Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on

The following was originally published in The Plain Dealer on Sunday,May 28, 2006

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:
  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
  17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
  18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
  38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  45. The best is yet to come.
  46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  48. If you don't ask, you don't get.
  49. Yield.
  50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Sounds good to me, although I think I'll skip the fancy lingerie!

Incidentally, there is an e-mail circulating that says that Ms. Brett just turned 90, and it has only 44 lessons instead of 50.

I have two of my own to add:
  1. Aim for success, not perfection.
  2. Life is not a contest or a race -- it's a journey. Enjoy the scenery. (Kind of like #13 above, but I like this wording better.)
What would you add?


Kerry said...

These are awesome Square Peg.

My addition, what comes to mind today-- "Expect the unexpected as if it were a guest at your door; be ready to welcome it with as must grace as you can muster."

rummuser said...

Worth waiting for SP. Congratulations on scoring fifty. It is a milestone of sorts.

My all time favourite:
"Life can only be understood backwards. It must be lived forwards." - Soren Kierkegaard

Square Peg Guy said...

Thanks, Kerry. Sort of like, "We plan, God laughs." But not quite. :)

Square Peg Guy said...

Yes, rummuser, that's a great quote.

I hope you know that I didn't write this. The writer was Regina Brett. I merely added the content after the link.

Thanks for commenting!

rummuser said...

Yes, I knew that when I commented and still would not change my quote!

rummuser said...

Sorry, I seem to be a tube light today! Does that mean that you are not fifty? What are you then?

Square Peg Guy said...

Hi rummuser:

I'm 46 years old. Close to 50, but not quite there yet!

Thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

I always love reading your posts!! And so I'm giving you the "lovely blog award" !! Come on over to my place to pick up your award!!

Square Peg Guy said...

Thanks so much, Sherlock!