50 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years

Hi everyone! I am letting mom have my day because it is her birthday.

Thank you Penny. I have been thinking a lot about turning the big 5-0 so I thought I would make a list. It is pretty random, some are quotes I agree with and lessons from books, others are things I find important. I hope you enjoy it. If I forgot anything important, please let me know.

1. You can’t save anyone.
2. Cats are God’s best invention.
3. People that brag have the most to hide.
4. When a cat stops eating, it is very, very sick.
5. People that give too many compliments are phony.
6. My mom is ALWAYS right.
7. Listen more than you speak.
8. Don’t assume anything ( The Four Agreements)
9.You should always do your best ( The Four Agreements)
10. Always be impeccable with your word. ( The Four Agreements)
11. Don’t take anything personally ( The Four Agreements)- I have trouble with this one.
12. Crayons will melt if left in the car ( just learned that one).
13. It is much harder to get out of something than into it.
14. No one is “normal”.
15. Just because someone goes to church every week doesn’t mean they are a good person.
16. Instructions are written for a reason- read them. ( I am bad at this which is why I am making my 100 snowflakes to practice following directions).
17. A goal can be reached in many ways.
18. It is OK to change a horse midstream if your horse is dead. ( I started saying this after college because I knew I didn’t want to be a teacher, but I didn’t want to change horses and what a waste of college).
19. It is OK to say No to anything you don’t want to do.
20. Breathing issues do not always mean lung problems- sometimes it means heart failure.
21. Anything worthwhile takes the effort.
22. You should always give more than you take.
23. Everything changes.
24. Life is unfair- bad things happen to good people and vice versa.
25. If you want different results, you need to take different actions.
26. Something is always lost when something is gained.
27. Leave everything better than you found it.
28. If you won’t write it and sign it then you should not say it.
29. Don’t react, instead you should respond.
30. When cooking crack the eggs in a separate bowl.
31. Don’t wait for conditions to be perfect to do anything or you will never do anything.
32. Always send a thank you note- handwritten.
33. It really does take a village to raise a child. ( I am thankful I had a village and have been part of many children’s villages).
34. You really are the sum total of the 3 people you are with the most.
35. Flossing is very important.
36. You will use Algebra after high school. ( I use it when I reduce a recipe).
37. Everything happens for a reason , butΒ  we can’t always figure out the reason.
38. Four year college is a waste of money. Why do they spread it out over 4 years when it can be done much quicker- and cheaper?
39. You can’t break a habit- you can only go over it with a new one.
40. Always accept water when offered ( people feel bad if you don’t).
41. Treat your inner child well.
42. Everyone needs something to look forward to.
43. Leave them wanting more-don’t overstay your welcome anywhere. ( Seinfeld).
44. If someone gossips to you, they will gossip about you.
45. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. ( Eldrige Cleaver)
46. Let is go- bad thoughts, possessions, etc. Whenever I want my mom to throw something away, I start singing Elsa’s song, Let It Go.
47. Multi-tasking is not such a good thing. Better to give 100% to each task.
48. Life is too short to wait for anything.If you want to do something- do it.
49. Time spent with cats is never wasted. ( Sigmund Freud).
50. Everyone needs hope.


  1. Happy birthday! And I like your list, bittersweet and all. Another cooking lesson involves any ingredient being measured over a separate container should the cook/baker over-measure. Simply put, you can always add but never subtract. ~sigh~ Life is what it is, eh? ~hugs~ Be well, fellow new pentagenarian.

  2. S such a thoughtful list, lots of wisdom there…well after 50 years there needs to be wisdom in a peep’s life, right?!
    Happy Birthday to YOU, Miss Ellen!
    May you be blessed and may you have good health and happiness for at least 50 more birthdays. If not more:)

    Enjoy your special day to the max!

    Petcretary said that when she was only 50, eons ago, she was not working, had three kitties and young dog, and two sons still in school…and that was BC…before Cancer…but she is well, now, working and is empty nested, with one kitty and two pups, how things do change! Soon she will celebrate a different kind of big birthday…

  3. These are all important lessons, especially for humans. Although my human discovered that sometimes a very sick kitty can still have a good appetite. Binga was eating treats even when the vet came to put her down, and had eaten full meals the whole time she was sick.

