This week I turn 41. It sounds old when you write it down, but I’m still a youngster at heart! I’m no wise woman, but I thought I’d write a list of the things I’ve learnt or think I’ve learnt so far in my near on 41 years.
1) You need to be able to laugh at yourself. My dear old Nan will always be remembered for her many sayings and this is one of them. I completely agree. No one likes a person who can’t laugh at themselves, so it’s better to laugh along with others.
2) You care a lot less about what other people think as you get older.
3) All Mums suffer with guilt. Whether it’s working too much, not working enough, being too strict or not strict enough, I don’t know of a mum that doesn’t suffer with mum guilt. I doubt it will ever change, but we need to be kinder to ourselves.
4) Life is too short to read crap books. I recently got sent a free Kindle book from Amazon. There was a reason it was free. I continued to plough on with it even though it took me an age to finish it. I’ll never get that time back, so won’t be making that mistake again!
5) Marriage is hard work. Enough said.
6) Be grateful for everything you DO have, and worry less about the stuff you don’t have.
7) Stay away from people who make you feel bad. Toxic, negative people only bring you down.
8) Love yourself. If you don’t like you, how can you expect anyone else to?
9) Stop comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone who has more money, a better job, a nicer house etc. But you need to concentrate on you.
10) Social media lies. OK maybe not lies, but it doesn’t give the entire picture. You only get to hear about the good stuff on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, very rarely do you get to hear about the bad side of people’s lives.
11) Get outside every single day. Fresh air and a bit of a walk can clear your head and do wonders for your soul. (It also quietens down arguing kids).
12) Smile! Everyone is attracted to someone who is smiles, it makes you look friendly and more approachable. Failing that, it makes them wonder what you’re up to.
13) Let kids be kids. Some structure is good for children, but too many classes, groups and schedules can cause stress. Kids need some down time to just play.
14) Only you can change your life. You want something? You have to be the one to make it happen.
15) Your husband will always be your other child.
16) Friendships come and go. There’s not enough time to stay in touch properly with everyone. It’s just the way it is that some people will come into your life as others move out. But some true good friends will remain forever.
17) Your initial instincts are normally right.
18) It’s best not to discuss politics or religion with most people unless you want to end up in a fairly heated debate or have a few hours in which to stick around for the ensuing discussion. I’ve found this one out with a few different groups of people recently over Brexit.
19) Never judge another person’s circumstances or lifestyle because you just don’t know what might happen to you in the future. A friend of mine recently told me how another girl was quite judgemental about her situation when her marriage broke down but then went through exactly the same thing a few months later.
20) Do what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about. If something makes you happy it shouldn’t be a chore to do it; you’ll always find time.
21) A lot of problems can be solved over a cup of tea, a biscuit and a chat with a good friend.
22) Failing that, there’s always wine …… or gin.
23) Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. Most things seem a lot better in the morning!
24) Everything in moderation. That goes for booze, exercise, work, rich food, late nights, pretty much everything!
25) Whether it’s work, parenting, social life or dating, most people are WINGING it. The most successful people are those that have an abundance of confidence. They look like they know what they’re doing (but probably don’t).
26) Make time and save for holidays. They’re not only good for re-charging your batteries and spending quality time with those you care about, but holidays are essential memory makers.
27) Your close friends are your saviours, your sounding boards, your secret keepers.
28) Put your phone down occasionally and enjoy what’s in front of you.
29) Children, even very young children can hear and understand what’s going on around them, far more than you care to think. I totally underestimated the negative impact last year on my eldest daughter of losing my father-in-law as well as the problem with schools. Watch what you say and when you say it.
30) Try to always see the good in people. If you only see the worst, that is what you’re likely to get.
31) The days are long but the years are short. Whoever wrote that was totally spot on. It’s very cliche, but kids grow up too fast, they might drive you mad on a daily basis, but they’ll be 18 before you know it. Cherish them.
32) A good cry is very cathartic. As is writing things down either in a notebook or blog post!
33) A new outfit and some make up will always give you confidence to go out and knock ’em dead.
34) Mindfulness has some very good tips. I’ve just had an introductory session in mindfulness and really enjoyed it. The basic premise is that we need to spend more time in the present and less time worrying about the future or the past. Whatever is going to happen will happen anyway and worrying about it will only waste more of our energy.
35) There’s ALWAYS someone worse off than you. Another great saying from my lovely Nan, but it’s so true and often gives me a bit of a wake up call if I’m anxious about something.
36) Some truly painful things never really ever go away. But you can learn to deal with them and cope a bit better with the support of those around you.
37) Be nice to people! As well as being generally a decent thing to do, you never know who might end up being your boss or in your social circles in the future.
38) What’s the worst that can happen?! This is one my mum used to ask me a lot when I was younger and a big worrier.
39) Everyone needs to go out and let their hair down once in a while. Drink, dance and be stupid. It’s a necessity to appreciate life!
40) Don’t feel bad about saying no to people. It’s impossible to do everything. Sometimes you need to say no and to not feel bad about it.
41) Some time spent alone is good for you. If like me, you spend a lot of time with the little people and very rarely get any time for yourself, you know how heavenly half an hour can be just to spend time alone reading, listening to music or just to savour the silence! It not only does you some good, but helps to improve your relationships with others when you’ve had a break!
So there you have it my 41 things in 41 years. That took some thinking, let me tell you! Is there anything you’d add to this list? I’d love to know.