While I’m hardly over the hill at the grand old age of 36 and have by no means learned all of life’s lessons, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
He’s Just Not That Into You
As the book and film of the same name will tell you – if he doesn’t call he isn’t interested. No, he hasn’t lost his phone. He isn’t playing it cool. Stop waiting for your phone to ring and get out there and enjoy life.
Eat Less, Move More
Want to lose weight? Tried every diet going? Always put weight on when you start ‘eating normally’ again? Step away from the family pack of chocolate. Put down that greasy burger. Stop ordering takeaways five nights a week. If you want to lose weight the simple way to do it is to eat less and move more. Simple right? Now get outside and go for a walk!
Learn to Take a Compliment
‘Oh I look a right state’. ‘Oh it was nothing’ No, you look fabulous. And no it wasn’t ‘nothing’. Now stop batting away those compliments and realise that you are worthy of praise.
The Housework Can Wait
House a mess? Kids screaming or demanding your attention? Snowed under at work? Invited to an amazing event? Put down the hoover and live your life. Unless your house wouldn’t look out of place on an episode of Hoarders, the housework can wait.
Plan for the Future
Do you know what unnerves me more than anything? The fact I don’t own a property – yet. Who knows what the future will bring in terms of rental prices. I have visions of having to live in one of my children’s box rooms when I’m 87 because it costs £2000 a month to rent a bedsit. Do you have a pension? Do you have savings? Is your house easily adaptable – can you convert the bathroom to a wet room or install a stairlift if you needed to? Plan for it now and it won’t come as a shock down the line.
Flowers Are Everything
Is it just me or do flowers instantly put a smile on your face these days? Every time I go to the supermarket I pick up a bunch, or seven. If I’m not lusting over peonies in the florists, I’m taking photos of rhododendrons or wisteria and planning what to plant (and try desperately not to kill) in my garden.
It’s Never Too Late
Always wanted to work in a certain field? Take that holiday you’ve always dreamed of? Set up your own business? Do it! If you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way. Age really is just a number, don’t use it as a barrier to thwart your dreams.
You’ll Turn into Your Mother
Like it or not, you will turn into your mother, ‘house’ shoes and all. Don’t tell me my mum and mother in law are the only ones to do it either – actually take slippers or ‘house’ shoes to other people’s houses to wear inside. What is all that about? You can guarantee given another ten years I’ll probably be doing the same though. Find yourself complaining about the ‘noise’ your teen listens to? The length of that girl’s skirt? Things weren’t like this when you were young? Congratulations. You’re officially turning into your mother!
You’ll Appreciate the Small Things
When you get to a certain age you start to slow down a bit, appreciate things for what they are. Not what they could be. Those cut-price flowers in the supermarket. A cheery hello from a stranger in the street. A letter from a friend – on real paper, not an email. A bubble bath at the end of a long day. It really is the simple things that add up to make life that little bit more special.
Enjoy a Little Luxury
Whether your idea of luxury is the ‘good’ prosecco from Aldi or a day’s pampering at an exclusive spa, we all need a little luxury in our lives. Find that one thing that really makes you smile, a guilty pleasure, something just for you and treat yourself every once in a while. A little of what you fancy does you good after all.
A Phone Call Can Be Wonderful
How often do you pick up the phone ‘just to chat’? I can’t remember the last time I even phoned my mum for a chat. I phone people if I need to know the answer to something there and then. Otherwise, I text or whatsapp them. My friend called me last night. Although I only saw her a few weeks ago and will be seeing her later today (at a spa funnily enough – see what I mean by a little luxury doing you good), it was just so lovely to hear her voice. Find five minutes in your day and surprise someone you love with a phone call. I guarantee you’ll make their day.
Your Taste Buds Change
Long gone are my days drinking lambrini and devouring a kebab on a night out. These days if I’m going out for food or drink I want it to be something that bit more special. Think really good coffee, champagne and cocktails, visually stunning dishes created with locally sourced ingredients. If I’m going to eat out I want to do it in style. Equally, I’ve found myself making more of an effort at home. I’ve banished the freeze-dried coffee beans to the back of the cupboard and make a concerted effort to savour every meal, using the best ingredients I can afford (and if one week that just so happens to be the supermarket’s value range, so be it). Even if I’m eating alone.
They Aren’t Getting Younger
Ever hear yourself saying ‘I’m sure policemen/waitresses/footballers are getting younger’? No, you’re just getting older. Get used to it. Embrace it.
Don’t Wish Away Your Laughter Lines
I hate my frown lines. Sometimes I find myself frowning so much they linger on my forehead for days. Luckily, they do tend to smooth out after a while – for now anyway. But those laughter lines. I kinda love them. They show you’ve lived. And you’ve enjoyed it. So let’s show them the love they deserve.
The Library is Your Best Friend
Got a book addiction problem? Stop spending a fortune online and get yourself to the library. I’ve only recently rediscovered the joys of owning a library card and I’m a little bit in love. Instead of spending a small fortune on my Amazon wish list I set aside ten minutes, found all the books I wanted and reserved them to be delivered to my local library. They’ve been trickling in over the last few weeks. And every time I get an email to tell me one of my books has come in I get the same rush I get from a book delivery. Yes, I am a very sad little bookworm.
What True Love is
It’s not all hearts and flowers. And although they’re nice, it isn’t the so-called romantic gestures which demonstrate how someone feels about you. It’s waking up in the middle of the night and feeding the baby so you can catch up on your sleep. It’s driving 40 miles just to find the one type of ice cream you don’t throw up when you’re in the throes of morning sickness and it’s 30 degrees outside. It’s the ‘tell me when you get there’ text when you’re only going to see your mum in the next town. It’s the not being able to imagine not waking up beside them every day for the rest of your life.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
As you get older you reassess what’s really important. Being stuck in a traffic jam is annoying, but is getting there quickly or safely a greater priority? Don’t waste your time and energy dwelling on the things you can’t change.
Have I missed anything out? What would make it onto your list?
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