Friendships are valuable parts of life. No matter how long it lasts, there is no doubt that you will learn something whether it is about yourself, the friend, decision-making skills, values, prioritization, emotions, society, humankind or the world. I am fortunate enough to have several important friendships; yet, there is one in particular that I would like to share in this article.
This friendship is unique because my friend is triple my age. Weird, right? No, not at all. Sometimes it doesn't feel like there is an age difference at all.
We bond over similar interests and make conversation about any and all topics. And because we are both thriving at such different parts of our lives, we are always able to teach each other something new. As a result of the world constantly changing, we were presented with different challenges and issues that are sometimes interchangeable within both of our specific life stages.
Additionally, I know that my experiences as a 20-year-old millennial are vastly different from what she experienced at my age and that is so special to have the possibility to compare and contrast lifestyles with somebody that I respect. I will be forever thankful for the opportunity to grow from our unique friendship.
Through mere observation and sometimes very specific conversations, here are 65 life lessons that I have learned from my 65-year-old best friend:
1. People appreciate a genuinely interested listener.
2. Remain open to accepting any person's lifestyle decisions.
Even if these decisions are not choices that you would personally pursue.
3. Do not doubt yourself.
4. It is never too late to try something new.
5. Give people the space that they need.
6. But also make sure that they know you are there for them.
7. Positive attitudes make a huge difference.
8. Stay organized.
9. Always make an effort to watch the sunset.
10. Not everyone is going to like you.
And that is perfectly okay.
11. Keep your home open and inviting.
It's a whole lot of work, but totally worth it.
12. Learning is a lifelong process.
13. Always bring a long coat.
Because you never know when you may get cold (or need to sit on it).
14. Keep an open mind.
15. A little makeup goes a long way.
16. Be grateful for all that you have while you still have it.
17. Always say "thank you."
18. It is important to relay your thoughts effectively.
People cannot read your mind.
19. You are not in control of what happens, but you are in control of how you react to it.
20. Be kind to all people because you never know their situation.
21. Giving your best effort is something to be proud of.
22. Intimidation is inevitable.
23. If you can, do it by yourself.
24. But do not be afraid to ask for help.
Cooperative collaboration can create great things.
25. When you truly love someone, you will go to incredible efforts to prove it.
26. Thrift shopping is the best shopping.
You save money, plus you have more fun.
27. Marriage is a lifelong commitment.
28. Gossiping is a waste of time.
29. Work hard and diligently.
30. Have compassion for all things.
People, plants, animals, insects...
31. Age really is just a number.
32. Be honest.
33. Treasure family time.
34. Do not be ashamed of your values.
They are what define your guidelines for living.
35. Ask questions.
36. Don't sleep in your underwear.
37. Homemade is best.
38. Apologize when necessary.
Recognizing your mistakes and then attempting to heal the consequences of those mistakes will ease the tension and decrease the stress between you and those who are involved.
39. Forgive when appropriate.
It's what you would want somebody to do after you have apologized, right?
40. People appreciate authenticity.
41. Drink in moderation.
42. You can't save everything.
43. Get a job that you do not loathe going to every single workday.
44. But if that is impossible, then put forth your greatest effort to make the most of the employment opportunity that is available to you.
45. Enjoy your youth.
46. Appreciate the highs in life.
47. Acknowledge, yet do not dwell on, the lows in life.
48. Refrain from being so quick to judge.
You never know what people are going through.
49. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
50. Do not waste your time trying to be like somebody else.
51. Pleasing everyone all the time is exhausting.
52. Establish a skin regiment.
And then stick to it.
53. If you miss someone, tell them.
54. Trust wisely.
55. Photographs are precious.
56. Arguments are going to happen.
57. Stand your ground in a respectful manner.
58. Change is inevitable.
This can either be super intimidating, very relieving or a combination of both.
59. Make time for reflection no matter the subject matter.
There are learning opportunities in both the good and bad situations.
60. There is a big difference between being assertive and being mean.
61. Always be confident in who you are.
62. Appreciate nature.
Isn't it incredible that you are living in the same world as all of these beautiful flowers, resourceful plants, and unique organisms?
63. People notice and appreciate when you go the extra mile.
64. Smile often.
It makes you and those around you feel better.