“Too soon old, too late shmart.”
At 50, I’m a breathing cliché. Not only am I not nearly as smart at 50 as I thought I was in my 20’s, fifty came way too fast. I still walk around and feel 21, until I get a glimpse of myself in a mirror or a store window.
The wrinkles and sags always surprise me.
When I was a young girl, I once stared into the mirror at my tiny frame topped with long, white hair and wondered if I’d ever be beautiful instead of a playground freak. I was teased relentlessly about my size and my Hilex hair.
At 18, I became a born-again Christian and my outlook on life changed. I wondered if I’d ever be wise, useful to the world, and honoring to my Savior.
Other than wrinkles, one aging husband, six kids, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law, four grandkids, two granddogs, and six sets of dishes, I don’t have a lot to show for those 50 years. I’ve gained some unique wisdom, although it might not be sage wisdom.
You can take my meager advice, or learn the hard way and write your blog post about being “too late smart.”
1. If your brothers fart in a test tube, no matter how convincing their argument, it will never smell like roses.
2. Americans, including myself, can behave ignorantly in respect to other’s customs. Educate yourself before you travel.
3. Don’t shave your legs the night before you swim in the Dead Sea. Burn, baby, burn!
4. Take Bill Clinton’s example and don’t inhale if you go to Amsterdam. They smoke everything, everywhere, all the time. Breathing will be hazardous to your health.
5. If you do inhale, Amsterdam has the best over-the-counter drugs for a non-stop cough.
6. You make about $1.17 a year by keeping the money found in the laundry.
7. If there’s Jell-0 on the ceiling and the kids tell you nothing happened, it will take them about 15 years to confess what you already knew happened.
8. It’s possible to fall down steep stairs in wooden high-heeled sandals, break off one heel, and have it splash-land in your mom’s coffee cup.
9. If your brother picks up an extremely ugly rock, chucks it outta’ site and breaks a window, then brings it home to confess and you chuck it outta’ sight, you’ll break a second window.
10. The more cute guys are watching you walk in your new winter coat with matching gloves, the harder you’ll fall on your butt.
11. If you steal apples from your neighbor, Mr. Beaver, you’ll get caught. If you pick trash out of his yard, he’ll never notice.
12. No matter how many boxes of tissue you buy, if you have kids, there will be boogers on your walls.
13. If you turn down a camel ride in 1990, you may never have another chance. Take advantage of each adventure.
14. Red clothing will always fade, red juice or Kool-Aid spilled on carpet or clothing will never fade.
15. Even though you have sissy, uncalloused feet, if you see a teen bleeding on the beach, you can run with super human strength across jagged rocks to administer first aid and your feet will not feel a thing.
16. If a husband gets up to help with puking kids, you may end up cleaning up after him. If he starts dry heaving, save yourself the “help” and send him back to bed.
17. Smiling causes wrinkles. Smile anyway. Frowning causes more.
18. You’re never too old to chase dreams. You chase a little slower and have more reality checks, but chase anyway.
19. It’s never too late to right a wrong.
20. Forgiveness is always the best choice.
21. For hard decisions, look ten years ahead and choose based on what you’ll wish you had done.
22. People always tell you to have a “nice day” or a “good one” but they never tell you how. You’re totally on your own to figure that out.
23. Only floss the teeth you want to keep.
24. You teach your children how to treat you by how you treat your parents. Be nice. Be forgiving. Be understanding.
25. The amount of milk spilled is always equally proportionate to the amount left in the carton and extremely disproportionate to the distance you are from a grocery store.
26. All laws of Thermodynamics apply to housekeeping. Things will always return to its natural state, the state that proves you have family.
27. The more you spend on a suitcase, the more likely the wheel will break off the first time they throw it onto the conveyer belt.
28. After a man and/or child has loaded the dishwasher, a woman can always fit in at least 42 more items.
29. Super Glue adheres only fingers together, not the valuable family heirloom the kids broke playing football in the living room.
30. The more you praise people, the more people you will have in your life to praise.
31. Manners never go out of style. Each generation may change, but the need for manners is changeless.
32. Waxed paper on a 14-foot high slide makes you zoom down really, really fast. However, the faster you go, the farther you slide across the gravel at the bottom, and the worse your road rash.
33. “Stomps on new shoes!” and “Slaps on new haircuts!” were good things to outgrow. Rejoice in others’ blessings.
34. When we women spent as much time, money, and energy changing what’s inside as what’s outside, the world is a better place.
35. Gray hair is a well -earned crown of glory. Earn it and wear it well.
36. Wisdom doesn’t come automatically with age. It must be sought after. Always learn. Always grow.
37. Company never drops by when the house is clean, you’re dressed, and the laundry is caught up.
38. Hospitality before pride. Always warmly welcome surprise company inside, even if you have to shovel a path to the couch.
39. Your cheese will always be moved. Stop whining and carry crackers.
40. If you don’t have the money, don’t buy it. Learning to live without is better than learning to get out of debt.
41. What do you want written on your tombstone? How you’re noticed in life will be how you’re noted in death.
42. Live each day as if you would die tomorrow. Live each day as if you’ll never die.
43. You won’t pull a U-Haul behind your Hearst. Material belongings should bless your life, not be your life.
44. Only three things last for eternity ~ God, His Word, and people. Invest in these three things.
45. Start each day of life by thanking the Lord for dying for your sins. End each day the same way. (Advice from John Dabill)
46. Sin will take you farther than you intended to go, keep you longer than you intended to stay, cost you more than you intended to pay, and hurt a lot of people along the way.
47. Healthy food is cheaper than medical bills.
49. When you accuse God of not answering your prayer, He’s saying “No”, “Wait”, or “I have something better for you.”
50. Aging means you’re alive. Rejoice!
(Click on pictures to read the blog posts in which I got over the hump of being over-the-hill.)