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  • 50 Things I Learned By Age 50

    Birthday cake with candles on color background

    Later this month I’ll turn 50. Unlike a lot of my friends, it doesn’t bother me a bit; I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m not one to languish in the past but this birthday has found me looking back at who I’ve been vs who I am now and the long journey it took to get from there to here.

    Lord knows I’m no kinda life guru, but, nonetheless, I thought I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned along the way:

    1. You’re supposed to be the leading lady (man, person) of your own life, so act like it.
    2. Make sure your own house is in order (literally and figuratively)  before criticizing or judging someone else. P.S. You’re house ain’t in order.
    3. If someone gossips to you, they will gossip about you.
    4. My judgement of others is rarely the truth. It’s usually just assumptions and projections based on my own life experience and bias.
    5. We are all prejudiced against someone or some group of people.
    6. Prejudice against bigots is still prejudice. (Not saying that’s good or bad, just that it is)
    7. It’s important to know my own prejudices and privileges and I must be brutally honest with myself about what they are.
    8. No one knows as much as they think they do.
    9. You probably don’t know the whole story, even if (especially if) you’re part of the story.
    10. There is a spark of good in everyone, even if you can’t see it or they never seem to act on it.
    11. There is bad in everyone as well.
    12. You can tell the true nature of someone by how they treat their “inferiors”, i.e. employees, people of lower socioeconomic class, etc.
    13. Nothing is black and white… not even black and white (have you seen all the shades of black and white out there?)
    14. Pretty much everything exists on a spectrum
    15. I am stronger than I ever thought possible (and so are you)
    16. Sometimes, (OK, often) not getting what I wanted has been a blessing in disguise. Sometimes I didn’t know it was a blessing for several years, but that doesn’t negate the blessing.
    17. If I don’t go with the flow I’ll spend much of my life angry or miserable… probably both.
    18. Going with the flow is nothing like I imagined it would be – It’s a lot of work. Hard work.
    19. Don’t take it personally if someone wrongs me in some way. It speaks volumes about them, but says absolutely nothing about me.
    20. I’m not as special as I think I should be.
    21. Even still, I’m pretty damn special in my own way.
    22. Attitude really is everything.
    23. Slow progress is better than no progress.
    24. The best thing I can say to some people is “Goodbye.”
    25. I need to listen to high energy music. Not want… not like… but NEED
    26. I also NEED to dance around to that high energy music
    27. I cannot subjugate all my needs to the needs of others no matter how great their needs are.
    28. In order to make sure my needs are adequately met, I have to know what those needs actually are.
    29. The less I try to live up to what I assume others’ expectations of me are, the happier I am.
    30. Be your true self (weirdness, quirks, and all), and the right people will find you.
    31. I am never too old to be who I truly am (and neither are you)
    32. Humor will get me through any situation. It won’t get me through unscathed, but it will get me through.
    33. You have to name the evils of the world in order to fight them. And you should always fight them.
    34. There are more similarities between the various religions of the world than there are differences
    35. There are more similarities between the people of the world than there are differences
    36. I have to accept the things in society that I don’t like or I will never be able to change them (not accept as in approve of, but accept as in acknowledging they exist)
    37. While we all must work outside of our comfort zones at times, it is much better to expand your comfort zone rather than forever reside outside it (that way you won’t have to go outside it as much)
    38. Life is too long to not do what you love (i.e. 70+ years is a loooonnngggg time when you’re miserable)
    39. It OK to unlearn the unhealthy beliefs and coping mechanisms you learned from your family and other authority figures growing up
    40. Work when it’s time to work so you can play when it’s time to play
    41. There is wisdom to be found in the most unexpected places, so make sure you’re paying attention.
    42. Everybody has hurt and trauma in their life. Everyone’s been wounded. The trick to healing enough to move on with life is to not keep picking at the scabs.
    43. Moving on in life doesn’t mean not having, or denying, your scars.
    44. Labels and boxes should be used for objects, not people. They don’t do justice to the wonderfully complex and mult-dimensional beings we all are; they only serve to divide us.
    45. Diversity is beautiful
    46. It’s OK to change my mind, in fact, it’s preferable to holding outdated, hurtful, or wrong beliefs.
    47. You can consider other opinions deeply enough to truly understand them without changing your own.
    48. Changing your mind is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that you are strong enough to admit that maybe you didn’t have all the facts or didn’t see the whole picture before.
    49. Tattoos, piercings, jewelry, and clothing choices are beautiful, sacred expressions of each person. When their look/style is not pleasing to your eye all that says is that they are not part of your tribe.
    50. People who say “Sex is like pizza, even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good” have probably never had truly bad pizza and have obviously never had truly bad sex. Just sayin.

    So that’s the first 50 bits of “wisdom” I came up with. I’m sure there’s more, but 50’s a nice round number so I’ll leave it at that.

    Now that I’ve gotten the serious stuff outta the way, it’s time to go have some pre-birthday fun over the weekend.

    If you want to help me celebrate my birthday, all you have to do is give this a share; especially if any part of it resonated with you. You know the drill… buttons below… yadda yadda yadda.

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