Life Lessons from Regina Brett

By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio


"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 rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

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. 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. In an 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. 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 love in life, don't take "no" for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, get out the good china and silverware. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22.
Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23.
Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24
. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?".**
26. Always choose life.
27.
Forgive everyone everything.
28. What other people think of you is none of your business.
29. Time heals almost everything.
Give time, time.
30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
32. Believe in miracles.
33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
34.
Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
36.
Your children get only one childhood.
37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
41. The best is yet to come.
42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
43. Yield.
44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Under,  you cannot trust anyone, I took the time to look up Regina’s bio to see if she was still with us and was surprised to see a picture of the lady to the right.  It seems that someone took a few more liberties with her age to make the above more appealing.  She might not be 90 but I like her smile, so I decided it was fun just to let you know. 

** I was working for a farmer picking up hay bales and stacking them on a farm hay rack. We had been picking bales and putting them in the barn for most of the day.  The Iowa sun that had been blistering all day, was finally sinking closer to the horizon.  We finally finished a field and we were making our way out the gate. I got off of the hay rack to close the gate.  When I did I noticed that about half a field away was a hay bale which had rolled into the weeds, next to the fence line. 

I pointed down the fence line and said, “Averl we missed a bale!” He turned on the tractor seat and eyed that far away bale.  When he turned back, he said, “Mel, in 20 years I’ll never miss the damned thing.”  As he drove through the opening I closed the gate and got onto the back onto the hay rack. As we were heading down the road, I realized that this old farmer had just given me a life lesson.  The nice part is that it was early in my life and it was given to me for free. 

(This really did happen) Mel