Never let the gas gauge on your car get below half. You never know when something will happen. And it will happen. That’s not fatalistic, that’s realistic. Plus, your car runs better when the tank is more full. Can’t afford it? Use Gas Buddy to find the cheapest gas near you. Then go there.

Never let your cell phone battery get too low. Refer to number one. I know that the phone manufacturer says it’s good to let the battery drain completely, but only do that when you’re at home and you know you can completely discharge and charge it. Don’t rely on your car charger, the Uber’s car charger, the charger at your friend’s house, or the one in the bottom of the kitchen drawer at work. Crap is happening to us on a daily basis where we need a fully charged phone. (Sorry about the crap thing. Oops, I said it again. Okay, not sorry.)

You’ve got to have insurance. This is non-negotiable. At the very least catastrophic insurance. If you don’t have the money, you can get Medicaid from your state. At one point I had to resort to that for my son. I wasn’t embarrassed; my son’s health was more important. I was working seven part-time jobs and still didn’t make quite enough money to afford insurance. Yes, I said seven! I was “living the dream.” AGAIN, let me repeat, this is non-negotiable. Even a broken arm or needing stitches can seriously set an individual or a family back. Any illness or injury beyond that and you could end up bankrupt or in court. If your company offers insurance for your family, take it. It’s worth it. Have insurance. Non-negotiable. (Yes, I said it again. Let’s move on.)

You don’t need all the stuff you think you need. A messy house is a cluttered house; a messy mind is a cluttered mind. Be an anti-hoarder. A simple life is a happy life. Let it go, give it away, sell it, trash it. Live lighter. You’ll thank me for it. AND your family won’t have to deal with all your stuff after you’re gone. No one wants to do that. It’s bad enough you’re gone.

Eat crap, you’ll feel like crap. If you eat a lot of crap, your body will get crappy. There’s no other way to put it. All that food that we keep in our houses that has ingredients we can’t or struggle to pronounce, yeah, that’s crap. It’s not as expensive as everyone is telling you, or as you think it is, to eat healthier. Find a farmer’s market, a scratch and dent store (typically they carry wonderful things), a co-op, grow a little garden box on the balcony of your apartment or in your tiny backyard; you can do it from vegetable scraps. OR swap food with friends. Have pot lucks with friends and family. There’s always, always a food bank in your area if you need it. Use it. Or give to it.

If you haven’t worn it for a year, yes, you’ve heard this, you ain’t gonna wear it. You don’t like it, and every time you put it on, you take it off. It’s now made its way to the back of your closet or the back of your drawer, AND you avoid it like the plague. No matter who gave it to you, the sentimental value, how much you like the color, you’re not ever going to wear it. If it’s sentimental, frame it. Otherwise, give it away to someone who will wear it. Get rid of it. NOW. Someone in my family (who will remain nameless) has more shoes than they have worn in over 30 years. This is an extension of number six. Boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of shoes in the walk-in closet on the top of the closet, on the bottom of the closet, in little racks on the side of the closet, and hanging on the closet door. Some they’ve never worn; the shoes were purchased on a whim or as retail therapy. Don’t give in to whims, or instead get REAL therapy. If they don’t feel good in the store, they’re not going to feel good at home or when you try to wear them. If they give you blisters, you’re not going to wear them. It doesn’t matter if you bought them on sale or BOGO half-price or free—if they don’t fit, if you don’t adore the color, if they’re not comfortable, you’re not going to wear them. EVVVVERRRR. They will end up in your closet gathering dust. That includes those gorgeous Manolo Blahniks that you had to have and you spent $400—or more—on just because they’re, well, Manolo Blahniks. I must admit I had a pair of Manolo Blahniks. They were given to me as a gift. They were gorgeous. The only way I could wear them was to put them on in the house, walk to the car, walk into the restaurant or theater, walk back into the car, then walk into the house and take those suckers off. They always hurt my feet. The beauty, fashion, look-at-me wasn’t worth it. I gave them away. My friend loved them, too, but I don’t think she wears them either. We aren’t all living in Sex and the City. I’ll bet at the end of every episode their feet hurt, too. The fantastic thing about shoes these days is even gorgeous, trendy, fashionable, sexy shoes are being made not to hurt your feet. Shoes don’t need to feel like you’re in ancient Japan when women bound their feet to establish their status. It was a painful tradition then, and it’s a painful one now. (Sorry, Japan, I still love you!) I have two gorgeous pairs of heels in the back of my closet, and they’re comfortable. I still don’t wear them. Except for the aforementioned way. Home, car, restaurant, car, home, OFF! I’ve gotten to the point I wear the most fun, cool sneakers. I get compliments on them all the time. AAANNNDD my feet don’t hurt. I no longer need extra Band-Aids when I go out. Wear that.

