What I Know At 42

I just turned 42! Mostly I can’t believe the number is associated with me when I often don’t feel like an adult, much less a middle-aged adult. I’ve been reading a lot of books by smart people who talk about lessons they’ve learned, and thinking of my own lessons.

Here are things I know or believe for sure. I didn’t learn them suddenly because I turned 42, but I think they’re worth sharing.

  • Always say please and thank you. Courtesy matters.
  • Tell the people you love that you love them, every chance you get.
  • Reading words every day, in whatever form you want, makes your brain bigger.
  • You don’t have to be the one who reaches out every time, the phone and email work both directions.
  • You don’t have to keep hard people in your life. If interacting with someone exhausts you, stop interacting with them.
  • Take time for yourself every day, even if it’s 10 minutes in the bathroom by yourself, hiding from your kids. Just breathe, don’t think of anything, rest your eyes.
  • List help me feel like I’ve got things together, even when I don’t. Possibly the most when I don’t.
  • Doing scary things is important. But still scary.
  • Apologize when you’ve been a jerk. Even if you didn’t intend to be a jerk.
  • Apologizing for being a jerk doesn’t negate your jerkiness. Accept it, don’t get defensive, and don’t do it again.
  • Say yes as often as you can.
  • Say no as often as you need to.
  • Don’t leave people voice mails on their office phones. It’s just mean.
  • Do your best.
  • Compliment people.
  • Accept compliments.
  • Give people a break.
  • Give yourself a break.
  • Not everything is about you.
  • Ask people for music suggestions and then listen to that music.
  • Listen to old people tell stories. It will make you both happy.
  • Make stuff as often as you can. Do something creative, whatever that is for you.
  • Tell your story. Everyone’s story matters.

There are more things I know and believe. But, that’s it for now. I’d love to hear what you know.