In September 2019, I turned 50 years old. Here are 25 lessons that I have learned in my first half-century. They are not in any specific order. Some are serious; others are not. All are well-intentioned.
- Colonoscopies are painless, nothing to be worried about, and very important to your health. If you’re over 50, make sure you do your initial bowel screening test and follow up with regular checks with your doctor or specialist.
- Prescription medicine can cure a lot of ailments. It can also help with things you might not have expected when you were a lot younger (or so I’m told).
- Despite what your head is telling you, as you get older, you are not capable of playing sport the same way as you may have done when you were 15. Muscle memory is fiction, and your glory days (to the extent that they ever existed) are well and truly over.
- Having your doctor’s contact information in your phone can be useful. After 50 years, it’s a necessity.
- Being a man in the modern world is confusing but not complicated. More on that later.
- Life is not always fair. All of us can contract diseases that kill us, make us suffer, or generally change our lives. Live your life accordingly. As far as I know, you only get one. Others may disagree.
- Real friends are priceless. Do anything to keep them.
- Dollars, status, or position do not measure success. There is much more to life than a beautiful house, car, and bank balance. Your health, a happy family are examples. See also, Lesson 9.
- Death. We all end up in the same place. Live your life accordingly.
- Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not; embrace who you are and run with it.
- Tax. It’s unpleasant, even painful at times, but unavoidable.
- Marriage. After 25 years, I have some experience. It’s just about communication and having the ability to compromise. It’s that simple. If you can avoid it, don’t ever go to bed with an argument unresolved.
- Being a naughty boy when you’re young (and I don’t admit it) doesn’t mean you will remain that way. It’s possible to change. More than once and continuously.
- Everyone has an opinion. What matters most is being true to yourself and doing the right thing according to you, regardless of these opinions.
- You are important. Reflect on that and keep developing. No-one is perfect.
- Your job does not define who you are. You decide that. Few people practice it.
- Always be prepared to ask for advice or help if you need it. No-one knows everything.
- Send the elevator down. Help others if you’ve been fortunate. It makes you feel good.
- Alcohol was invented for a reason. We all have one (or more) eventually.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Keep moving.
- Pizza, meat pies, sausage rolls and other fast foods are not a substitute for all meals, though they may be when you are living with your mates in your 20’s. By the time your 50 years old, even looking at this stuff will make you put on weight, so try and avoid it if you can.
- Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Life is too short. We’re all flawed in some way, so accept that you’re not perfect and have fun with it.
- Learn from your mistakes. Try not to make the same mistake twice. Once is a lesson. The second one is just not caring and being lazy.
- Like work or sport, it’s possible to live your life like a professional; don’t be an amateur.
© 2020. Robert Nicholls. All Rights Reserved.
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