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.



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  1. Thanks for sharing! At 43, I know that you have to trust your gut (but it’s still hard to do), doing what’s easy isn’t necessarily what’s right, when you don’t make time for yoga lots of other things don’t feel as good as they should, two glasses of wine is normally better than three but after two that gets harder to remember, your future self always thanks you for convincing your morning self to make the bed, even when dogs are sassy they are adorable, good noise canceling headphones are worth the expense, go to your best friend’s parents funerals, we all deserve healthcare, if you are are not sure then collect more data until you are, being with people who enjoy your quirks feels so good… tell them, turning the temperature down at night and layering on the blankets makes for the best combination, don’t take easy sleeping for granted because it gets harder as you get older, that my standing desk is good for me (but it’s still hard to do)… noting a trend here – things that are good for you are not always easy to do.

  2. i am 30 days from my 40th birthday and I was thinking today about making a list of things I have learned in my short time here in this earth.

    As I read your list I found myself nodding along in agreement. Your last bullet point really has resonated with me larely. Every story matters, especially the messy and hard parts. People need to know they aren’t alone, that everything isn’t rainbows and sunshine with unicorns floating around. That sometimes you fall off that rainbow and land face first in a giant pile of unicorn crap.

    Be kind to yourself when you fail, because you will fail and fall in said unicorn poop.

    Much love to you lady! You shall rock 42!

    1. Thanks so much Heather! I am a big fan of making lists and counting your blessings. It helps when you’re face first in the unicorn poop, you know? I can’t wait to see your list!

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