To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 42 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written.
My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
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 – enjoy it..
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.
9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
12. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it…
14. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
15. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
16. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
17. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
22. The most important sex organ is the brain.
23. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
25. Always choose life.
26. Forgive but don’t forget.
27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does..
31. Believe in miracles.
32. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
33. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
34. Your children get only one childhood.
35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
36. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
38. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.
39. The best is yet to come…
40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
42. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.
Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, Cleveland, Ohio