50 Lessons From Turning 50

The opening lines of the movie “Vision Quest” are these: “My name’s Louden, Louden Swain. Last week, I turned 18. I wasn’t ready for it. I haven’t done anything yet. So I made this deal with myself. This is the year I make my mark.”

Well, last week I turned 50. I wasn’t ready for it yet. I feel like I haven’t done anything. But in retrospect, I have learned a lot in the last 18,250 days. So today, I want to share 50 thoughts from living a half-century on this earth (in totally random order).

-Most things are not worth fighting about

-Some things definitely are worth fighting about.

-I knew it all at 22, now, not so much

-Enjoy this life. Find a few things you enjoy doing and do them.

-True friends are hard to find.

-Losing people in this life is a pain that never completely heals.

-Marriage is incredibly complicated and indescribably wonderful at the same time.

-Don’t take yourself too seriously.

-Laugh some every day. 

-Perfect parents do not have children at home.

-Do your best as a parent and then leave them to God.

-Life’s most memorable moments are usually unexpected

-The Church has some difficult people, but most are wonderful.

-Teach and communicate your way out of any situation.

-Take a nap.

-Invest in experiences and not things.

-Buy quality products once and take care of them.

-The little things make a huge difference.

-Lead with your weakness. It sounds wrong, but it is what truly makes you a leader.

-Habits are essential to growth.

-No one has any real idea if they are doing life correctly. We are all just doing our best.

-Invest your time in people above ALL else. 

-Faith is a lifelong journey.

-Focus on the trajectory of your life over time. Don’t let minor setbacks derail you. 

-Make a plan to be the person you desire. Don’t just have dreams.

-Love the precious people in the Church who serve the Lord every week with joy. 

-Don’t believe every sob story. Unfortunately, there are lots of con artists out there. 

-Don’t argue online. Period.

-Sports is not as important for kids as we pretend. 

-Sports scholarships are a mirage.

-Tip Well. 

-Adapt or Die. Maybe at one point in history, you could avoid change. That is no longer true.

-Growth is non-negotiable. You must be growing in every area of life: Spiritually, personally, relationally, mentally, emotionally.   

-Learn from your mistakes, and don’t be afraid to make many of them.

-Being a Pastor’s wife is the single most challenging job in the world.

-Most people who complain simply did not get enough love or attention as a child.

-Telling the truth is hard. People love not only to tell lies but to hear them. 

-Give me long enough to think about something. I may change my mind. 

-When people die, you will miss the little things about them most of all. That huge vacation is fun, but real connections happen every single day.

-Most people are lonely. Find people and be lonely together.

-Whenever you think of something nice to communicate, do it immediately.

-Forgive. Truly let it go. 

-Miracles just take longer and often come looking like hard work.

-Don’t forget to breathe.

-Build a life you do not have to take a vacation from too often.

-Don’t save anything for a “special occasion.” Use it.

-Chocolate makes life more enjoyable.

-Real education comes from living and doing. 

-You will never know the amount of good you did in this life.

-I know it is cliché – but time flies.

*(Bonus) Obey God and enjoy each moment he gives you.

Maybe he will give me another 50, maybe not, but I will keep living and learning with every day that I am given.   

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