50 Things I’ve Learned From 50 Years of Life

“A happy birthday this evening, I sat by an open window and read till the light was gone and the book was no more than a part of the darkness.
I could easily have switched on a lamp,
but I wanted to ride the day down into night,
to sit alone, and smooth the unreadable page
with the pale gray ghost of my hand” 
~  Ted Kooser

 

It’s my birthday today. Yay me!

I’m fifty, and it feels GOOD. Originally I was going to post a quick picture of me as a kid, looking all cute, and a few others through the years to now. But when I dug out all my old photos and memorabilia a funny thing happened. I saw so many pictures of friends I have loved and lost, so many family members who’ve passed, and friends whose lives have been touched by tragedy. It made me realise just how lucky I am to still be here at fifty, well loved, safe and secure, with work I adore, despite having had so many health diagnoses and prognoses predicting my demise or failure, and several near-death experiences, starting back when I was in my early twenties. Sure my health is still an ongoing adventure, but hey – I’m alive, and determined to make the most of every day. I’m still here! That deserves celebration!!!

Here are fifty things I’ve learned that have been helpful to me and which might come in useful for you too:

  1. Everyone needs cake on their birthday.
  2. I am not everyone’s flavour, but I am some people’s favourite, and that’s enough for me.
  3. It’s always better to be kind.
  4. No-one is immune to suffering. We all get to have our turn.
  5. Big old trees have much wisdom to share if you can get still and listen.
  6. The sun comes up after even the worst nights and things do look better in the morning.
  7. Sleep is under-rated as a coping mechanism.
  8. Clean sheets and a shower always make you feel better.
  9. Life is too short to live it for other people’s approval.
  10. If you don’t do what matters to you now you might never get your chance.
  11. Don’t wait for things to be perfect.
  12. Surround yourself with people who are real, caring and who think well of you.
  13. Shut the door on mean friends and people who treat you badly or with a lack of respect.
  14. Life needs more picnics and less overtime.
  15. Good books, movies and music are a kind of soul medicine.
  16. Sometimes you just need to take a road trip.
  17. Yes, you really do need to eat your vegetables and get enough fresh air and exercise.
  18. Never be afraid to seek a second opinion.
  19. Getting older is a privilege.
  20. Practice good hygiene, wash your hands after you go to the toilet and before eating, and consider others when you are ill. Not everyone has a robust immune system.
  21. It really is okay to indulge your craving for junk food, sweets or ice-cream occasionally.
  22. A part of you never changes, and stays solid and anchored inside you through all of your life experiences. That essence is always there for you to tap into.
  23. A part of you will change and grow and move you far from where you started. As you change you may outgrow people, places or situations. That’s normal. Don’t let it stress you.
  24. Sometimes we come full circle and find ourselves back where we started, but with new understanding and wisdom. That’s a sweet moment of realisation.
  25. Love is worth the risk of pain and loss.
  26. Laughing opens your heart and lets the light in.
  27. There is something magical about being a stranger in a new city. It unlocks all kinds of mysteries inside you.
  28. You need comfortable shoes for big adventures.
  29. Forgiveness is almost always about you and not the other person.
  30. Listen to your instincts, and honour your intuition. It was given to you for a reason.
  31. Some time on your own to think about everything or nothing is time well spent.
  32. Everyone should be able to cook a handful of meals well. Not just for survival but for satisfaction too.
  33. You’re never too old to learn something new.
  34. Do what you can to help others, if you are in a position to do so.
  35. It’s okay to put your own needs first.
  36. Follow your passion, or at least your curiosity. Who knows where it might lead you!
  37. Life rarely goes to plan, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be awesome anyway.
  38. There is always someone or something that can help you manage pain better. Ask and keep asking until you find what you need.
  39. Being vulnerable is a strength.
  40. If you don’t want to do something say no.
  41. If you want something say yes.
  42. It’s better to have been rejected or to fail than to never have tried.
  43. Failure often leads to success.
  44. Every week needs a complete rest day. On the other days? Meditation gives rest on even the craziest of days and can be done in minutes. Learning to meditate is a gift for yourself and an investment in your well-being.
  45. Treat yourself well, and allow yourself pleasure.
  46. Find the things that make you feel like you and then surround yourself with that energy. It could be yoga, a perfume, soy chai lattes or books. Let something define you. Be okay if it changes.
  47. Fall in love. Keep loving, even when it gets hard. It always gets hard. Once you learn how to navigate the first hard bit the wonder of an ever-deepening relationship can reward and comfort you your whole life.
  48. Fall in love with yourself. Let it be a life-long affair and treat yourself gloriously well.
  49. It’s a good thing to be a little different, odd or unusual. Keep being yourself.
  50. Celebrate life – the milestones, the anniversaries and seasonal festivities, the successes and the ordinary. Celebrate on your own. Celebrate with loved ones. Celebrate with strangers. Let each day bring at least one small moment of grace or gratitude. Feel everything deeply and be unafraid.

