Tuesday, October 25, 2011

40 Lessons for a Fab Life

BREAKING NEWS: I just turned forty a couple of days ago.  Hopefully my students won't read this post; those who don't know my age and have no concept of age think I'm somewhere between my late twenties and mid-thirties.  If they find out I'm older than they thought, I might not be so cool to them.  Nahhh, I'll always be cool no matter how old I am.

I'd been thinking about turning forty since my 39th birthday.  Literally every day I thought about this particular milestone.  Poor 39th year.  It never had a chance.

About a month ago, I was seriously having a mid-life crisis.  I hope I live longer than eighty, but I can't think of any other concept that matches what I was feeling more than "mid-life crisis".  I called one of my friends and told her, "I feel like nothing I'm doing means anything."  She was like, "Are you serious?"  This is because she's cool, calm, collected, and doesn't put up with my dramatics.  Truthfully, she's great at listening to my angst-ridden reflections, but she's not quite the drama queen that I can sometimes be.  (Sometimes.)  I also met up with an old (not in age) friend who'd just turned forty earlier in the year and had this same conversation.  Both of them made it clear that the crisis does not last; with phrases like, "It is what it is", and "I don't give a flying kite about anything", they made it seem like forty is when worrying lessens, life gets a bit less serious and a bit more peaceful and enjoyable.

I figured, though, that some of the lessons I've learned over time should be documented for posterity.  You know, for those who want a road map or cheat sheet on their way to forty.

1. Stop spending time worrying about how you look, because in reality, everyone else is too busy worrying about how they look to pay that much attention to you.

2. If you like someone, just tell that person.  The worst that can happen is that they laugh in your face.  I laughed in someone's face when he said he liked me, and I ended up marrying him.  We got divorced a few years later (minor details).

3. Take your foot off the gas pedal when you want to slow down.  Don't put your foot on the brake.  You'll mess your car up that way.  I don't know how exactly, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

4. Mistakes won't kill you.  They'll make you humble.

5. Strive for excellence, not perfection.  We just can't be perfect.  Plus, no one really likes perfect people.

6. Working out really does relieve stress.  Just don't spend a lot of money on a gym that's completely out of the way of any other place you go.  Makes no sense.  Take it from me.

7. When you go work out, don't take your phone with you.  Turn it off whenever you can.  At school, at church, at the gym.  These are places where you feed your mind, spirit, and body.  No one needs to interfere with that.

8. Put your general doctor's, gynecologist's, dentist's, eye doctor's, and mechanic's numbers in your phone.  And the number to one good pizza place, and one good restaurant that makes your favorite pasta dish.  You never know.

9. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT break up with someone when you're experiencing PMS.  You might possibly change your mind.

10. Go to sleep when you're tired.  Your mind doesn't work when it's tired.

11. Make sure your house and work place are stocked with some form of chocolate.

12. Wine.

13. No matter how much your mother or father piss you off, for whatever reason, don't stop talking to them.  They may regret how they've acted (or not acted) towards you, but you don't want to live with regret because you left things unsaid.

14. Floss.  Plaque can kill.

15. Demand an HIV test with documentation.  You think plaque kills?  Try AIDS.

16. Carry some kind of antibacterial thing for your hands.  People do not wash their hands after they use the bathroom.

17. Just in case you're one of those people, wash your hands after using the bathroom.

18. Put your hair up or wrap it if you're going to cook for others.  I don't care if your hair is clean, I don't want to eat it.

19. Walk on the right side.  Especially when you're walking up or down NYC subway stairs.

20. Half way there...Reward yourself with a glass of wine.

21. Indulge. It puts a smile on your face, and sometimes a nice memory.

22. Don't worry about hurting a guy's feelings.  It will remind him that he has them.

23. Get up right now.  Go to the mirror.  Say, "You are just too sexy", or some variation on that, while sticking your butt out with your hand on your hip.

24. Smile when you're putting blush on.

25. Go somewhere by yourself.  The movies, Starbucks, Disney World.  It will force you to spend time with yourself and appreciate who you are.

26. No lipstick when you're kissing a man.  They do not want that taste.  They want you.

27. You don't always have to match your clothes perfectly.

28. However, you should match your wine and food.  Cupcake Red Velvet Wine and a Chocolate Merlot cupcake match perfectly.

29. If you're bored, it's because you're not requiring enough of yourself.  Raise your expectations for yourself.

30. Expectations.  You can have them for yourself, not so much for others.

31. Do what you love, even if you can't do it for a living.  Even if it's writing a blog post about once a month.

32. Encourage others to do what they love.  They will love you for it.

33. Don't compete with anyone but yourself.

34. You're smarter than you think you are.

35. You're smarter than they might think you are.

36. Open your heart so that everyone can see just how beautiful you really are.

37. Open your (spiritual) eyes and ears so that you see and hear what God wants to show and tell you.

38. Stop being so angry.  It makes you ugly.

39. Work through your pain.  It will make you a better person, and you will love yourself more.

40. LOVE.  The noun and the verb.  Life will feel so much more real and you will feel connected to everything in this universe.

And an extra for good measure:

And stop to taste the wine.

Love, Trish


  1. Thanks for reading, Mah-g! :-)

  2. I love it. Here is to four point oh and beyond!

  3. Thanks, Marv! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :-)