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I Didn’t Know I’d Live This Long

The older one gets, the more there is to look back on.  There’s more about life to contemplate.  Hitting 60 was a pretty big deal for me.  I really didn’t think I would live this long.  The women in my family do not have a history of longevity.

You know that old saying “If I knew that I would live this long I would have taken better care of myself”.  Well, it applies to me too.  I was a wild child.  I didn’t have a brain cell in my head until I hit at least 30.  I put myself into some dicey situations.

Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me,
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.”

For about 99% of it, I have no regrets.  I can’t say that I would do it all again.  I have no wish to relive those years.  But I sure had a hell of a good time!

With all of this in mind, and accompanied by the fact that I am now ahem … Umm… uhhh… A frickin’ senior, (Gawd! I hate using that word) I thought I would pass along some of the things I have learned in my journey on this Earth.

In no particular order…

#1 and most important of all, MOM IS ALWAYS RIGHT.  No matter what, save yourself some headaches and just trust her.  She’s “been there, done that”.

#2 YOU are responsible for Everything that happens in your life.  You either allowed it to happen, or you caused it to happen.  Stop blaming others for your life.  YOU got yourself to where you are.  YOU are the one that can change it, if you wish.

#3 If you don’t like the way your life is going, but refuse to do anything to change it, STOP BITCHING!  If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always gotten!

#4 Cats ARE extremely intelligent creatures, they just don’t give a damn!

#5 Why are there so many freakin’ seeds in tomatoes and strawberries?  I don’t like either of them.

#6 Develop REAL friendships.  There is a huge difference between a friend and an acquaintance.  If you don’t know the difference, you probably don’t have any true friends.

#7 Real friends, true friends are few and far between.  To have just a few in your life time is normal.

#8 READ TO YOUR CHILDREN.  Teach your kids the love of reading.  The younger the better.  This ONE THING will have a more positive influence in their life long term, than just about anything else you can do for them.

#9 Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.  Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.   Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.  Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read.  It doesn’t matter WHAT you read.  It doesn’t matter the genre.  Just Read. 

#10 Be kind.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be kind to others and the good will come back to you 10-fold.

#11 Get a dog. You’ll never have a more loving and faithful companion than a dog.

12 Men that own cats are exceptional.  Because so many men need to have those around them be “obedient”, they can’t handle the independence of a cat. (see #4) Those that can, are exceptional.

#13 Take the time to see things through the eyes of a child.  Sit and watch a favorite childhood movie or read a fantastic story to that little one and experience the joy and the wonder on their face.

#14 Find something you are passionate about.  I regret that it took me so long to discover my love of writing.  Writing gives me purpose. You must have purpose.

#15 When you leave this world, the only thing you can take with you are your memories.  Make some that are worth the trip!

Ok, I’m tired.  Maybe I’ll do a part 2 someday.  There is a lot of crap filed away in my head.  This post was inspired by the Militant Negro who wrote 58 things he had learned in 58 years. (find his post HERE)  I just learned something new…  I do NOT have nearly enough patience to make it to 60 things I learned in 60 years!!   

You get extra points if you know who wrote the lyrics I quoted in my 3rd paragraph. 😊 

Copyright ©2018 Penny Wilson



Penny Wilson is a freelance writer who writes in several genres. She has written articles for WOW Women on Writing. Her poetry has been published in online journals, such as Ariel Chart, Spill Words Press and the Poppy Road Review. Penny is a member of the Austin Poetry Society. Her poetry has been featured in the publication America's Emerging Poets 2018 & 2019 by Z Publishing, Poets Quarterly and Dual Coast Magazine published by Prolific Press. You can find more of her writings on her blog at and follow her on Twitter @pennywilson123.

29 thoughts on “I Didn’t Know I’d Live This Long

  1. As a fellow ‘senior’ ( no I’m not all that fussed about it either) I look back and wonder how being as naive as I was I manged to get this far in life. But as you say its been an interesting ride. I agree with you in what you list as things to have learned, we were always encouraged to read as kids and that went to some of my kids who in themselves have achieved great things. Great post Penny.


  2. Here’s to reaching sixty – I just did. I hope you have many more good years of writing and entertaining us. I agree with mom always being right, and reading. I have two cats and one dog, and I know my cats are smart. My favorite was to be kind. Thanks and take care.


  3. Thanks–these all have merit, but #1 just doesn’t pertain for me. Thank gawd I did not do as she said or did, or I’d be even worse off now healthwise and in every other way. . It’s great that it worked for you.


      1. It’s completely fine. Everyone has different situations, but if something has been true for you, it may have value to others so can be worth mentioning.


  4. Para #3 = Grateful Dead (Dwight Yoakam cover). Yes, I looked it up. I’m only 58. I’ll take my “extra points” in the form of one free appetizer at Chili’s, please 🙂


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