I just turned 50. A half century. To some of you, I’m an old lady. To others, I’m a young lass.

If family genetics hold true, I’m thinking I’m about halfway to the finish line. That means I still have an awful lot to learn and do. But, at this mid-point, I’ve done a few things and traveled a few places. So, at the risk of sounding like a middle-aged know-it-all, I’m going to share a few thoughts. You’re welcome. 😉

50 Lessons at 50

  1. Travel as early in life as you can.
  2. Be honest with your doctor. Ask the embarrassing questions.
  3. Brussel sprouts are delicious when roasted with bacon.
  4. Trust your gut, especially when it comes to your kids.
  5. Dance.
  6. Kiss a few frogs. Don’t marry them.
  7. Start saving/investing money when you’re a teenager. Keep doing it when you’re older.
  8. Max out your 401k. Don’t have one? Read up and invest on your own.
  9. Forgive.
  10. Drink water before booze.
  11. Don’t take sides in squabbles among family members or close friends.
  12. Make time for fun, whatever that means to you.
  13. Don’t get a pet until you’re ready for the long haul.
  14. Keep your phone off the dinner table.
  15. Read to learn and for fun.
  16. Cultivate friendships that help you be your best self.
  17. Use a different laundry basket for each family member. One basket, one load, straight back to that room.
  18. Visit some national parks. They’re absolutely worth every moment.
  19. Buy used cars when you’re young.
  20. If you get to a point in life where you can comfortably afford a new car, don’t feel obligated to buy what’s on the lot. A custom order costs no more and gets you exactly what you want.
  21. Smile at strangers.
  22. Work hard and ask for raises when you deserve them.
  23. Don’t take on more than what you can do well.
  24. Don’t ever tie your worth to another person. You are worthy. Period.
  25. Hug with two arms whenever possible.
  26. Learn to make a few great recipes by heart.
  27. When traveling, pack your clothes ON hangers. Arrive. Hang up. Done.
  28. Better to be alone and happy than lonely with someone else.
  29. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. As Bob Ross said… They’re “happy accidents” — a chance to grow.
  30. Be brave. Just because you haven’t done something doesn’t mean you can’t.
  31. Be smart. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.
  32. Let the kids try out the new roller skates in the house – they’re only young once.
  33. Be proud of your age. You have earned every gray and wrinkle.
  34. Read with your kids every day – even if you can only spare a few minutes.
  35. Use proper grammar and punctuation. Period. 😉
  36. Accept help, if offered.
  37. Ask for help, if needed.
  38. Doing everything on your own doesn’t make you stronger.
  39. Say “yes” to getting together with people you love, as often as possible – even when you just feel like curling up and reading a book. It’s always worth it.
  40. Say “no” to some other things to leave margin in your schedule for #39.
  41. Volunteer at your kid’s school from time to time. It’s special. And it gives you a better appreciation for teachers and school staff.
  42. Use the “good” dishes on a Tuesday for tacos. Your great grandma will smile in heaven!
  43. Be flexible. Sometimes life takes a direction that wasn’t in your master plan. And sometimes, those detours turn out to be amazing.
  44. Try camping at some point in your life. Not outdoorsy? Rent a cabin or an RV. There’s just something about spending full days outside…
  45. When you don’t know something, say so. Then, use it as a chance to learn and grow.
  46. Listen more than you speak. (I’m still working on this one…)
  47. Care about your past, your older relatives and your ancestors. They helped shape who you are today.
  48. Difficult childhood? Take a different path in adulthood. You get to set your own journey now.
  49. Try ziplining. Just trust me. You can thank me later.
  50. Always keep a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider in the fridge — everyday celebrations are every bit as important as fancy milestones.

May this be a wonderful year for each of you lovely humans. Feel free to share this post — consider it a free public service announcement. And… if you have any life tips or tricks for the rest of us, please drop them in the comments. Maybe your tip will make my 100 Life Lessons at 100 list! 😉

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