Photo by David Alberto Carmona Coto on

So a couple of months ago, I decided to make a list of life lessons learned “by decade” by listing the first thoughts that came to my mind while I re-visited all the decades of my life. Some may be on the side of healthy and some may lean on the side of what you would call sad or pathetic. Yet these were life lessons learned based on either the results of my decisions or actions or someone else’s. I saved these for a day where I didn’t really have much to blog about. We’ve not done much in the last 24 hours but work (finished quarter end – yay) and put the house together. So nothing really interesting to share. And so today seems like the appropriate time.

Before I begin this, just know these are the first things that popped into my head and I’m probably going to add a few that come into my head as I type. They are not all inclusive so if I go back a year from now I might have thought of a few more by then and may have totally missed some important ones, but it was a fun exercise. If you blog why don’t you do one too or just do it for fun. Let me know if you did! It would be fun to see what YOU put.

Life Lessons Learned Age 0 to 10

  • I didn’t have all the answers. No one could tell me where God came from. I wanted to know!
  • Don’t make people angry or there are consequences
  • Grandparents are good friends; visit them often
  • Tent camping is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially with the girl scouts who were mostly strangers.
  • Friends make life better and more joyful, plan as much time with friends as you can
  • Sweeter folk are better than sour folk
  • The love of a dog is something very special
  • Some boys are cute; some are repulsing

Life Lessons Learned Age 11 to 20

  • I found I was no good at sports and the school gym was something to be terrified about – changing clothes in front of others was terrifying – and being embarrassed about not being good at sports was equally so. The gym outfit was just horrifying.
  • I must be an introvert therefore if I do not like sports.
  • I could travel if I earned the money
  • I wasn’t cut out to work in fast food
  • Washing cars for $ was not that great of an idea
  • I learned that I loved retail shops, merchandising, and watching things sell, and loved being able to work in one.
  • I learned that I loved to write, learn, listen to music, and learn new things about the world beyond.
  • I learned it was thrilling to wear boyfriends jackets, and have a boy friend to write letters to, to meet at the movies, and I learned that I like to go skating and meet them for dates.
  • I learned to kiss a boy on a tin Lizzy ride (old car) at Opryland/Nashville
  • I learned to fall in love, give my heart away, how to become vulnerable and have my heart broken.
  • I also learned what I did not like about boys.
  • I learned I liked college and being away from home on my own but under the guidance of a good friend and a boy friend
  • I learned that college was much harder than high school and was not as prepared as I should have been but I still made A’s and B’s!
  • I learned I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was and there was way more out there to learn and that was ok
  • Quarter pounders with cheese rocked and Wendy’s burgers had rumored to contain mysterious protein but I ate them anyway

Life Lessons Learned Age 21 to 30

  • Good food and a good cocktail could make life triple better when enjoyed with friends/family
  • Life no longer revolved around ME anymore
  • Reading was more fun that I thought it was and was a good form of escape when needed
  • Love really is conditional after all.
  • Coffee just freakin’ rocks every morning!
  • What it feels like to be pregnant and to experience the joy of becoming a parent.
  • What it is like to love a child with all your heart and do what it takes to protect her always.
  • You can’t always put all your happiness eggs into one basket
  • Always seek your “Penguin Badge” (an activity to give you joy when life goes South or you need to rely on yourself – mine was learning to ice skate and I got my Penguin Badge!). But I have had a lot of different “Penguin Badges” of sorts in my life through the years.
  • If something is worth pursuing; pursue it with a passion
  • Be careful what I ask for because I will get it!
  • To travel is to broaden one’s horizons, learn new cultures, find new cuisines, and would set afire one’s imagination and creativity and it is exhilarating to see new places and get out of the box. I noted that I should travel as often as I could as it lit up my world with excitement!
  • Determination is key, goal setting is a must.

