I love the internet and its ability to expand, amplify and exaggerate. Urban legends can be kind of interesting and intriguing, and maybe even a good source of blog inspirations. I received the material for this blog in an email attributing it to Regina Brett, who was said to have written it when she was 90. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered that Regina Brett was born in 1956, making her 4 years younger than I am! Since I am not especially a math wizard, for a very brief moment, I pondered if that meant that I was 94!! But I got over that quickly enough as I read further and discovered that she wrote this column when she turned 50, not 90!! Ah, typos can take on a life of their own on the wonderful wide web.
But for all of that, have a read at Ms. Brett’s 45 life lessons … Originally published in The Cleveland , Ohio Plain Dealer on Sunday, May 28, 2006
Ms. Brett wrote: “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short – enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye, but don’t worry, God never blinks.
16.Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”
As I think about this blog, I think about lessons that will help each of us become the kind of individuals, families and communities that will more fully honor the dignity of each human being, that will more deeply respect and life lives of fairness that honor justice. Ms. Brett’s life lessons seem to have some resonance with those goals.