11 things I know that it took me 48 (ish) years to figure out

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Everyone around me is in back-to-school mode. My own kids start school in five days and I hope like hell I’ve bought everything on their two mile long supply list because the thought of going back into Walmart one more time makes me twitchy.

Traumatized by school supply shopping.  #backtoschool
Traumatized by school supply shopping. #backtoschool

As my two five-year-old bundles of energy and terror gear up for a year of learning new stuff, I took a minute to reflect on some of the things I’ve learned up to this point in my life. I decided to share these 11 things:

1. Most people are about as happy as they choose to be. Let that sink in.

2. If something isn’t going to matter in 5 years, you probably don’t need to spend time worrying about it today. The jackass who cut you off in traffic…what someone posted on Facebook…a dirty towel on the floor.

3. To ask myself these three things before I say something: is it true, is it necessary and is it kind? Actually, I read this on a meme, but it kind of stuck with me.

4. Be genuine and don’t compare yourself to others. If you think someone else’s life is a cakewalk, remember that you are only seeing what they allow you to see. Don’t worry about what other people do.

5. Love isn’t just a feeling, it is also a choice.

6. I enjoy my own company more than the company of most other people…I don’t have to apologize for being an introvert. I know who I am.

7. There are some things I’m just never going to be good at: homemade pie crust, shaving my legs without cutting myself, parallel parking. There are a lot of things I am good at. I’ve learned to be okay with Pillsbury and parking half a mile away. The leg shaving thing? I don’t know what to say about that one.  I give up.

8. Don’t surround yourself with people who don’t want to be with you or value you. This is true in all types of relationships. I spent most of my twenties and a good bit of my thirties floating through relationships with assholes who weren’t into me.

9. Be cautious when sharing sensitive information – you can’t un-ring a bell.

10. Don’t always wait for someone to do something nice for you: spoil yourself once in a while. Buy the good coffee and don’t wait for a special occasion to open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving.

11. Realize you will never stop learning. I’m old enough to appreciate that I’ve learned a lot of stuff over the years but realistic enough to know that there’s a lot I don’t know.

Now. I better go back and check that school supply list just one more time…I don’t want to be anywhere near that Walmart parking lot the week before school starts.

11 life lessons I've learned at 48|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals|@JillinIL

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  1. number 1 is up there with my all time favorite quotes.. and I am FINALLY starting to do #10 more.. I always ‘save’ everything.. I am trying to stop that.

  2. These are great, especially the point about people only letting you see what they want you to see. So true, particularly on social media. Thanks for posting.

  3. I have found my fifties even more liberating, just doing what I like and not bothering what people think. It is lovely having ditched all the people who were not good for me (#8), life is much more joyful. On the practical side – I can’t believe it took me 50 years to learn how to get grease marks out of clothes! And a zillion other things that I’m still learning.

  4. I’m at the same age and stage and agree with your list! There is comfort in knowing myself better at this age, and not spending time and anxiety on issues that just aren’t worth it. Also, I’ve learned to buy many pairs of reading glasses and keep them everywhere!

  5. Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.

    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this information together.

    I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!