Life Lessons Learned Age 31 to 40

  • Family can be friends, friends can be family but just because they are one doesn’t mean they are both.
  • One’s relationship with God can be more personal than a list of “do’s and don’ts”
  • All things can heal if given the chance and the time
  • Being near the ocean or bodies of water soothed something within my soul
  • A glass of wine is mighty fine.
  • Spending time in cabins and hiking in the woods was much cooler than I ever thought it would be
  • To search for and eat good cuisine with your mate is one of the finest pleasures in life
  • How many seats, toys, and gadgets it takes to raise a baby/toddler, child.
  • Having it all (a family/and a career) was harder than I thought but I could still do it, but it helped to have a village.
  • Being a parent trumps all responsibilities, but again it helps to have a village.
  • Self improvement is a continuous way of life and should be taken seriously.
  • I learned I really liked computers and graphics and the world of AOL and gaming. It made the world more interesting and gave me happiness when days were bad. (Penguin Badges rock).
  • I noticed that I liked to control my world and make it my own around me.
  • I learned that small things we do can impact others in big ways and have a domino impact.
  • I learned that some men don’t always like having women in the business world and would sabotage your efforts in various ways.

Life Lessons Learned Age 41 to 50

  • That surprises can happen and you can do things you never thought you could if you opened your mind wide enough.
  • Even I could get a Masters Degree
  • Losing weight is hard.
  • A sunset can be really awesome; appreciate them often.
  • Always have a Plan B and maybe even a C in everything in life and be ok with it. Because A doesn’t always work out.
  • God doesn’t go anywhere and his love is the most intense we can have. People and relationships disappoint, but God will not if you love Him. He will disappoint you in the end though if you don’t!
  • True contentment comes from within and from our relationship with God and his Spirit when we are aligned. Other’s can’t solely be responsible for your joy or lack thereof.
  • Pleasing people – all of them at once- is just absolutely exhausting, and I cannot serve them all at once.
  • I learned I could allow others to make me bitter if I let them.
  • It’s up to me to surround myself with people that are good for me and limit or cut out those that are bad for us. And it’s ok to make those choices and changes so long as it meets God’s requirements.
  • People don’t always want to see the truth or face it, especially if it is in writing. Verbal goes away with the clouds and vapor and is acceptable at the water cooler or dinner table but the same truthful info put in writings in a blog stay put and make people mad even though it’s the same information just in a different format – go figure.
  • When you expose the truth, the truth punishes you if you tell it in writing.
  • Stay strong. Sometimes the truth needs to be told. Sometimes it doesn’t. Learn which. Not sure if I really learned this one! True strength comes from God and from deep within. With His help and my blog, I can be my own shrink!
  • No good deed goes unpunished. Do it anyway and silently roll your eyes (or blog about it, lol).
  • It felt good to park my life’s frustrations and excitements in blog format. I felt like someone/anyone cares.
  • Being older makes you bolder. I know more now than I did then. I am more confident now and have earned the right to be.
  • People will let you do all the work if you let them – at church, at work, or wherever you are. You decide what you can do and do that. You don’t have to do it all.
  • It’s ok to say NO
  • You don’t have to say Sorry to everyone if it is not your fault.

