60 for 60: Still learning after all these years…

Dan girls.jpgIf you live long enough, you are guaranteed to get older. But, there is no certainty of becoming wiser. While All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum has some great advice, if you use kindergarten as your benchmark and stop growing at that age, it’s a problem. My husband recently turned 60 and I compiled this list of lessons learned and realities faced. Birthdays are our own personal new year and a good time to re-orient and re-calibrate.

  1. Be kind.
  2. Love means having to say you’re sorry
  3. Make gratitude a daily practice
  4. Green acts today; healthy earth tomorrow. We need to be good stewards of resources
  5. Love is a decision
  6. Bad things will happen. Don’t anticipate with worry, but be prepared
  7. Work on your core—both values and physical
  8. This too shall pass—good or bad.
  9. Don’t rush to judge
  10. People are more important than opinions or things
  11. Be aware—your habits matter
  12. Money can buy experiences that contribute to happiness.
  13. It’s okay to indulge occasionally.
  14. Diet is a lifestyle, not temporary restrictions on what you eat.
  15. When someone’s personality seems particularly annoying, look at yourself. Bless them; change me.
  16. Find your tribe or village. Real friends will support you, help celebrate successes and are willing to point out the spinach in your teeth.
  17. As you get older, you are continuing to distill what really matters.
  18. Having weathered storms, you are stronger for it.
  19. It’s not all about us. Try to see from the other’s perspective
  20. Spending time alone is fine.
  21. When your body says “nap”, make the time to take one.
  22. Campfires and s’mores aren’t just for kids.
  23. Staying home for date night or on weekends is a simple pleasure.
  24. People who judge you for what you drive or wear are critics not friends.
  25. Experiences trump possessions.
  26. You know the value of sleep.
  27. It’s okay to be first to leave a party.
  28. There’s still time to change direction, but there are probably more years behind than before.
  29. Pay it forward.
  30. Support your kids however you can, but once they’re adults, they call the shots.
  31. Treat jerks with kindness instead of rage.
  32. Take advantage of age-related perks.
  33. Wear sunglasses and sunblock. Your eyes and skin will thank you for it.
  34. Get outside every day.
  35. Cultivate a sense of wonder.
  36. Good health trumps everything. You can’t enjoy life when you feel like crap.
  37. You are in charge of your health. If you don’t monitor, who will?
  38. Look for the humor in situations.
  39. Hang around people who make things easier for you.
  40. Balance work and family time.
  41. Any relationship, including marriage, takes work.
  42. Find work that you care passionately about.
  43. We are all more similar than different.
  44. Monitor your bucket list and schedule activities from it.
  45. If you disagree with rules, try to change a few of them.
  46. Dance when you can.
  47. Have your affairs in order. Your loved ones will thank you for it.
  48. Traveling broadens and is worth doing as often as you can.
  49. Pay attention to what your body needs and not what experts say it should need
  50. Some things are beyond your control. The Serenity Prayer is a good reminder
  51. Being a good listener is often better than being a good talker.
  52. If you are open to it, you can learn from anyone.
  53. Enjoy the freedom to dress how you want.
  54. Digital connections are wonderful, but make time for face-to-face contact.
  55. Live fully every day.
  56. There are still new things to learn and new places to visit.
  57. 80% of success is showing up
  58. We all carry secrets. Be careful who you share them with, but don’t let them weigh you down.
  59. You have spent a lifetime figuring out who you are.
  60. Celebrate 60. It beats the alternative. May all your days be good and long upon the earth.
  61. One to grow on: You have lived through 60 amazing years and the best is yet to be.

Don’t postpone joy. If all goes well, older will happen. Growing in  wisdom takes effort.

© Joan S Grey, 22 DEC 2015


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