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  • Writer's pictureSarah Sisson Rollandini

50 Things I've Learned in 50 Years

It's my birthday today and, although I am heading to the salon to get a lift from a long overdue cut and color, I don't plan to spend this week lamenting my wrinkles and achy joints. Instead, I'm celebrating the wisdom that only fifty years can bring by looking back on the lessons I've learned and sharing those with you. My knowledge may not protect you from some of life's toughest trials, but I believe it will offer perspective...and enough hope to hold onto when yours is wearing thin. Or maybe you'll just get a good laugh. If that's the case, you already have all the tools you need to concoct the sweetest of lemonade out of the sourest of lemons.

50 Things I've Learned in 50 Years

1. It's not about me. (also known as, "The world does not revolve around you!")

2. Mom is right about most things (see #1, above).

3. Prefer the given.

4. The grass only seems greener on the other side of the fence.

5. Serving others lifts us up.

6. Everyone has a cross to bear. You likely wouldn't want to trade yours for another.

7. If you're feeling bad/sad/mad, take a walk for some fresh perspective.

8. People will fail you. God will not.

9. When you're tired, rest.

10. Build relationships. It's what we're made for.

11. Sing.

12. If you say you're going to pray for someone, do it.

13. Dogs love you when you're a mess. Remember this when you're cleaning up their messes.

14. You'll never regret listening more and speaking less.

15. It really doesn't matter what people think about you.

16. All families (and people) are weird.

17. What we have in common is greater than what separates us.

18. Life is hard. God is good.

19. Don't just do something, sit there.

20. Aim to have more positive than negative interactions with those closest to you.

21. If you want to remember it, write it down.

22. Traditions and rituals are the superglue that hold people together.

23. Change is inevitable; you have the power to influence the direction it will take.

24. Contrary to popular belief about Jello, there's always room for chocolate chip cookies.

25. Choose friends who say "yes".

26. Retail therapy may not solve the problem, but it makes you feel a lot better until the problem is solved!

27. God doesn't cause everything, but he's the good in everything.

28. A smile opens the door to bridge building.

29. "Please" and "thank you" are still magic words (and effortless to use!).

30. The pearly swath of the Milky Way, the limonene scent of pine trees, the sweetness of fresh strawberries, the soft, downy skin of a newborn, the rhythm of waves lapping on the beach...all of these things were created to engage and gratify our senses. This is not coincidence, but a sign of God's providential grace.

31. Apologizing is difficult but effective.

32. Forgiveness must be done over and over again.

33. You cannot please everyone.

34. Some people are just jerks. Love them anyway.

35. Smelly candles and a long soak in the tub are cheap therapy.

36. Laugh at everyone's jokes. You'll be amazed how this elevates their opinion of you.

37. We will all die one day. For the Christ follower, this need not be bad news.

38. You don't have to want to do hard things. You just have to do them. (Thanks, Dr. Phil!).

39. Hurt people hurt people. Offering grace instead of a reaction heals broken hearts.

40. Have a bucket list. Check off items regularly.

41. Be grateful. For proven results, write down a few blessings every day.

42. You don't need a lot of friends. A few tried and true ones is plenty.

43. Work should never be more important than your people.

44. Great conversations are like tennis matches Be sure to hit the ball back.

45. It's still rude to discuss politics, finances, and religion in mixed company.

46. Lace the truth with grace.

47. Hold the door, even if the person seems too far away.

48. You don't have to like or agree with everyone to be kind.

49. There are energy chargers and energy drainers (people and things). Budget your time carefully.

50. Love first. Love last. Love always.

Here's to celebrating every birthday--yours and mine-- with grace and gratitude!

Until next time.

Your Hope Cheerleader,




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