Friday, July 31, 2009

Regina Brett is not 90, but she knows stuff!

On July 9th I received a viral e-mail. It was a good one, and I've let it sit in my queue waiting for an appropriate time to share. Before I post stuff, I usually check on its validity. This link provides an update on this urban legend.

The e-mail I got states that Regina Brett is a 90 something year old columnist for the Plain Dealer. This is all true, except for the age. Regina is in her early fifties. She wrote out this list of life's lessons when she was 45.

I thought her list was worth passing along. Here it is...

Regina Brett's 45 life lessons and 5 to grow on
Cleveland, Ohio -- The Plain Dealer
Sunday May 28, 2006, 10:13 AM

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."


  1. Don, that's a great list! I like the one that says we would grab our problems back if we saw what others had to deal with. So true. I also see the truth in the one about avoiding pity parties. Seize the day! Thanks Don :)

  2. Interesting plant: is it a bouganvillia (sp.)?
    There's an old Jewish story, that in the resurrection there will be a tree from whose branches every person's troubles will hang. And the human race will beinvited to circle the tree and choose anyone else's troubles, but they will all choose their own: essentially the same story but longer.

  3. @septembermom: I like lists, and I like proverbs... so a list of life lessons appeals to me as well. A "rule of thumb" or a "general systems law": potato/potato. ;-)

    @Dennis: Yes, a bouganvilla. I have three in my yard of various hues. The one in the picture is from a local horse trail.

  4. I've seen her list before. And actually, there's a similar (shorter) list hanging in each Jimmie Johns with the life lessons the owner has learned.

    BTW, I tagged you in my 7/30 blog post. Submit!

  5. @Saphron: I had to look up Jimmie Johns. I'm sure not all the items are original... but they are a nice collection of practical advice. ;-)

    I know I've been tagged... and. I. will. submit.