You don't look 90.
People constantly tell me that. Why? Someone keeps sending out an email announcing that I’m 90. No wonder so many people write emails like these:
“It seems you are aging rapidly. God bless you and your aged bones.”
“You sure look good for 90 years old! Do you have a painting of you in your attic that is getting really REALLY old looking?"
No, there's no Dorian Gray picture decay going on.
I’m officially an Urban Legend. You can find me on Snopes.com, right up there with myths about baby carrots.
The Internet aged me. The day before I turned 45, I wrote a column of the 45 Lessons Life Taught Me. I added five more lessons when I turned 50. My Life Lessons ended up e-mailed around the world. Only someone changed my age on an email to read: "Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old." Then someone attached a picture of lovely old lady to the email. No, that dear senior citizen isn’t me.
For the record: I’m only in my 50’s. I hated to break the news to Berthabelle in Eugene, Ore. who wrote: "We are the same age except I was born on November 1, 1918. Hope some day we can hear from one another. Isn't it great that we are both ninety? Lovingly, Bertie."
Bertie, I hope to see 90. After having breast cancer at 41, I’m thrilled to grow old.
Growing old beats the alternative – dying young. That’s one of my life lessons. People have sent my lessons across the globe. That’s why I turned them into books, first God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours, and now, Be the Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible.
The lessons reflect what I learned from life as a single parent for 18 years, struggling to find the right partner in life, battling breast cancer and healing the bruises from a bumpy childhood. And they reflect what I’ve learned from readers as my 27 years as a journalist.
I'm grateful to all who forward my life lessons and keep my name on them. One day I received an anonymous essay about the cost of raising a child. It seemed oddly familiar.
"What do you get for your money? Naming rights. First, middle and last. Glimpses of God every day. Giggles under the covers every night. More love than your heart can hold. Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs. A hand to hold, usually covered with jam…"
Wait a minute. I wrote that. Ten years ago.
When I was 100.
Written By Regina Brett,
"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 rolled
over to 90 in August, so here goes:
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. Love your parents because they will be gone before you know it.
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. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
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. Over prepare, 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 but 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 and parents 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. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
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. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.