If you don’t work out or get exercise, you. Don’t. Work. Out. Or. Get. Exercise. That, and eating, like in number four, is why you have extra weight. It’s why you jiggle a little or a lot. It has everything to do with your hand to your mouth and your butt in a seat. I’m calling myself out here, too, trust me! OR because you ride everywhere and never walk. If you’re finding excuses for why you can’t do things, believe me, eventually you really won’t be able to do things. Your muscles are going to atrophy, your joints are going to dry up, your blood pressure is going up, your cholesterol is going up, your salt and sugar intake will be through the roof, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, brain fog, sleeplessness, that horrible, dangerous, hard, adipose fat is going to settle in places you didn’t know you had places AND THEN you are in a hurt locker… Do I really need to go on? Move it or lose it. (Yes, I went on.) Find a way to move it. It’s going to hurt a little. It may hurt more than a little. BUT if you are doing it right, (and not overdoing it because you want to get in shape in a week, even though you didn’t get out of shape in a week), the hurt will go away and so will the fat. Plus, you will begin to see these curves in your arms, legs and stomach. Those are called muscles. You have them, I have them. They are just hiding right now. Look at labels and break up with your addiction to sugar and salt. Period. End of sentence.

As parents, while our children are growing up, we are supposed to be teaching them. Yes, that means being a type of disciplinarian. I don’t mean being draconian, but I do mean setting boundaries. Firm boundaries. Teaching them manners, teaching them to be self-sufficient. That means taking out the garbage, recycling, and at the very least making their bed from as early as they physically can. We are not here to coddle them, or rescue them from disappointment and failure. That’s all really good for them and builds character. You’re not helping your child if you are an ever-present parent. They’re never going to learn how to do anything for themselves and to be self-reliant. Ordering food or groceries for delivery, taking Lyft everywhere, or hiring someone to clean their apartment is not self-reliance. That’s for self-reliant people who are massively busy with their work or craft, ergo BEING self-reliant. Our children are going to have a really hard time out in the real world because their bosses aren’t going to coddle them. Their bosses are going to fire them. And you say they are entrepreneurs and are going to be their own bosses? It isn’t going to happen straight out of school. That’s a multi-million to one chance. Or less. Once they reach the age of adulthood, you become their mentor. Take off the apron so they can let go of the strings and let them fly. Let them sink and let them swim. Be there for them and show them both sides of any situation. Give them the pros and cons. Let them make their own decision. Most likely they’re going to make a good decision. Let’s not stunt their maturity and growth. They are not you, they are themselves. Let them develop their own personalities, wants, likes, dislikes, friends, and careers, regardless of what you wanted to do in your life, or what you think they should do. Stop shoulding all over them.

GET A LIFE! Do something. You like things. You enjoy things. You read about THINGS!!!! Pursue a hobby, an avocation. Have a purpose. Get out of the house. Check out a group, and another and another until one fits like a good looking but comfortable pair of shoes. Something that feels good to you and isn’t impossible to follow—just like a six-ingredient recipe. It’s called Ikigai in Okinawa, Japan or Pura Vida in Costa Rica or Live Aloha in Hawaii. Do something that fills your heart, spirit and whatever you consider to be your soul. Put one foot in front of the other and do that.

And here is your BONUS!

Get some sleep, dammit. We are a sleep deprived society. Get work, homework, smartphones, iPads, and the television OUT of the bedroom. Play some peaceful music, read a good but sleep-inducing book, have good sex. (Have BAD sex, sex is good for you, alone or with someone else. Hmm… That needs to be my next top 10 list. “Why sex alone or with someone is good for you!”) We take way too many sleeping pills and drink way too much alcohol to try to sleep —which by the way INTERRUPTS sleep. If we just take the distractions, blue light, sunlight, and noises out of our bedrooms, we sleep better. Your partner snores? Get them a CPAP or a nasal strip. Your dog snores? Put that precious little sleep disturber in their own bed or their own room. That, and STOP drinking caffeine after noon. (For me, it’s after 9 am.) That mid-afternoon slump is because you didn’t eat right, didn’t exercise and were working or watching your iPad until the weeeee hours of the morning. STOP IT NOW! Now get some sleep.

Okay, go out there and have a good life. Xoxo (Hugs and kisses)



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Join a growing community of women who are breaking down aging stereotypes and creating a fresh perspective toward embracing life after 50.

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Join our growing community of women who are breaking down aging stereotypes and
creating a fresh perspective toward embracing life after 50.