Jennifer Brozek | 50 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years, Part 1

50 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years, Part 1

Being in my fifties now, I thought it would be a good thing to think about some thoughts I’ve learned that I’ve incorporated into my life—or try to. I’m not perfect. I’ve broken these 50 things in to five groups: Emotions, Habits, Love, Career, and Perspective. I will post one section a week for five weeks. This week’s section is: Emotions.

Emotions. These things are intrinsic to all of us but are sometimes unfathomable. Many times we react rather than hold and contemplate then act. That’s because some of these emotions were programmed into us through interactions with others. Other emotions have been hard earned through experience.

  1. Emotions: You will survive. You may not enjoy it, but you will survive. I think this was the first personal rule I put in place in my life in my tweens.
  2. Emotions: Learn when to thank someone for their understanding of a thing instead of apologizing. Especially apologizing for existing.
  3. Emotions: Sometimes it’s better to sit with a feeling (even if it isn’t good) to understand and process it than to ignore or suppress it. Sit with it as if it were a young child who is hurting and there is nothing to do to help except to be there and validate their emotions.
  4. Emotions: No one is a mind reader. If you want or need something, use your words. It will go better for you and for the ones around you. Hinting at things you want or need tends to lead to disappointment and resentment.
  5. Emotions: Don’t just save your best stuff for everyone else. Treat yourself to your best. At least once a week, use the “good” dishes, wear the expensive cologne, dress up, and/or primp. Just for you. Doesn’t matter if you are staying in to watch videos or going out to run errands. Gift yourself with things you value/prize. You are allowed to feel wonderful just for yourself.
  6. Emotions: Tattoos are “forever.” When getting a tattoo (especially the first couple)…if you can think about having the same tattoo on the same part of your body for a full year, no deviations, you’re ready for a tattoo. If not, you’re not ready.
  7. Emotions: Be aware that tattoos are addictive. It’s hard to get just one. Thus, be picky and be specific.
  8. Emotions: Watch how the people in your life talk about, or treat, their family, their ex-friends/ex-lovers, and waitstaff at restaurants. That’s how they will treat you when they no longer want to impress you.
  9. Emotions: Living in “interesting times” is both a boon and a curse. Sometimes your attitude is the difference between one or the other.
  10. Emotions: Understand when you are venting if you need a blanket (comfort) or a sword (help) and ask for that in specific. Sometimes the person you are asking will be yourself.

Next up: Habits.

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