Life Lessons Learned Age 51 to Present

  • I learned how to preserve many of my thoughts until it was time to speak them and I learned they will rattle off in perfect time when the time came to say them
  • I learned I’m responsible for my own reactions and not someone else’s.
  • It’s ok to set boundaries and let others know how you would like to be treated.
  • I can “unhook” myself from situations, thoughts, people if I need to and want to
  • I’ve learned that Forgiveness is harder than I thought and I’m not sure there are things I can ever totally forgive, but I’m constantly working on it. How do you forgive those that don’t change and keep on doing things/not doing things they should – especially when it’s hurtful or painful. Still working at it.
  • I can change my career after all these years and be totally ok with that even when I worked hard to obtain it all my life. When my life evolves into something I am no longer passionate about, it’s time to change. Leap at the chance to do so.
  • If your vision changes, allow your life to follow it. Hobbies change, passions change, life changes and we only get the one life.
  • One part of life morphs into another.
  • I am learning to vlog, learning my camera, and that makes me happy.
  • Old passions can still exist. My love for writing remains.
  • Time is more urgent and quickly fleeting on this side of life, planning and being mindful of it is more essential.
  • Five o’clock somewhere sometimes means mid afternoon if you see a favorite brewery.
  • Food can be really bad for you if it’s not the right kind.
  • Losing weight is easy with certain plans but it comes back and must be a lifestyle change but I can’t change my lifestyle to make it work, LOL . Not giving up.
  • Grandchildren are the most awesome things.
  • Best to question everything and take nothing at face value.
  • I cannot trust the agencies and institutions and people that I once used to trust.
  • Sometimes I’m confused about this world but that is ok. It’s fine. It’s gonna be ok.
  • God is the ultimate source of guidance to take the place.
  • My spouse doesn’t have to be perfect even though I prod him to be (and it helps he likes to cook) and I’m so glad we were friends first because we can so easily be friends now and that is important on this side of 50.
  • My spouse must really love me if he is still here, and forgives me daily, and accepts me for who I am.
  • Start the day with your own mind, and with scripture or prayer before hitting phone, social media, or conversing with another’s ideas/goals. Having time for one’s on thoughts is critical to start the day, have mid day, and end the day with. I’ve learned to pause to do so.
  • Career aspirations are just not all where it’s at.
  • You are never too old to try, to dream, to have goals.
  • A storm doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
  • Nature is beautiful most of the time.
  • Don’t take health for granted and keep trying.
  • No matter how old I am, I still like learning and exploring – one way or another. And I still have long term goals!
  • I want an RV and want to travel more. Life’s biggest mystery….will it happen?
  • Retirement is shockingly very close and that is not a bad thing. Looking forward to being able to see what that looks like.
  • Taking care of an elderly parent is harder and more time consuming than I thought it would be but I’m up for the task and will do a good job of it. Patience is key on BOTH parties. I think we are doing an ok job so far. Learning to give and take. Time is the main thing while working. It’s really hard to do what all we have done this year.
  • I know more of what Life Lessons look like now that I’m in this category. I am too old to remember many of the older categories.

Did you like this? You should do this too! Either in your head or legal pad or journal. What if you had to pick ten to share with someone. That would be hard.

My life has been good but it’s had some rough spots. Like most of you, I’ve had times when I made bad decisions but for the most part it turned out ok. I’ve always been a serious minded sort. I used to be sentimental and had to give that up as it’s too painful. There are some sides of you that you really have to guard. I know me well by now. I’ve responded lovingly when I’ve been loved, I’ve judged when I’ve been judged, I’ve been defensive when I’ve been critiqued and picked apart and I’ve learned to critique and pick apart myself – mainly because I’m inquisitive though as to why things are the way they are, why life is the way it is and why people act as they do. I’ve been in a lot of situations where I felt like I could never please, I feel sometimes others think I can never be pleased because of my constant desire for perfection. I always want my life to be better, whether it’s me or my surroundings. I somewhere took it seriously when I was told to believe in self improvement and to make my surroundings better. I grew up in a neat and tidy environment and mostly where the women took control of nearly everything and I inherited that essence. We are a strong line of magnolia women. We know what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. I try to battle that down sometimes, but it is what it is. I’ve butted heads often with males who don’t appreciate what a woman can do and how strong a woman can be. I’ve learned that a real man is one that can take and understand and appreciate that a woman can be strong but vulnerable. And he can love and protect her. I think George does that pretty good, but sometimes he has to be reminded, lol. And so having said all that is kinda the basis of what all I’ve learned in life. Let’s keep on learning!

Life Lessons 60 to ?????????

*So much more to learn*

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