Getting older is no big whoop. It’s inevitable, so why dread it? In fact, I wouldn’t change the wisdom or perspective that comes with age. So, here’s my simple list of 40 lessons I learned by 40.
1. First love doesn’t equal last love.
2. Broken hearts may not heal but they do hurt less after lots of time.
3. If it won’t matter in 10 years, don’t stress about it.
4. Encourage others even if you weren’t encouraged.
5. Getting pregnant is not simple for every woman. Infertility is a life lesson. A painful one, but there is a blessing at the end of the journey, which looks different for every woman.
6. No one is exempt from adversity. Bad or challenging things happen to people at different times and in different ways. The only bad thing about adversity is if you don’t learn a lesson from it.
7. Someone, somewhere has gone through what you have. Find someone who’s been there, done that and really understands.
8. Parents know a lot, but they don’t know everything and make mistakes too.
9. Prayer works.
10. Be kind to old people and dogs.
11. Remember birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day, and grandparent’s day.
12. Don’t compare yourself to others for you’re on a different path.
13. My boyfriend being sick the night of the school dance my freshman year of high school was not the worst night of my life.
14. Always consider the source giving you advice.
15. Don’t focus on your weaknesses; nurture your strengths.
16. Nothing stays the same, not people or circumstances.
17. What looks easy is often not easy and what comes easy for one person may be hard for you, and vice versa.
18. Real life is not what you see on TV or social media.
19. Recharge your energy and focus. Take care of your skin and body and mind and soul. You aren’t effective if you have holes in your bucket, trying to give what you don’t have.
20. When someone tells you can’t, show them you can.
21. A no is just not right now. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make the time and find a way.
22. No one can tell you what you can or can’t feel.
23. Going the extra mile or doing the right thing may not pay off immediately, but it will eventually even if only in your conscience.
24. Mommy guilt is Satan trying to destroy your awesomeness.
25. The only comfort that comes after losing a child is that you will see that child in heaven one day.
26. Worry less about what others think. Most of the time, they aren’t thinking what you think they’re thinking.
27. God’s plans for your life are way better than anything you could ever dream for yourself. Be open to being led.
28. You can’t control everything; pray for guidance.
29. Treat others how you want to be treated, even if they continue to be a jerk, but know the difference between ignorance and mistreatment.
30. Set boundaries for what you will allow in your life. Don’t be an enabler.
31. Identify a good mentor, be appreciative of their time, and always be prepared when they offer to help you.
32. You never know what someone else is dealing with. Extend some grace.
33. People who are tough usually have a lot of hurt inside. Don’t be too judgmental for you don’t know how they got the way they are. Seek to understand versus judge.
34. Don’t ask if you can do something, just do it.
35. It’s OK to make mistakes, just learn from them and don’t repeat them.
36. Kids don’t forget promises, no matter how they old they are.
37. One day you’ll take care of your parents and trade places with them behaviorally.
38. Pain is only a season.
39. God put a passion in your heart for a reason, explore it with focused intensity because you never know who will need what is yielded from the results.
40. Be a voice for the voiceless and fight injustices.
No fear, 40. When you make it to 40, there should be a special tiara because the path is bumpy and exhausting but well worth it. Fabulous is a state of mind.