Life Begins at 40

They say life begins at 40. It does makes sense to say this because I know I have learned a lot in my 20's and 30's about myself and what I want out of life. Milestones have passed, mistakes made, and wisdom gained. So as a countdown (or count up?) to my 40th birthday, I decided to share some of the things I have learned along the way. Here's the list of 40 things I have learned in 40 years…
  1. Whatever you are willing to put up with is exactly what you’ll have.
  2. The pressure to “fit in” never really goes away; what changes is the desire to.
  3. Apparently you can get gray hair and zits at the same time.  Not fair, but true.
  4. Dogs understand love better than people do.  
  5. If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  Being miserable is always your choice.
  6. Don't pretend everything is OK if it’s not. Get things off your chest before too much resentment sets in.
  7. The older I get, the more I appreciate my small town upbringing. I grew up with the same people and got to know them really well. Trips to the mall were a big deal. And I learned how to pee outside.
  8. It doesn’t matter how carefully I craft a sentence.  There will always be someone who just doesn’t get it.
  9. The vast majority of people can be won over with a smile and a little kindness.
  10. Enjoy it now.  Sometimes you don’t realize how important a moment is until after it becomes a memory.  Live in the moment.
  11. The movie is very rarely better than the book. 
  12. If you continually give, you will continually have.  You get what you give.
  13. I love routine.  I must have a morning routine because I am not a morning person.  And no amount of coffee is ever going to change that.  (But it helps)
  14. When you have no expectations, amazing things happen. 
  15. It’s the little things in life that make life BIG!
  16. Follow-up.  A lot of the work that gets done is the result of following-up.
  17. I can be a very miserable person to be around if I am hungry, so I make it my job to eat before that happens.
  18. Nothing is worth the extra calories.  Unless it’s chocolate.  Or beer. (my opinion)
  19. Regrets are a useless waste of energy.  You can't change yesterday.
  20. Nothing better than a good playlist (the modern day mix tape).  Music is what feelings sound like.  When you can’t find the right words, say it with a song.  
  21. They say you can’t buy happiness.  While that is true, you can buy coffee.  And that’s kind of the same thing. 
  22. You can’t live a positive life with negative thinking.  Count your blessings not your problems.
  23. Relationships take effort.  All of them.  Tell the people you love how important they are to you on a regular basis.
  24. Take risks but calculate them.
  25. There is a big difference between making a living and making a life. 
  26. Children make the best mirrors.  I hope I’ve taught them half as much of what they’ve taught me.   
  27. No matter what happens, somebody will find a way to take it too seriously.
  28. It takes years to build up trust and only seconds to destroy it.
  29. Always think the best until proven otherwise.  Snap reactions without all the information can do more damage than the original action. 
  30. I have learned that sometimes a “no” is not a rejection, it’s a redirection.
  31. The best friendships are those that survive no communication and pick right back up where they left off.
  32. I have learned to make exercise a habit. It keeps me healthy in mind, body, and spirit. The hardest part is just getting started.
  33. Sleep is the best medicine.  Laughter a close second.
  34. Holding grudges hurts you more than it hurts the other person.
  35. Don’t save something for a special occasion.  It may be all gone tomorrow.  So drink from your crystal glasses, eat from your china, wear your special perfume...  Live every day like it’s a special occasion.
  36. Never make a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion.
  37. One of the best feelings in the world is a good hearty laugh.  I love having people in my life that can make me laugh until I snort. 
  38. Always wear sunscreen!  
  39. If you’re doing things right, living your life, being true to your beliefs, then not everyone is going to like you.  And that’s OK.  You don’t need everyone to like you.
  40. Time seems to go by faster as you get older.  Enjoy each day to the fullest because in the end everything will just be memories.  Better go make some good ones!

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