By Piper Bayard
I turned fifty in 2013, and in my life, I’ve learned that growing old sucks. Small strains take months to heal, old wounds are new aches and pains, and where the young woman I was had the world for a smile, the woman I am now knows the treasures only won with my labor. But as far as I can tell, growing old still beats the alternative, so I’m still doing it. At least for today.
While turning fifty is a traumatic event for so many people, I find it a release and a relief—an opportunity to embrace my inner curmudgeon. I’ve now earned the right to regale young people with my cautions and advice. If I had to narrow it down to ten gems, here’s what they are . . .
- If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting.
- If you change yourself, you will change your world.
- Embrace your deepest fears, and they will guide you to fulfillment and purpose—unless it’s a fear of bungee jumping. It’s probably okay to pass on that one.
- The best exercise is the one you will do.
- Be the person you want to meet, and you will meet the person you want.
- If your head is full of what you think you know, you have no room left to learn anything.
- It’s no skin off your butt to be kind.
- Everyone’s a head case. The only real question is if they are a head case you can live with.
- You can’t fix stupid.
- Intelligence is the ability to learn from your mistakes, and it has nothing to do with IQ.
- If you didn’t give birth to them or marry them, you’ve got no business criticizing them.
- Donuts are the world’s most powerful social grease, particularly at your kids’ school office.
- Never sweat the count.