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Regina Brett's 45 Life Lessons reginabrett.com

ADVICE: 45 Life Lessons From a 50 (Not 90) Year Old

ED NOTE: This blog was originally posted in June 2009, and has now been updated with a link to 5 more life lessons from Regina!

45 Life Lessons

These 45 life lessons were Regina Brett's 45 Life Lessons reginabrett.composted in the Light Zone of the SYBD forum many years ago now, so I thought it was worthy of blogging – because it’s such good advice on how to live your life.

Written in 2006, by a then fifty-year old Regina Brett (cited as a 90-year old across the internet, bless her). Regina is a columnist for  The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. Plus these lessons are now a book (she has many actually)! Good-on-ye, Regina!

Here are Regina’s (now) 50 Life Lessons

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.

Now isn’t that great? After such a massive response to her initial post Regina’s added 5 more Life Lessons.

Some of those are clearly borrowed from other sources (e.g. Nietzsche), but all of it is pretty worthy of being reminded of none-the-less.

There are actually quite a few of them on the list that I am known to spout with regularity here on SYBD. Some of my more favourite sentiments are – 25, 26, 28, 29, 38 and especially 45…I don’t think I seem to sign any birthday card without writing those words (my personal hat tip is to Van Morrison for that one, incidentally).

Wear Sunscreen!

This piece also rather reminds me of the Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich and her now, somewhat infamous, 1997 speech/columns which later became known as the “Wear Sunscreen” speech (and Baz Luhrmann song).

Funny how that circled the Net erroneously as a Kurt Vonnegut speech to MIT’s graduating class. Both these Mid-Western women have had stories spun (the former when she was called 90 years old, and the latter’s being credited to Vonnegut). So hopefully we’ve set the record straight…

What does this have to do with break ups? Well, possibly not too much, but some of the lessons do relate to relationships, and everything relates to life. Plus, I think the universe delivered it to SYBD on a day I need a little reminder.

Any tips of your own to add here?