s day.
49. Pay yourself first. Google this if you don’t know what I mean. It’s especially important if you aren’t an instinctive saver.
50. Life’s too short to run yourself ragged. Figure out what you’re passionate about and invest your energy in that.