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Robert A. Mills

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Blogs by Robert A. Mills

REGINA BRETT IS NO LADY BRETT ASHLEY 6.20.09
6/19/2009 7:55:39 AM
I have a friend who lives in northern Ohio, and she recently emailed a column from the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. It was written by a nonagenarian named Regina Brett. She either is—or was—a journalist, and she once wrote “the 45 lessons life has taught me,” claiming it was the most-requested column she ever wrote. I thought that since I will be celebrating growing slightly older on July 17, I would share these “lessons” with you, just as Ms. Brett compiled them.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
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 okay 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 you won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s okay 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. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
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 want in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, put out the silver, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save the good stuff for a special occasion. Today is a special occasion.
22. Over prepare. Show up on time. 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 else is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every disaster with these words: In five years, will it 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, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative—dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood from you.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside everyday. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we tossed all our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab our own back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. Now matter how you feel, get up, dress up—show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

It has been estimated that 93% of Ms. Brett’s readers never got to No. 45. If you’re one of the 7% who did, good for you. We’re in the vast minority, but remember: I’ll always share my spoon with you. After all, friends are the family we choose for ourselves.




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