40 things I learned in 40 years…maybe

**Adult language, proceed with caution**

As I sit here, mere moments from my impending (the day after my) 41st birthday, I’m contemplating my life thus far. Where have I been, what have I learned, and where am I going? Three of the biggest questions in life. I’m grateful that 2016 is a Leap Year. One extra day of being 40. Not that 40 is or was a bad thing, I don’t mind getting older, I’m again grateful I have the opportunity to be here at this age. There was a time I didn’t think I’d get this far…

This isn’t one of those stereotypical 40 things I learned in 40 years post. You can google the shit out of those and find a ton of useless, often repeated, self esteem bullshit out there, but this isn’t one of them. What it is, is what it is, a little pouring out my soul onto a blog post just to let it all hang out.

In 40 years, I haven’t done all that much. I had a fantastic fast track career that got sidelined in my prime due to a car accident, oh well fuck it, life sucks some times and we gotta pull ourselves up from our bootstrings and try our hardest to move on with the new normal. It’s not always easy, some days are better than others, and we do the best we can with the cards we are dealt with. There are so many things my mind would love for me to do, many of them, my body won’t allow, but I try my damndest to do the best I can. At least I can say I fucking try.

My mind still absorbs all the possible knowledge it is capable of learning. I take each day as a new learning experience, and although I don’t have vast college degrees, I think my BA in Communications/Journalism is enough for me at this time, I have a wealth of knowledge that a classroom or degree can’t measure up to. Life experience is vastly underrated and underutilized. Don’t take it for granted.

I may not be a mother, in the sense of giving birth to a child, but I have mothered plenty of children and I will say they are all better off for the time, attention, love, and discipline…yes discipline I have given them over the years. It’s not being sarcastic, snarky, or ever boasting, it’s just the facts. There are children who when in my care have learned how to read, eat, have manners, show respect, learn that working hard gives them self respect and confidence they didn’t think they had, they learned consequences from bad behavior, and reward (not in monetary sense but in pride) in doing good deeds. Yes, I can say I am a mother, of sorts, to many children.

I have learned what I will tolerate and wont tolerate from myself and from those I surround myself with. If you don’t offer positive vibes in my life, I will cut you out plain and simple. In my mid 30’s when I was trying to be a good Catholic, I gave up Negative People for Lent. I purged my circle of all that negative fucking bullshit that people had to offer me. I have no use for negativity, my own mind can do that just fine when I indulge in it, and I don’t allow myself to indulge. It serves no purpose, but to take the joy out of my life. Like a bad relationship, either intimate, familial, or friend, I will not let you do to me those things for which I know are bad. It doesn’t matter who you are to me, you will mean nothing if I see fit.

I wont eat eggs that are scrambled or have a runny yolk, and if I order them in a diner and they come out any other way I ordered them, they will go back. I won’t be nasty but I will politely say to redo them the way I ordered.  I dated a guy in my late 20’s that asked the silliest question one morning as he was making us breakfast…

“How do you like your eggs?”
“Whatever way you’re having them” I said.
“No that’s not how you answer that question. You need to know how you like your eggs cooked. If you can’t tell someone how you like your eggs, how can you tell them what else you like. Don’t just go with the flow, ask for what you want and you will get it. If they can’t give it to you, move on, you deserve better than the crap they have to offer you.”


If I order 2 eggs over medium, I expect to get runny yolk and a cooked white. Yes I expect it. I want to dip my eggs into that blissfully seductive creamy yolk, and if I have a good piece of gluten free bread with me I want to dunk that shit too! I expect it, if I order over easy then runny crap it will be. And I don’t like runny crappy eggs.

img_1210“Life is like: How do you like your eggs? If you can’t express that, what else are you willing to settle for? You’ll just get whatever the fuck the world wants to give you”

Don’t settle for that crap!!

I don’t know it all, and will never claim to, but I know a lot of things about a lot of things and I wont engage in a conversation if I don’t think I know what I’m fucking talking about. I’m not wasting my time, breath or energy just to hear myself speak, and I wont waste yours either. What’s the point in that? Although I know plenty of people who will talk about everything and anything under the sun just for some attention. Don’t be that kind of person. If you can’t engage in a conversation either with well informed information, or a desire to learn from the topic, don’t waste valuable time.

What I’ve learned at 41 is that there is still a ton of other shit to learn. Yes I’ve got wisdom, experience, failures, and achievements under my belt, but Life, my life is far from over buddy. So that means I’ve got a hell of a lot more things to learn in the next 40+ years of this crazy ride called life. So yeah, I’ve probably learned 40 things in 40 years, but really take every day of your life, the life you’re blessed to live, to learn as much as humanly possible.

I still have that book in me. The one I’ve really wanted to write my whole life. But I’ve got to get to the point of figuring out why I wont write the damn thing. Am I to worried I’ll hurt peoples feelings, stir up some emotions that maybe are better left buried with the now deceased? Or should I just throw caution to the wind, dig out the old notebook, and continue what I once started. It is a story worth telling, at least from my perspective, and one that might help others. I just need to get out of my own way with this one, that I have learned can be the biggest obstacle in ones life. The self imposed boundaries.

I’m here re learning, or trying once again, how to crochet. 16 years ago my Mom tried teaching me. Right after my car accident. Hell I had plenty of time on my hands, although I really wasn’t there mentally at the time to comprehend the intricate details of chain, double chain crochet stitches, but I tried. I failed. I had no patience. So here I am Trying again. Remember in the beginning I said at least I can say I fucking try. And try you should to. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, don’t settle for the status quo, or the self imposed barriers you place on yourself.

See I still suck at crochet, but I’ll pull it apart yet again, and start over. I’m not about to quit learning and figuring out what works best for me.

So here’s a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me. Here’s to 41 fabulously crazy, funny, happy, sad, angry, uncertain, confusing, earth shattering, blissfully challenging, amazing fucking years! And the rest of the years I’ll be blessed to experience that are ahead of me.


xo Paula ❤


10 thoughts on “40 things I learned in 40 years…maybe

  1. Happy birthday, Paula. I celebrated 50 last year and I found myself nodding at much of what you mentioned including mothering kids that aren’t yours. I pretty much did the same. Loved the example of the eggs. You’re so right.
    Wishing you everything you wish for yourself.


    • Thank you very much, Corinne! (I’m sorry I was replying yesterday when my computer decided it wasn’t playing nicely.) I’m glad you liked the egg example, a little bit of a stretch in some light but still hits the mark when you delve into it. 🙂 Have a wonderful day!


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