Thanks for being part of my life.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole  ❤ xoxo

44 thoughts on “50 Things I’ve Learned From 50 Years of Life

  1. Happy birthday sweet Nicole! You have no idea how many times I think of you and wish I could pay you a visit… I’m in Portugal, which is the exact opposite country to Australia… If I was nearby I would offer you some sunflowers in a pot for you to plant at your farm, bake a lovely lemon cake and do some tea… Thank you for everything I’ve been learning with you. X

  2. Hey Happy Birthday Sunshine – You Are Doing So Well.
    I For One Am Blessed And So Happy That You Were Born And That You Have Hung In There. Enjoy Being Celebrated Today – Yes You Deserve It.
    So Much Love To You Beautiful Girl.
    Dance With The Fairies And Be Hugged By The Old Ones.
    Skip With Your Husband And Drink Toasts With Good Family and Friends.
    You Have Made It.

  3. I knew you were another Virgo! I was 69 on the 2nd. I was thinking about that kind of list as well. I’ve learned so much in the last 20 years that it astounds me. Working on lists to be completed by 70. An incredible number that I hope I reach. Both the parentals were gone before 75 so I’m packing in as much as possible between now and tomorrow. 🙂 Can’t count on tomorrow as you well know. Happy, happy birthday, Nicole and wishing you so many, many more filled with wellness and fun.

  4. Happy Birthday Nicole! Thanks for the inspiring life lessons. Wishing you excellent health and happiness. Enjoy your Birthday cake! Kind regards, Rita

  5. Happy birthday dear Nicole. Loved reading your list – see even on your special day you’re thinking of and inspiring and motivating others. But today it’s about you, so off you go and enjoy the celebrations that cross your path. Fifty and fabulous!!! It is so good to write those words for you. Sending lots of love and a big thank you for the impact you have made on my life, and in turn the lives of many others (Michelle C) xxxx 🎉🎉🎉🎉🥂🥂🥂🥂🌹🌹🌹🌹

  6. Fantastic… HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nicole…. hope you have an amaizing day… eat cake and are spoilt rotten … my wish for you is that the next fify years are even BETTER than the first… thankyou for being you 💖🎉🎂

  7. Ohhh… THANK YOU precious 💖🙏💖 What a super wonderful list. Thought I’d scribble down a few of them in my journal… well, scribbled a lot!

    Thought of you yesterday… feeling your birthday approach. What a magickal Life 🌞 And the Sun rise this morning (watching it rise out of the ocean) beamed its special blessings for You. ‘Everything’ celebrates the anniversary of birth (have felt that again and again).

    Thanks for being You… and sharing your Love and special gifts. You’ve been a true friend.

    Lotsa Love and Special Full Moon Blessings… marilyn 💖🙏💖🐝🐝🐝

  8. Dear Nicole, Have an amazing birthday! I love your list, thank you for sharing this list and all your other wise words throughout the years. You are defenitely my kind of flavour person. Enjoy cake, drink tea (and maybe one of those yummie hot chocolates your nana used to make for you), enjoy quality time with those you love today and have an awsesome new year!! Much love from me. Big hug. 🎉🥂😘❤️💛💚💙💜🌈

  9. Love Number 9 ! Hope your year ahead is all you have hoped for, plus a few nice surprises thrown in for good measure. Big hugs xxxx

  10. Dearest Nicole, hip hip hooray to you! 🎈
    How fortunate we all are to have you in the world spreading your golden loveliness everywhere🌟🦄🍄🍰

  11. A beautiful philosophy on life.
    Have a wonderful birthday.
    Make the most of all the fantastic gifts you are given.❤️️💓💝💃😍

  12. Happy birthday Nicole! It’s my birthday too so a special surprise to wake up to this message in my inbox today and share birthday blessings. Love to you and thanks for your insights and intuitive gifts every day. Have a fabulous day xx

  13. Happy 50 years! May your day and your fiftieth year be truly blessed.
    A golden day for a truly golden one.
    Thank you for all that you say and do.
    Karen

  14. Happiest birthday dearest Nicole….you have been lighthouse during my darkest days….wishing many more blessed years of shining your light & divinity brightly !!

  15. Dearest Nicole,

    Wishing you a very Happy Birthday my dear. Vibrancy, radiance ,charm and wisdom have been abundantly blessed upon you even as you hit the half century mark. May you line long and have many more beautiful days ahead.

    Lots of love and hugs,
    Prathibha

  16. happy born day nicole – thanks for incarnating 😉 – thanks for all you have done for me and so many others – love ya – donwombie 😉

  17. Big birthday blessings Nicole! Much gratitude for this 50 list– you are a treasure that we cherish in our home. My husband and I are fellow lyme dancers who so appreciate all the gifts you offer through this blog. May your year be fillled with laughter and joy!

  18. Hi Nicole Loved your list I have printed it out and lucky me I turn 60 in a couple of months I can think of 10 more things to add to the list.. You sound like you enjoyed your day my wishes were with everyone early so glad I came back to read the rest of your special day. Jul

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