ON TURNING 55
It’s my birthday and I am 55! How did this happen? When I was younger, I had these preconceived ideas of what people were like when they were 50 and over – they were OLD. But....here I am and to be honest, I feel a lot younger than I felt when I was … er, younger. Back then, everything felt heavy and I was weighted down with the woes of the world. Not so now.
It's therefore appropriate that the 10th map just published in the Mapology Guides range (a real milestone) is entitled: The Sea of Uncertainty - how to stay afloat in challenging times.
I enjoy imparting some of my hard earned wisdom - that’s what all those years in psychotherapy and actual living have brought me. I’ve been reflecting on the last 55 years and everything I’ve learned, so I thought I'd share the most important lessons.
1. Make peace with your past so it doesn’t screw up the present.
2. Life isn’t always fair, but it’s still damn good.
3. Despite what you might have heard, you can create your own life.
4. As a child, you are not responsible for your circumstances. As an adult, you are.
5. When you suppress a feeling, it doesn’t just go away. It goes into your body.
6. Mindfulness is the key to so many doors.
7. Don’t compare your life to others. Strive to be unique. Forge out your own path.
8. Chasing fame is unsatisfactory. Chase meaning and purpose.
9. Getting university degrees is easy. Knowing yourself is hard.
10. Family is people who love, care and support you. They don’t have to be blood.
11. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
12. Most people are kind.
13. You attract the experiences you believe you deserve.
14. Do what you love every day.
15. Compromise is underrated.
16. Patience is a true virtue. Stop hurrying.
17. Run far away from toxic people. They’ll poison you.
18. It’s good to talk. Please try and express yourself. Life will be easier.
19. However good or bad a situation is, this too shall pass.
20. Time heals almost everything. Give time the time it deserves.
21. Forgive everyone everything.
22. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
23. Make your life as colourful as possible.
24. Live in the present. It’s the best place to be.
25. The most important person to have on your side is you.
26. Empathy is the lifeline to every relationship.
27. People are like plants. They need light to grow. Love is light.
28. Children get only one childhood. It’s the foundation for the rest of their lives.
29. Prevention is better than reaction.
30. Be gracious, be humble and remember your roots.
31. Be an eternal student.
32. It’s definitely quality over quantity.
33. It’s good to cry. Having a witness is even better.
34. ‘A life unexamined is a life not worth living’ is the best quote ever.
35. Life is short. Make it your priority.
36. Curiosity is the gateway to an exciting and fulfilling life.
37. Respect the elderly. They have a lot to teach us.
38. Beauty comes and goes. Invest in values and wisdom instead.
39. Go and find your people, your tribe.
40. There was life before the internet. Seek it out.
41. Gather an emotional toolbox. It will come handy.
42. Give your time, not just money.
43. Wholesome, plant based food heals many ailments and is very underrated.
44. Knowledge is power. Equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible.
45. A woman comes into her own at 40. Trust me, it's true.
46. Be ‘playful’ and ‘childish’ at any age.
47. The best is still to come. Make every year your best year yet.
48. Learn from mistakes. Repeating them is not wise.
49. Vulnerability shows great strength. It's sexy too.
50. ‘Love’ is the answer to life and it comes in many disguises.
51. Sex gets better with age.
52. You control your mind. It does not control you.
53. Shame is one of the most destructive of feelings there is.
54. Self-knowledge and self-love are essential for true happiness.
55. If you earnestly look for answers, you will find them.
And since I read this quote from Mark Constantine, co-founder of Lush, I've actually been looking forward to turning 55.
But hey, foremost, life is short, don't take it and yourself too seriously and don't ever forget to have fun, lots of it!