Tuesday, March 15, 2016

40ish Things To Know By 40ish

Don't Give Up The Ship. Photo taken at the Sandusky Maritime Museum.

Eyeing back at my 40ish birthday in the rearview of my day, I'm thinking about all the advice that has been dropped on me. Some dropped near me, some on my head, some just in time, some to be saved and remembered for next time. 

With that in mind, here are 40ish things to know by the time you are 40ish.

1.     Learn to take a compliment. The appropriate response is always, “thank you." Don't respond with a treasure trove of your faults. Don't fight the compliment. Just smile and say, "thank you."

2.     Kenny Rogers said it best, "Know when to walk away, know when to run."  There is no shame in walking away from a bad marriage, a crummy book club, a soul sucking job or a failed crafting project. Know that sometimes, you will need to run, and never look back.

3.     Swearing can be fantasticly cathartic, but be aware of your surroundings. Use your other big words to get your point across in business dealings and in earshot of others.  Just because you *can* say something, doesn’t always mean you should.  Don't let people judge you based on a singular word selection.

4.     Complain about a problem only if you can offer a solution. 

5.     Own at least one piece of furniture that did not come in a box, from your parents or a  thrift store.  

6.     Know what is important to you in life. A job title? A family? World domination? Set your plan and go for it.  

7.     Don't be a checkbook philanthropist. Volunteer your time, influence and skills to a cause that is important to you. 

8.     Ask for help. Moving, managing your finances or maintaining equilibrium in your life, whatever it is, don't be afraid to ask for what you need. Asking for help isn't throwing in the towel. It is picking it up. 

9.     Read. Read books about your business, history, knitting or the chupacabra. The subject doesn't matter. Just read.  

10.     Purge your closet, your emails and your laptop. Clear away the clutter. 

11.     Not every moment of your life needs to be documented.  A lot happens outside of the frame and text box. 

12.     Stop saying you're sorry as a conversation filler.  Apologize and take ownership if it's yours. If not, don't say it. 

13.     Send hand-written notes or cards not attached to a holiday to friends and family once a year. 

14.    Toss your judgey pants out along with that pair of jeans you're hanging on to from high school. Stop judging other people for their job, lifestyle or clothing choice. What does it matter to you if the person next to you is wearing shoes you don't approve of? You aren't walking in them. 

15.     People rarely change. Accept people for who they are. That friend that is always 30 minutes late? Stop being angry about it and plan accordingly. Let the little stuff go. 

16.    Do something nice for someone else with no strings, no attachments. 

17.     Keep your word. Period. 

18.     Own your birthday. Want to stay home and eat nachos while binging Netflix with your cat? Fine. Want to have a major bash? Great. Celebrate on your terms. 

19.    Stop waiting. The perfect time, the right time or the next time may never come. 

Looking out over Phoenix.

20.   Balance your life, pay attention to more than one area. Life has a funny way of moving your priorities around. 

21.    Everyone has something to teach you if you listen.

22.    Bad attitudes are contagious.  Get close and it will consume you. Move out of the way. 

23.    Travel somewhere alone. Explore a new city, visit your favorite restaurant or check out a show. There will be times that no one wants to do and see what you want to. The choice will be yours - stay home or enjoy your life. 

24.    One Ranger per forest fire. Every one does not need to be involved in every thing

25.    It's never too late to pick up where you left off. Texting an old college friend, calling your aunt or catching up with a colleague will be time well spent. 

26.    Create an email address for junk email. 

27.    Keep a daily work journal and document your successes. Prove why you deserve a raise at your next review. 

28.    Cars and homes require maintence. Know the basics and at least one place you can get repairs without getting ripped off.

29.    If someone wants to share something important to them with you, listen. You may be the only one listening.

Behind the practice fields in Goodyear, Arizona. 

30.    Figure out your belief system. 

31.   Eat healthier. You aren't a kid anymore.

32.   Mentor someone. For a year, a week or a project.  You know more than you think you do. 

33.    Find a hobby that you enjoy. Knitting, spoken word poetry, fly-fishing. Whatever it is, find it. 

34.    You can always go home again, but keep in mind, things will be a lot smaller. And older. 

35.    Consider how you feel about kids, pets and marriage. Plan accordingly.

36.   Learn how to network, and treat it like a job. The event may be open bar and buffet, but you are there to work, not to get your grub on. 

37.    Take a class in person or online, just because you want to. There are free courses you can participate in online and learn something new. 

38.   Learn to read a map and get around without GPS. You don't want to drive into a lake because Siri told you to. 

39.   Invest in your clothing and get items hemmed and tailored. Look professional. 

40.    In the immortal words of Mr. Patrick Swayze in the classic movie, Road House, “Be nice.”   It's possible to have manners and be polite while informing people what you will and won't stand for. 

41.    Don't compare where you are in your life to anyone else. You might not even be in the same book.