Sometimes milestones make us think. Life is seldom what we expect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t influence the outcome. In fact, life is an amazing journey that takes us to incredible places we never expected. When I was 40, genetic genealogy hadn’t yet been born – yet here we are today!
One of my beloved family members is having a 40th today, and I’d like to share some “accumulated wisdom” for her and also for my genealogy friends.
Looking back, here are the things I would tell my 40 year old self.
1. It’s not too late. You’re just now ripe.
2. Someday isn’t a day on the calendar.
3. Risk is not a 4 letter word. Fear is.
4. Love undeniably.
5. Remove toxic people, and jobs, from your life. You’re worth it!
6. Listen to your gut. It’s seldom wrong.
7. Life’s too short to drink bad wine or eat bad food.
8. Dark chocolate is not bad for you. Excesses of anything are.
9. Unpursued dreams will kill you, slowly and painfully.
10. Life is about the long game. In 10 years, if you’re lucky, you’ll be 50 – so investment in your own life so that you’re 50th will be perfect, because you’ll be 50 whether it’s perfect or not and you have 10 years to make it happen.
11. You are your greatest barrier.
12. You are your greatest asset.
13. A positive attitude makes most of the difference between being happy and miserable.
14. If you’re unhappy, fix the problem whether it’s external or internal.
15. If you can’t bloom where you are planted, uproot yourself and move on.
16. Always entertain the possibility of new opportunities.
17. When looking at employment, think about opportunities to make a difference.
18. Most regrets are born of what we didn’t do. Just do it!!
Relative to genealogy:
19. Write it down. Yes, you will forget it otherwise.
20. Back up your computer, religiously, and store a backup outside your home.
21. Share. Post your tree. Be kind. It’s good for everyone.
22. Pay it forward. Someday you will be the beneficiary – in spades.
23. DNA test every relative you can find, because you’ll lose the opportunity if you don’t.
24. Be prepared. Carry a DNA kit with you at all times. Learn how to beg effectively:)
Give some thought about how you’d like to be remembered. Write your own “dream obituary.” Then, do what’s needed to grow into that legacy.
Those of you past this birthday, what would you add?