50 Years, 50 Life Lessons by A Creative Content Whizz

Our job, as a content agency, is often to distil wisdom into punchy, readable content. Easier said than done, sometimes. But our Managing Editor Alison Marshall makes it look easy, as her recent 50th birthday Facebook post shows.

After a week of celebration it's time for reflection. Here are my 50 life lessons from 600 months of living:

  1. Always be happy in your own skin
  2. When you find someone you love hold on to them for the rest of your life. Don't let them go because you think you're too young/the time isn't right - there's no guarantee they will come back to you
  3. Never try and change the person you love
  4. A partnership should make both of you stronger than you are as individuals
  5. Real friends will love you for who you are, not the car you drive or the house you live in
  6. Not all people who go to church regularly are nice
  7. Be kind every day
  8. Designer bags and shoes don't define you, as I read recently better to have a $10 bag and $290 to put in it than a $290 bag and $10 to put in it
  9. Life is an adventure, seize every opportunity
  10. Don't party too hard when you are young — when you get to middle age you will find yourself ill and broke
  11. You control your own happiness
  12. Cherish every minute with your children and tell them every day that you love them
  13. Smile. It makes you and everyone else feel better
  14. Spend time with people you love. They won't appreciate the times you put flowers on their grave
  15. Distance doesn't diminish true friendship
  16. Don't let your job title define you. Those hangers-on that like to be associated for the kudos will soon disappear if the job goes
  17. Everyone has their good points — even if you can't immediately see them!
  18. Do what you love and love what you do
  19. A well paid job is not worth the money if you don't enjoy it
  20. A cheese sandwich can be as delicious as a gourmet meal with the right location and the right company
  21. A good diet will guard against ageing more successfully than any “miracle” creams
  22. Don't wish time away; live in the present
  23. Only worry about things you can control
  24. Crap happens, learn how best to deal with it. The bad times will pass
  25. Losing someone you love is the most painful thing you'll ever experience, you never get over it but you will learn to live with it
  26. When you're in a partnership you don't have to be joined at the hip
  27. In general, men don't get excited about cushions and candles
  28. Don't worry about what other people think of you
  29. Be able to laugh at yourself
  30. Revel in simple pleasures: a great sunrise, that perfect coffee
  31. Understand that you can't always be perfect
  32. Offer help but don't let people take advantage
  33. Never underestimate the great feeling you get from spending time with friends
  34. Never spend more than you earn
  35. Apart from a mortgage try to manage life loan free
  36. Never be afraid of hard work. But don't live to work; work to live
  37. Manners are appreciated (but underused)
  38. Value the elderly in society. Their stories and experiences are priceless. That little old man along the road is likely to have been a war hero in his day
  39. Never stop learning. Age is not a barrier
  40. Wear what you like
  41. It's okay to ask for help
  42. Music is almost as good as medicine
  43. Fashion isn't for everyone
  44. A kind gesture is more valuable than expensive gifts
  45. Treat everyone the same. Not only people in positions of power deserve respect
  46. Never regret
  47. Being a parent is the best job you'll ever have
  48. We all want equality but to be there for your children, one partner's career is likely to have to take a back seat
  49. Money doesn't buy happiness — or health
  50. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new, or meet someone who will make a difference to your life

Crap happens, learn how best to deal with it."