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34 Lessons in 34 Years

number 34

This afternoon I gave myself a challenge:

To come up with 34 lessons I’ve learnt in my 34 years on this fine planet of ours.

It took me a few hours, but succeeded and found it a beautiful experience – one that made me smile and almost shed a tear.

So here are my 34 Lessons from 34 Years:

1. Love

Before you can truly love someone, you need to firstly love yourself.

2. Money

Money isn’t everything. Seriously. And neither is climbing the corporate ladder.

3. Drinking

Don’t try and keep up with the boys when drinking. It may seem cool at the time, but it can result in a hell of a lot of damage – both to your body and to your reputation.

4. The Naysayers

There will always be someone who will try to pull you down. Accept it, and keep on moving on.

5. Your Body

R – E – S – P – E – C – T your body. It’s the only one you will ever have. Talk nicely to it.

fat talk

6. Love will find you

When you stop looking for love you it will find you.

7. Listen

Music really is good for the soul.

8. Friends

Friends come and go, and that’s okay. You’ll make many more in your lifetime, and those that you are left with will be your REAL friends.

9. Grief

Grief can be debilitating, and it wot completely go away – but it will ease.

10. Passions

Finding ones passion is hard, but once you find it – wow! So keep searching and trying things, because what is a life worth living if you aren’t passionate about it!

11. Death and Weddings

Death brings out the good and bad in people, as does weddings. 

12. Diversity

Difference and diversity are wonderful things that make the world we live in a truly amazing place. Embrace your differences, and those of others around you.

13. Equality

Unfortunately, even in this day and age, women still need to work harder than men to gain respect, a higher position and wages. 

14. Just Say No!

It IS okay to say no – because you aren’t interested, because something compromises your values, because you are really busy, because you are tired, or just because. You don’t need a reason!

15. Be a Bitch

If you are too nice you’re a pushover, if you push back you’re a bitch…apparently. These days I choose to be the later (although I’m apparently still too nice, god dammit!).

16. Dogs

A dog is your best friend. 


17. Time

Time brings with it knowledge which in turn makes you wiser.

18. The World is Full of Beauty

There is beauty all around us – all you need to do is open your eyes and truly see.

19. Mistakes

We all make them. Suck it up, learn from them, and move on.

‘Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to the error that counts.’ – Nikki Giovanni, American poet, activist and author

20. Find Your Voice

Your opinion does count for something. Remember that – always.

21. Success

Don’t judge your success by others interpretations of the word.

22. Doctors

Find a doctor you feel comfortable with and ensure that you get regular check ups. Be honest with them, but also question them, and if you feel you need to, seek a second – or third – opinion.. 

23. A Woman in her 30′s

The 30′s – for a woman – brings with it a feeling of comfort in your own skin (once you get over the whole 30 thing that is).

24. Dreams

Don’t let anyone crush your dreams. People will try. That is a guarantee.

25. Age

Don’t wish your life away wishing you were older, because you will spend the later part of your life wishing you were younger and wondering where the years went.

26. All Sorts

People come in all shapes and sizes. No one is perfect – even the supermodels.

27. Movies

A good film is like a fine wine. Get your butt out and go to the cinema, eat popcorn, and immerse yourself in a great movie every now and then. 

28. The Good Stuff is Free

It’s true what they say – the good things in life are free. I know that every time I play with my dog or I get a cuddle from my niece.

29. Grandparents

Spend time with your Grandparents…and stop making excuses. Your time with them is precious, and no one will love you in the way that they do. This may be my one and only regret.

30. Exercise

One day you will need to exercise. Just try to find something that suits you, that is gentle on your mind, body and soul, and pay no attention to fads. I find yoga awesome!


31. Relationships

The ‘honeymoon’ period of any relationship fades…but sometimes you are left with something amazing. Other times – not.

32. Just Walk

It is okay to walk away, from anything. At least you tried.

33. Hate

Learn to let go of hatred. It turns you bitter. This is one of the best things I have ever done.

