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48 Things I’ve learned in the past 48 Years

48 Things I've Learned in the past 48 Years

It’s my birthday today, woo-HOO! Wow. I’m now forty-eight, only two years away from the big 5-o. I don’t feel forty-eight, however. I feel youthful and vibrant … because, yeah, that’s what my age and all others are supposed to feel like!

So while I’m hardly perfect and make mistakes daily, I’m having some fun today by sharing 48 things I have learned in the past 48 years. Hope you enjoy!

48 Things I've Learned in the past 48 Years

1.) Never lie about your age or be ashamed of the number. That is a disrespect to yourself and the amazing life you have lived. And honestly, why do women say they’re younger than they truly are, anyway? If I were to lie about my age, I’d say I was 58, so people would be like, damn, really?

2.) There also is no sense in being jealous of someone who’s twenty-five. If anything, they should be jealous of you because you’ve been twenty-five. And thirty-five. And forty-five. Boom. (Now their skin? Yeah, I must admit to wishing I still had that.)

3.) Smoking is stupid. While I do try to be respectful of other’s choices, there’s nothing good to say about smoking. Just don’t.

4.) Sunscreen is awesome. Wear it, always.

5.) Never judge because karma is real. My friend, Tina and I learned this the hard way back in our early twenties after talking about a gal who had a shotgun wedding.

Oh, no, that ain’t gonna be me, I’d NEVER get married just because I was pregnant.”

“Girl, I hear ya, neither would I!” 

Well, guess what. She got pregnant months before her wedding and yours truly was the designated driver for her bachelorette party. So don’t judge.

6.) Speaking of weddings, never wear a trendy hairstyle at yours unless you want your photos look look dated twenty years from now. Yeah. Look at those bangs!

And while we’re at it, don’t bust your rear trying to have the perfect wedding according to someone else’s standard. Do what makes you happy! Just be careful if you decide to surf on your brother’s back to the song Surfin’ USA. (Sorry, Al!)

7.) Passive Aggressive Women are just jerks who are unable to cope with their own issues, therefore, they knock you down a few pegs to make themselves feel better. Instead of engaging and playing their game, pray for them.

8.) You will NEVER out-brag a Bragging Mom. You know, the woman who sits beside you at baseball practice and praises their kid nonstop. If your son got an A, hers got an A+. If your daughter got an award, hers won twenty. If your baby took a three pound poop, hers dropped a ten-pounder. Just surrender now … and realize there might be some kind of reason why she feels the need to boast. So again. Instead of engaging, pray.

9.) Happiness is a choice.

10.) Marriages are worth fighting for. But if you know in your heart and soul that your marriage will never work and will only result in years of unhappiness, get out. If my own husband didn’t end his first one, we would not be about to celebrate our 24th anniversary in July!

11.) If a pig pees on your pants during a competition, just keep on showing!

12.) Friendships should not be hard. Unlike family, you can pick your friends and if your friends make life harder, then get rid of them. Gently. And with prayer.

13.) If you’re a young mom struggling to keep up with life … do not feel guilty for saying no when pressured to volunteer for tasks such as teaching Sunday School. It’s not your season. Right now, your season is to raise your babies while trying to maintain some level of sanity. Your season to volunteer will come once those babies are older or in college. Then you can teach Sunday School and help out other young mothers until your season changes once more with grandchildren.

14.) It’s okay to have a cupcake every now and then. In fact, it’s downright awesome. And look, if someone offers you a cookie they hand-baked for Christmas that they’re really, really proud of … eat the cookie.

15.) Read your favorite book at least once a year.

16.) It’s okay to talk about a mental illness. I have anxiety issues. And I was bulimic for twenty years. Does that make you hate me? Fear me? Want to leave this blog as fast as you can in case it’s contagious? No. You’re not horrified by this and my world hasn’t ended just because I opened up about my illnesses. If anything, maybe you can relate.

And if it does horrify you, well, then. Bye, Felicia.

17.) It’s totally allowable to create your own family. But at the same time, be forgiving of yours and their imperfections. Unless, of course, they do more damage to your life than good.

18.) This too, shall pass.

19.) God puts us through trials for a reason. Maybe it’s to make us strong. Maybe it’s so we can give testimony to others later and teach through example. Maybe we’ll never know. But He does.

20.) Everyone is fighting a battle of some kind. That guy who just cut you off? Have compassion instead of flipping him off because maybe he’s distracted from his mother having cancer or his wife cheating on him or he lost his job and feels really bad about cutting you off. Of course, maybe he’s just a jerk … but what if he isn’t?

21.) Embrace your crazy. Sing loud and sing often.

