You’ll Be 50 Soon

“You’ll be 50 soon,” a wise friend said to me on my 40th birthday. At the time, I laughed at the absurdity of what she was saying. A fresh, new decade was ahead of me and 50 seemed so very far away.

Nine years later, despite having enjoyed some of the greatest experiences life has to offer, I wonder where the time went.

Here, in no particular order, are 10 lessons learned during that time.

Eat, drink and do everything you enjoy because what doctors and studies say is good for you today they’ll say will kill you tomorrow. Moderation is the key. When you no longer enjoy doing something, stop doing it.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you want. What’s right for someone else may not be right for you. Listen to advice, but follow your heart before deciding whether or not to act on the counsel of well-meaning friends and relatives. Trust your gut. It will never let you down.

Gently release anyone or anything that no longer guides your journey or illuminates your purpose. That includes people, addictions, and stuff — like all those old magazines you keep promising yourself you’ll get around to reading someday. You will gain more wisdom by throwing them out than by reading whatever knowledge you think they contain.

With that said, keep a few articles of clothing that are no longer in style. Those concert T-shirts you’re thinking of discarding will one day sell for $150 on E-bay.

You’ll learn more about unconditional love, trust, joy and the meaning of life in an afternoon spent with a dog than you’ll learn in a lifetime of human interaction.

Love the people in your life right now because tomorrow you’ll wish you did.

Go back to move forward. The past often contains the answers you’re seeking.

Back up your hard drive. Take it from everyone who is nodding their head in agreement while reading this. It will crash on the day before you’re scheduled to back it up. Don’t wait. Do it today.

Talk to God and listen to the casual reply. Although I wish I could take credit for authoring that sentence, I can’t claim it as an original thought. If you don’t recognize who penned it, look it up. It will be good practice for researching and verifying things you thought were true because someone told you they were. And don’t forget, the best way to talk to God is to give thanks.

Nothing is as important as right now. Treasure this moment because it’s the only sure thing you have. And before you take your next breath, it will be gone.

“You’ll be 55 soon,” my friend said to me as I approached by 49th birthday a few weeks ago

Instead of laughing at her like I did nine years ago, I said a silent prayer of thanks for the reminder – a reminder to enjoy life right now because in the blink of an eye, she’ll be right.

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