34. Happiness

Allow yourself to be happy, whatever your situation. 

What do you think?

What are your lessons learned?


  • http://www.jhjohnson.blogspot.com Jesse

    Pretty good insights. Not sure I have the time to come up with 30 of my own, but I should try.

    • neanster77

      You should – even if you work on it over a week!

  • http://www.everythingstressblog.co.uk Charlie Damonsing

    I love your list! I am 46 so it will take me a little longer, however I will set some time aside to compile my list too!

    • neanster77

      Awesome stuff. Let me know if you post it! I’d love to read others lists : )

  • http://hajrakvetches.com Hajra

    Oh Janine! How you make me cry :) Some of the things do come with age and the more we move on in life, the more we learn. Sometimes the harsh way, sometimes the easy way but the victorious is the one who made it through and came out!

    I will definitely be doing a same thing…love the idea! :)

    • neanster77

      I can’t wait to read it Hajra! And I really didn’t make you cry right?

      • http://hajrakvetches.com Hajra

        Oh, you absolutely did! I could feel my moist eyes… :) And it was all because of the huge realization that dawns after reading posts of yours!

        • neanster77

          Aw – big hugs your way!

  • http://bluedollarbill.blogspot.com/ Thom Brown

    Not sure I’m up to listing 63, but I’ll try.

    What will you add to your list this year?

    • neanster77

      Hmmm I have a few things already! Go with your gut, don’t only do things to make others happy, take time out to smell the roses – but I’ve really already learn’t those things. It’s too soon to share with you, but over the next few months I am sure to learn things from certain changes I am making to my life – apart from those I have shared previously – so we will see!

  • http://sedshed.blogspot.com sarah

    I agree with 2, 4, 5, 9, 13, 14, 19, 22, 25, 29 and 32.

    In response to 11 and 15, I have to say…unfortunately YES. ;)

    I’ll have a go for my 30th in 16 months time.

    • neanster77

      Ah so we have to wait until then to read it!

  • http://www.rockthekasbahafrica.blogspot.com Marie from Rock The Kasbah

    What a list! Can’t wait to see what you add next year :)

    • neanster77

      Thanks Marie. We will see. Hopefully it’s all positive!

  • http://skankrattleandroll.blogspot.com Lalia

    Great list and great insights Janine! Thanks so much for sharing. 46 is on the horizon for me, just a few short days away. I wonder if I can up with 46 lessons! I’m sure I can. I may have to give it ago :)

    • neanster77

      Happy birthday Lalia :) I hope you have an amazing day. Please do try and write the list!

  • http://joypagemanuel.com Joy

    Don’t you just love all this wisdom at 34? Pretty dang awesome! (#15 gave me a chuckle!)

    • neanster77

      Hehe I am oh so wise occasionally, until my brain goes out the window (which happens a lot).

  • http://www.frenchyummymummy.com/ Muriel

    What’s next for your Janine? What will be the 35th thing that you have learned? I can’t wait to read it.
    As for me, I have learned that chocolate cures most of my headaches…

  • http://www.whatlittlethings.com Samantha Bangayan

    I always love learning from others’ wisdom and your post is packed with wise words, Janine! =) My favorites are: “There’s beauty all around us” and “Don’t judge success by others’ interpretation of the word.” Those are really meaningful to me at this point in my life. I also really appreciated all you said about body and exercise. I want to be more active this year, but I definitely want it to be for the right reasons!

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  • http://outboxofmeg.blogspot.com Meg

    Beautiful list! Gives me idea on what to post on my birthday :D I still have plenty of time since it’s still 2 months away. yay!!!

    • neanster77

      Oooo good luck with it. Do let me know when you post it!

  • http://hollyfulfordjef.com HollyFJ

    What a great post, Janine!  I am sur3 it will take me a while, I am 47 so I’d better get started!!  It is amazing what we learn a life time if we want to.. And it is amazing what we do accomplish even if we dont ‘think we have done so much.. Live without regrets..

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