22.) Okay, perhaps there’s a small chance that the homeless man on the sidewalk outside of the football stadium could be a scammer or a drunk or a drug addict. Still. Give him a few dollars. If he is a scammer, you’re only out a few bucks. But if he isn’t …

23.) Ignore any woman who “guesses” your age and is deliberately off by ten … as in ten more. She is not a polite woman. Polite women do not guess each other’s ages because we are fully aware of the pain it can cause if we answer too high. And if pressed with a come on, guess, I really want you to, a polite woman mentally figures their age and then deducts at least seven years just to be safe.

24.) You are never too old dream. Nor are you ever, EVER too old to wear pink!

25.) “Life’s full of storms, so when one hits, just hold the wheel tight and keep driving.” Laura Bowers, from Just Flirt

26.) That perfect woman who you think has all the answers, makes all the right moves, and posts fabulous pictures of Facebook of her fabulous life? Yeah. She’s probably just as screwed up as you are.

27.) Never EVER let some beauty shop butcher make your daughter look like a boy. The mental damage might last years.

28.) That scrapbook you swear you’re going to get to one day? The reason why you’re throwing every piece of artwork, movie ticket, etc. into a box? Yeah. Look. Cut yourself some slack and smash-book those suckers instead.

29.) Forget about goals that do nothing for the quality of your life. For the longest time, I had “read A Tale of Two Cities” on my bucket list. Well, guess what. The first chapter put me to sleep and my life went on quite fine without reading it. Now, learning how to do the Thriller dance? That is everything.

30.) Call your brother or sister more often.

31.) Tequila is the devil. So is Jägermeister And Captain Morgan’s. Bad memories, there. Won’t go into detail but let’s just say I’m quite thankful there wasn’t social media in my 20’s.

32.) Hating the Kardashians ain’t gonna get you anywhere. True, perhaps they’re not the best role models for young women today, but what kind of role model would you be if you judged them?

33.) Supermom does not exist. She’s an unrealistic standard created in an attempt to make us feel like crap about ourselves. Don’t fall for it.

34.) “There’s a five-year policy that I read somewhere and I always follow … Whenever I start to worry about something, I ask myself, will this matter in five years?  Like where the chairs are placed, will that matter?  The answer is no, they won’t, so I’m not going to stress out over it.  Everything will work out, you’ll see.” Gena from the novel Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers.

[My husband, who proofread this post, would like me to point out that he’s the one who first taught me about the five-year policy that I used in the novel. Which is true. And why I based Gena’s character on him!]

35.) Never get a spray tan after a bikini wax. Just don’t.

36.) It’s okay to define the relationship between you and your significant other. Wanting to have a drink ready for your husband when he gets home from work doesn’t mean you’re submissive or obedient. It simply means you love him and like seeing him happy.

That being said, if you’re with a man who demands a drink when he gets home from work citing the Bible as a reason why … think twice.

37.) Never fear your children getting older. Embrace every single stage of their precious life because if you don’t … if you continually fear the future you will miss today. And the future? It’s just as awesome. I’m closer now to my college boys than ever and they never end a conversation without saying they love me.

38.) Regret is a big freaking waste of time. Wallowing in regret over the past does nothing but rob your present and your future.

39.) Step away from your desk and go outside as often as possible!

40.) Just because the movie, Citizen Kane is near the top of practically every “Best Movies of All Time” doesn’t mean you have to like it. I thought it was boring as crap. Talledega Nights? Now we’re talking. I can still quote every word of the dinner scene.

41.) Relationships are supposed to make you feel good.
Relationships are NOT supposed to make you feel bad.
Or guilty, insecure, ashamed, paranoid, or hopeless.
Good.
So when a relationship makes you feel bad, guilty, insecure, ashamed, paranoid, or hopeless, end it. Get over him. Move on.
Flirt.
Laura Bowers, from Just Flirt

42.) To quote the amazing Dolly Parton, “You better get to living.” So stop with the pity parties. They ain’t doing you any good. (And yes … this is something I’ve been reminding myself often regarding my injury.)

43.) Hate your arms? Yeah, me, too. But I wear tank tops anyway.

44.) If a friend abandons you during one of the worst times of your life … then they were never a friend. Acquaintance, perhaps. But certainly not a friend.

45.) Save. After getting my first job, my mother encouraged me to save twenty dollars a week, less if bills were high, but at least something. Oh Lord, if only I had listened to her!

46.) But also wear that pricey Chanel No.5 perfume every single day instead of waiting for a special occasion because it’s expensive. Otherwise, it will only evaporate. (And yes, that is my favorite perfume but I never buy it for myself. Changing that TODAY.)

47.) “Sometimes it’s the dead ends in life that put you on the right path.” –Gena from Beauty Shop for Rent. So be grateful for those wrong turns because life–both on good days and bad days–is a precious gift.

48.) Love is all that matters. Love others and except their love in return.

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About the author: Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger, vlogger, mom of two college boys, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.

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