50 Things I Have Learned at 50, by Ann Belote Weir

Today’s installment in the “Things I Have Learned” series comes from a colleague at my first job after college, where I worked as a reporter at the Alpena News. If you’ve never heard of Alpena, think cold. It’s five hours north of Detroit, and in addition to learning a tremendous amount about real-life newspapers, I learned such things as how to park my car to protect the engine from the ice-cold winter winds whipping moisture from Lake Huron.

But today isn’t about me or about Alpena, it’s about Ann.

Ann Belote Weir

Ann Belote Weir shares her 50 Things I Have Learned at 50 list today.

Ann Belote Weir lives in northeast Michigan and has learned much about herself from her life as a wife, mother and newspaper reporter. She blogs about weight loss and life at www.weirlosingit.blogspot.com and has a day job at the local Area Agency on Aging. She is looking forward to at least 30 more years of learning.

  1. When you start out a new adventure or project thinking “What’s the worst that can happen?” you usually find out.
  2. It’s quite all right to laugh right out loud.
  3. Commas – when it doubt leave them out.
  4. When I was younger and would mow the lawn, I always mowed with the grass flying to the outside, making quite a mess in my wake. My dad stopped me one day and told me to mow to the inside, informing me that the grass would be easier to clean up as it would all be less scattered.  “Always mow to the inside, you’ll find your messes are easier to clean up.” I found that to be quite an analogy to life.
  5. Do not shop for groceries on the 1st of any month. Trust me on this one.
  6. I have found, as I have gotten older, a larger capacity to love, and less fear to embrace that feeling.
  7. I still look both ways before I cross the street and use my eyes, my ears and then my feet.
  8. Apparently I am the only one who likes my singing.
  9. Humor really does make you feel better.
  10. Play fair.
  11. No bad comes of not forwarding an email – likewise no fortune can come if you do forward one.
  12. Build bridges, not roadblocks.
  13. It’s ok to say no and not feel bad – but it’s hard sometimes to not feel bad and that’s ok, too.
  14. Go to the stores that treat you well, not the ones that are cheapest.
  15. You can’t will love away. Sometimes love, unrequited or otherwise, just stays with you, whether you want it to or not.
  16. Keep your eyes on the road; do not get distracted by things that fall on the floorboard of your car. Learned that one the hard way.
  17. Parallelism, passive voice, periodic structure.
  18. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – always ask questions.
  19. The flying monkeys aren’t real, the flying monkeys aren’t real.
  20. Whatever I make will never taste like mom’s.
  21. Took me a long time to learn this:  accept what you cannot change.
  22. Take a lot of pictures!
  23. Let people take pictures of you – how else will people remember you when you’re gone?
  24. Hitting anyone is never all right.
  25. Everyone has flaws – so do I. My friends accept mine, I accept theirs.
  26. Swimming in a pool is much better than swimming in a lake, lounging by the lake is much better than lounging by the pool.
  27. There is nothing wrong with free stuff.
  28. ALWAYS balance your check book. One mistake can cost a lot of money. I learned that the hard way, too.
  29. As a matter of fact, most things I’ve learned, I’ve learned the hard way.
  30. Your environment can shape who you are, but it doesn’t have to define you.
  31. Never underestimate the need for a full-length mirror.
  32. You do not have to settle.
  33. A good hair stylist really can make anyone look good.
  34. Do good. Always do good.
  35. Don’t be afraid to show how smart you are.
  36. As a parent, I want my kids not to be as good as me but better than me at parenting.
  37. There’s nothing wrong with taking a recess.
  38. Never regret anything you’ve done. You can’t change it but you can learn from it.
  39. Pick your own theme song. You can always change it.
  40. Subscribe to magazines – much cheaper.
  41. Be kind.
  42. If there is someone behind you with fewer groceries than you, let them go ahead of you.
  43. High school is not the best time of your youthful life. College is.
  44. I learned this from my grandson who was 5 at the time – never drive with the sunroof open because, “Birds could poop in there”. Haven’t used it since. I vent it instead. Because he’s right.
  45. Appreciate fully what people have done for you and thank them.
  46. Don’t shoot down someone’s dream just because you think it’s stupid. It isn’t your dream.
  47. The short version – just keep your mouth shut if you aren’t sure that what you’re going to say will be appreciated.
  48. Everyone knows what opinions are like, and that everyone has one. I say rumors are like that too, and that everyone knows one.
  49. Always have a good mix on your mp3.
  50. Share.

Ann Belote Weir was the seventh installment in the “Things I Have Learned” series, running each Thursday on Newvine Growing. Previous lists have come from:

Each person’s list is their own. Life teaches us all different lessons, even when we face the same experiences. I’m honored to share this series of life lessons in each contributor’s voice.

If you would like to contribute a list to the Things I Have Learned series, please let me know either in the comments below or by email: cnewvine at gmail dot com.


Categories: career, creativity, health and well being, home and family, lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. OMG. Not only do I love this list…but I’m FROM Alpena. That just feels so randomly coincidental!

  2. 11.No bad comes of not forwarding an email – likewise no fortune can come if you do forward one.

    This is my favorite! It’s the little things, really.


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