  4. Happy 50th birthday! I absolutely dreaded reaching mine because my mum was 50 when she died of cancer. I was convinced I would also die at 50. Reaching 60 didn’t worry me at all, but that was the age I got cancer the first time. Now I am determined to get to 70 which will also be our 50th wedding anniversary. That is not until 2021 but I won’t let the evil c beat me.
    #30 Cracking eggs in a separate bowl is something I always do. My MIL had 80 laying hens that ran free over the farm by day but were shut in the hen house by night. In theory they should lay their eggs before being let out, but of course she would find some in other places. She always told me they could be older so I always cracked them into individual cups first. Oh the smell of the first rotten egg I had!

    1. Thank you. I can understand your fear at 50. I am praying for you to have good health for a long, long time. I am sure that smell really lets you know if an egg is bad. XO

  5. Happy Birthday Ellen…….! This list is wonderful and so many of these thoughts resonate with me too. We learn a lot in our time here if we are OPEN to learning and I know you are – I’d like to think we’re better off for it if we just listen and learn along the way. I hope you have an incredible birthday – the BIG 50 is a milestone and I hope you enjoy every minute of it!

    Love, Pam

  6. They are each one excellent. But #28 should be on a sign in every room in the house- and everywhere we go. Gossip and criticism are the most pernicious things we humans seem to do. The human tongue is deadly sometimes. Not everyone, and not all of the time. But if there is a fault, that one will be among them. πŸ™‚

  7. Happy Birthday to you. I hope it is a fun day and I hope there is birthday cake and I hope you hear Happy Birthday sung right straight to you!!


  8. You are most wise. You’re learned so many wonderful things.

    β™ͺβ™ͺHappy Birthday to you,β™ͺβ™ͺ
    β™ͺβ™ͺHappy Birthday to you,β™ͺβ™ͺ
    β™ͺβ™ͺHappy Birthday Dear Ellen,β™ͺβ™ͺ
    β™ͺβ™ͺHappy Birthday to you.β™ͺβ™ͺ

    Thank you for joining the Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Happy Tuesday, Birthday Girl. β™₯

  9. Happy Happy 50th Ellen and what inspirational 50 things.
    2 things my home economics teacher always stressed:
    1. always wash off an egg and crack eggs separately
    2. always wash off the top of canned goods before opening. She said you’d be surprised at ‘what’ scurries about warehouses before things are shipped.

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ That is good advice. I used to wipe the cans and somehow got out of it, but I will start again. XO

  10. Happy Birthday, Ellen! Boy, that had to take some time and it was time well spent. All 50 of your things work for me and I learned a few things, too! It was very nice of Penny to give up her post day for you… Penny’s gift to you πŸ™‚

  11. Happy Birthday, you young’un!
    “You can’t break a habit- you can only go over it with a new one.” This one hit home; thank you!
    Have a great day! Smooch some kitties…it’s one of my favorite pass times…LOL!

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚ I just read a book about habits and how we can’t erase the neural pathways, but we can go over them.

  12. So you’re turning 50. No big deal. Think of it this way, You’re a few months younger than me. HA HA!!😻😻😻😻😹😹😹😹😹😹😹😹😻😻😻😻

  13. guyz…a MOST happee 50th two yur mom & heerz ta 50 mor…….we hope her day total lee rox; hope her getz a chocolate pizza pie & heerz two a yeer a head filled with happeez N healtheez….

  14. Wishing you the happiest birthday ever, Ellen! 50 is just a number. You can be as young as you want. And I really enjoyed going through your list of profundities here. I really like how you expressed #28, and it’s such a true statement. Now, go eat some cake!

  15. Ellen what a great list! I agree with every single one and would only add that it is good to sit a little daily and let your mind clear of the noise. We all wish you many happy returns of the day and health and wellness for you and your family!
    Pete and the Furs

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