This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Regina Brett: 45 Life Lessons (Plus 5 to Grow On)

I love it. In an email I received recently, the text read the following list was by a 90 year old columnist, but when I looked it up (on SNOPES at http://www.snopes.com/glurge/lifelessons.asp) I found this poor lady had been aged 40-some years before her time. Here is part of the Snopes commentary:

Regina Brett is a long-time columnist for Ohio newspapers (including the Akron Beacon Journal and the Cleveland Plain Dealer) who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 for "her range of compelling columns that move the heart, challenge authority and often trigger action while giving readers deeper insight into life's challenges.

Ms. Brett is also the compiler of the above-quoted list of "life lessons," which was originally published in the Plain Dealer and has since become "the single most popular column ever written by Regina."

Contrary to the Internet-circulated version of Ms. Brett's list, however, she is NOT 90 years old. Regina Brett turned 50 years old in 2006, and on that occasion she updated her list of "45 life lessons" with an additional "5 to grow on." In a June 2009 blog entry, 53 year old Regina Brett wrote about the Internet-created misperception that she is 90.  http://www.cleveland.com/brett/blog/index.ssf/2009/06/lifes_lessons_speed_up_on_inte.html

So, beware of getting too old too quickly if you write well :-)

I found Ms. Brett's list of lessons compelling, so went to the original source, her blog, in which she prints them plus five more. Here they are, at http://www.cleveland.com/brett/blog/index.ssf/2006/05/regina_bretts_45_life_lessons.html


To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here's an update:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


  1. This is a great post, Amy. I've read these before, but reading them on a regular basis is a good thing. Thanks.


    Tom Blubaugh, Author
    Night of the Cossack

  2. Thanks Tom! Regina definitely has some good things to think about. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I've read this list a number of times, and have enjoyed it, but didn't know the story behind it. Very interesting, thanks.

  4. Warren, I just received these a few weeks ago, but really appreciated the wisdom of Ms. Brett. Number 18 for right now seems important for me to follow :-)