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11 Things It Took Me Nearly 50 Years To Figure Out

It's full-on fall. The back-to-school frenzy has calmed and most people find themselves settling into some sort of fall routine.

My kids are settled in to school, geared up for a year of learning new stuff. While I was chest-deep in back-to-school shopping and the special hell that is the school supply shopping list, I took a few minutes to reflect on some of the lessons I have learned up to this point in my life. Here's what I came up with:

1. Most people are about as happy as they choose to be. Let that sink in.

2. If something isn't going to matter in 5 years, you probably don't need to spend time worrying about it today. The jackass who cut you off in traffic...what someone posted on Facebook...a dirty towel on the floor.

3. To ask myself these three things before I say something: is it true, is it necessary and is it kind? Actually, I read this on a meme, but it kind of stuck with me.

4. Be genuine and don't compare yourself to others. If you think someone else's life is a cakewalk, remember that you are only seeing what they allow you to see. Don't worry about what other people do.

5. Love isn't just a feeling, it is also a choice.

6. I enjoy my own company more than the company of most other people...I don't have to apologize for being an introvert. I know who I am.

7. There are some things I'm just never going to be good at: homemade pie crust, shaving my legs without cutting myself, parallel parking. There are a lot of things I am good at. I've learned to be okay with Pillsbury and parking half a mile away. The leg shaving thing? I don't know what to say about that one. I give up.

8. Don't surround yourself with people who don't want to be with you or value you. This is true in all types of relationships. I spent most of my twenties and a good bit of my thirties floating through relationships with assholes who weren't into me.

9. Be cautious when sharing sensitive information - you can't un-ring a bell.

10. Don't always wait for someone to do something nice for you: spoil yourself once in a while. Buy the good coffee and don't wait for a special occasion to open that bottle of wine you've been saving.

11. Realize you will never stop learning. I'm old enough to appreciate that I've learned a lot of stuff over the years but realistic enough to know that there's a lot I don't know.

I might not be enrolled in school but I'm a learner...and I've learned enough about life to know that what I know is a drop in the bucket compared to what I don't know.

Jill Robbins is a published author, and award winning writer, speaker and wine snob. She writes regularly on her blog, Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. You can keep up with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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