The Birthday Post: 52 Life Lessons

Yup. It’s that time, I’m afraid.

It’s time for the annual birthday post. It’s the one day of the year that I allow myself to feel blessed and old at the same time.

It doesn’t make it easier when your own brother sends you these GOOD MORNING images with “Happy birthday” written across the top of the text.

So, with those lovely images in mind, and with life lessons I’ve learned over the course of all my (yes, 52 years), I thought I’d share them with you today. Please know that these life lessons are in no particular order and were written with full honesty.

52 Life Lessons Thus Far

1. People will surprise you (both in a good way and a bad way).

2. You are smarter than you think you are.

3. Life moves fast.

4. Good intentions do matter.

5. Women can be bitches.

6. You can spend a long time missing someone.

7. Hard work pays off.

8. A sense of humor is vital to survival.

9. Forgive those who hurt you.

10. No matter how hard you try, you will never understand every bit of everyone.

11. A hug has healing powers.

12. Talking politics can be poisonous to friendships.

13. Patience truly is a virtue.

14. Traveling helps you understand yourself and the world around you.

15. A kind word never hurt anybody.

16. Apologize quickly.

17. Life is not always fair.

18. Some people take far more than they give.

19. If friendship is a one-way street, take a detour.

20. Steer clear of negative people, judgmental people, and gossips.

21. Be persistent in pursuit of what you love.

22. Trust your instinct.

23. Remain calm when you want to scream.

24. Be a good listener and a good friend.

25. Read constantly.

26. Be as organized as you can be; it saves time.

27. Stop and smell the roses often and with passion.

28. Tell people you love that you love them, and often.

29. Give yourself permission to fail or make a mistake; it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

30. Be polite; look people in the eye.

31. Perfect your handshake and your smile.

32. Forgive yourself.

33. Allow your kids to make mistakes.

34. You can’t—and shouldn’t—always pick up other people’s pieces.

35. Write down your family stories.

36. People make time for you if they want to.

37. The best thing you can give your kids are happy memories.

38. Jealousy and envy fracture and break relationships.

39. Make time for your hobbies and the things you love to do.

40. Writing letters still matters.

41. Teaching keeps you young.

42. Having a mentor is crucial to success.

43. The sacrifice bunt is still baffling.

44. Allow people to chase their dreams.

45. Friendships can be disappointing.

46. Success is whatever you want it to be, as determined by you.

47. Rainbows and ladybugs are lucky.

48. Parakeets in the home can be pretty darn noisy.

48. Things are not always as they seem.

49. A good marriage takes work.

50. Joy comes from within; no one can find it for you.

51. Jesus’s teachings of kindness and love can guide your actions in all circumstances.

52. Remember: you have the ability to impact someone else’s life.


Stephanie Verni is Professor of Business Communication at Stevenson University and is the author of Inn Significant, Baseball Girl, and Beneath the Mimosa Tree. Along with her colleagues Leeanne Bell McManus and Chip Rouse, she is a co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice, published by Kendall-Hunt.


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