50 Life Lessons I’ve Learned Over the Past 50 Years

Judy-isms 50Today I hit the half-century mark. Wow – that’s a big, ginormous number! I remember being in high school and calculating how old I’d be in the year 2000 (36 for those wondering or who aren’t that fast with math). I also remember thinking that 36 was a huge number too – funny how that’s not the case now. As I do a little self-reflecting today I thought I’d share 50 life lessons I’ve learned over the past 50 years. Only time will tell if I make it to the Today Show’s Smucker’s 100th Birthday list (and honestly, I’m not really sure I want to), but for today, I’ll celebrate this milestone with sense of pride, nostalgia, some aches and pains – and a big sigh of relief that I’m still here to enjoy life, because there’s still so much more I want to do!

50 Life Lessons I’ve Learned Over the Past 50 Years — (In no particular order!)

  1. Filter before speaking (still working on this one!).
  2. There are a lot of things in life you can’t change – hair color is not one of them. (Thanks, Mom!)
  3. Conquer your fears and try something out of your comfort zone – unless it will land you in jail or on America’s Most Wanted.
  4. Go to at least one major sporting event in your life.
  5. Perms are generally a bad idea.
  6. Before you do something crazy, ask yourself, “Would I do this if I were sober?”
  7. Women should understand and play at least one sport.
  8. Love may mean never having to say you’re sorry – but if you really pissed off a loved one – say you’re sorry!
  9. NEVER say never.
  10. Being a late bloomer has its advantages.
  11. The most important accessory you should always wear is a smile.
  12. Be a positive example to young, impressionable minds – especially your children – they watch and learn from you.
  13. Learn how to do something in the kitchen – even if it’s boiling water!
  14. Visit at least 10 states and one other country in your lifetime.
  15. Stay in touch with friends from your childhood – they will always remind you of the person you were and the person you wanted to become – if you’re not there yet.
  16. You can choose your friends, unlike your relatives.
  17. Appreciate your parents every day – even if they’re no longer here. You’ll understand why once you’re a parent.
  18. Pay your taxes – and your parking tickets.
  19. Serving on a jury is a fascinating process, but pray your fate won’t rely on it one day.
  20. Don’t drink and drive (and today add texting); it’s not worth it.
  21. Failure is not a sign of weakness, just fail fast and don’t make the same mistakes twice.
  22. Send a thank you note when someone does something nice for you.
  23. If given the opportunity, move out of your hometown – you can go home again, if you want to.
  24. Bad fashion styles from the 1970s and 1980s are still bad fashion styles when they come back around (can you say bell bottoms and shoulder pads?)
  25. We all have angels in heaven, and some of them even share your birthday.
  26. Understand the difference between Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now!
  27. There are two types of people in the world: those who know and those who want to know. Be the one who knows, but don’t be a know-it-all.
  28. If you don’t have anything nice to say – tell your best friend because they’ll probably think it’s funny!
  29. Big boobs will get you free drinks. (I’m not proud; well sort of)
  30. NOTHING IS EASY!
  31. Your life will be tested time and time again and you’ll never know your own strength until you have to use it.
  32. You can wear white before Easter and after Labor Day – especially in Texas or Florida.
  33. Take responsibilities for your actions and don’t pass blame for something you did in the first place.
  34. Things typically happen for a reason and if you can’t figure out why – the reason is probably not yours to understand.
  35. Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.
  36. Mother-Daughter relationships are complicated.
  37. Bad things can and do happen to good people; a book with the same title won’t make it better.
  38. The only thing constant in life is change – embrace it.
  39. You’re never too old to reinvent yourself.
  40. G-d’s last name is not dammit (something I thought true my entire childhood).
  41. Hug, kiss and tell your kids and spouse/partner you love them every day.
  42. Believe in Love, no matter how old you are.
  43. Indulge in some sort of extravagance at least once a year – you deserve it.
  44. Karma is a bitch – and things do come back around.
  45. Respect your elders – they’ve been around the block a time or two and you can probably learn something from them.
  46. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  47. A child’s laughter will always make you smile.
  48. Don’t become a “Jack of all trades” and a “Master of Nothing” – pick a lane.
  49. Tell the truth, but learn the art of diplomacy.
  50. Carpe Diem #RIPRobinWilliams.

Here’s to the next 50 and learning more along the way!

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One thought on “50 Life Lessons I’ve Learned Over the Past 50 Years

  1. Hi. I follow you on Twitter (I’m@hjmchicago). Just ran into your blog. Really good insights! Look forward to following you.

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