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Challenge: Life Changes

40 things I've learned in 40 years

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1. You will miss your parent after they are gone, no matter how bad your relationship was.

2. My best decisions have been made with the help of a pros and cons list.

3. If someone tells you they are good at keeping secrets, they are not good at keeping secrets.

4. Cakes displayed in diner windows look a lot better than they taste.

5. Do not cry at work.

6. You are not funnier, prettier or more likable when you are drunk. Two drinks max at the company holiday party.

7. Avoid renting an apartment over a restaurant. Mice and cockroaches like to explore.

8. When I was engaged in my early 30s, our couples therapist asked us to write our wedding vows. At our next session, we recited them to each other. Mine read like they had been written by a robot. He wrote three paragraphs without listing one thing he loved about me. We broke up shortly after.

Try this exercise if you are having second thoughts.

9. It’s not you, it’s the fluorescent light.

10. Marry someone you would want your daughter to marry.

11. Get fitted for a bra.

12. “Modern Loss” or “Understanding Your Grief” instead of an Edible Arrangement after someone dies.

13. Ask someone in the produce department to help you pick a good melon.

14. Keep a Dustbuster in your car.

15. Worrying never changes the outcome.

My 30th

16. Cauliflower. Mandy Moore. Just two examples of how it’s never too late to glow up.

17. TOTALLY OK to be married and miss the excitement of a first kiss.

18. TOTALLY OK to go to bed angry. Sometimes you just need to sleep it off.

19. Your wedding day is not the most important day of your life.

20. Dating red flags: pushes out of the elevator first, doesn’t ask your friends questions, eats the last bite of dessert, walks ahead of you.

21. Store cucumbers in plastic wrap to keep them from getting soft and moldy. Ripe avocados will keep for another few days in the fridge.

22. Seltzer water is the key to soft, fluffy matzah balls.

23. Exit a job gracefully. Offer to help find and train your replacement. You never know who you will cross paths with later on in your career.

24. Go to Nicaragua next.

25. My personal experience is that guys who cry a lot, lie a lot.


27. Everybody loves pigs in a blanket.

28. The best medicine: laughter, Klonopin, a night all to yourself in a hotel.

29. I started my thirties about 50 pounds lighter than I am now. I was the same person.

30. If you are having problems in your relationship, Google “active listening.” Then try it.

31. No one cares about your birth story.

32. Overnight camp is worth every penny.

33. By the time you turn 40, you will most likely have already experienced the loss of a good friend. Save emails from people that matter. It is the closest thing you will have to a conversation with them after they are gone.

34. No one understands the needs of parents better than a minivan.

35. Study abroad. Be selfish. One day, you will be pretending you have a prescription ready for pickup, just to get 15 minutes of alone time.

36. Little acts of kindness leave lasting impressions. I remember the woman in Israel who hugged me at a payphone when I was 15 and homesick and I couldn’t reach my mom. I remember the strangers who raced to my grandpa’s side and brought him water when he fell on an NYC street corner. There is so much good in this world.

37. Don’t expect your husband to understand you like your girlfriends.

38. It’s never too late to apologize.

39. Mistakes are life lessons.

40. Aging is a privilege.

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