It’s my birthday today, I’m 34.

As a teen I dreaded getting old, I grew out of that though. I now think of it as a privilege to age. Many people don’t get that chance.

I thought getting old meant drinking tea all day, not knowing what song is number one, struggling with technology and gadgets, wearing nothing but knitwear, happily being in bed by 10pm, and drinking red wine. I realised much of this has always been me. Was I born old?

As we grow older we supposedly grow wiser. So here is a list of 34 things I’ve learned in my 34 years.

A split image with a photo of me aged around 3-4 and a photo of me aged 34. Today.

At least I cheered up a bit with age!

Don’t sweat the small stuff – There’s not enough time to worry about the things that might happen, the what ifs. Did I say something wrong? Do they like me? Should I buy this cake or should I buy that cake? Buy them both.

But appreciate the small stuff – It’s often the little things that count, where the memories are made. That kind gesture from a stranger, a friend buying coffee, a handmade gift or card.

If all else fails have cheese on toast

I write best late at night. Being tired seems to make me honest.

Although I’m not a night owl. The older I get the happier I am with an early night. How is it that when you’re young it’s a punishment yet when you’re adult it’s a reward?! Lap up those hours of being sent to bed early kids!

Hospital food will never improve – When I’m in hospital I often ask for McDonalds to be brought in, that’s got to mean something.

Cheese and onion crisps taste better with a kit Kat – I learned this while having packed lunches at school. We all swapped packed lunch items right?

I enjoy cute cat videos just as much as the next person – But what I enjoy even more than cute cat videos is mini baking videos. It’s so tiny!

You are who you surround yourself with – I believe you are influenced by those around you. I also believe that each of us is made up of different personalities (not in a scary ‘Split’ movie kind of way!). Different parts of us come out dependent on who we are with.

I should always order cake – Why shouldn’t I?

Olives are actually delicious – It takes 30 tastes to know if you like something. I read that somewhere, but don’t ask me where. My taste has definitely changed over the years. So, give anything a go, 31 times.

I don’t have a favourite colour – It’s not fair to the others.

Life is too short for the good people – That’s just a fact.

Cats are better than many of the humans – They say cats aren’t loyal, but have you met mine?! On entering the house I am instantly surrounded by my four furry friends, ok so sometimes it’s because they want food. But is that any different to humans?

Employing people is hard – Being a boss isn’t as fun as it sounds. There’s interviews and no-shows, wages and annual leave, rotas and reviews.

Anything can be eaten with a fork if you’ve got the skills – Trust me, I know. This week I practised eating Nik Naks with a fork, most of them made it to my mouth. I can also eat cereal with a fork, many other varieties of crisps, Jelly Beans, ice cream, and crackers.

There are better things to do than scroll through social media – As much as I’m hooked to social media, (as learned in this recent mission), I’m forever glad it wasn’t really a thing when I was a youth.

Time is different for everyone – There is no timescale to life. We walk at different ages (or never if you’re me), eat at different speeds, reach personal goals when we are ready. Time is ours. Although I do hate lateness.

Mementos are great – I love looking back at old photos, random keepsakes, threads of messages, theatre tickets, festival programs. Maybe I’m a hoarder.

Doing is better than having – We’ve concluded that I’m quite the hoarder, however experiences are what make a life. I’d rather spend my money on doing something, (a show, festival, craft class) than buying expensive stuff.

Learning is life – I wasn’t a big fan of school, but that’s another story. College and university however were some of my best days. I enjoy everything about learning, the environment (I went to art school), the peers, the teamwork, the like minds, the creativity, the flow of ideas, the atmosphere, the thrill of learning something new. Discovery. I could study for life. I should.

Be in the now – Basically enjoy the moment. What’s done has gone and what’s coming might not happen.

Read everything – Books are an escape for me, being in another world, a different life.

My gut is usually right – That inner feeling, that forward knowing, the thing that tells you something isn’t right. It’s usually right.

Nobody cares nearly as much as you think they do – I mean that in the way as if you’re hair isn’t in place, your shoes aren’t coordinated with your clothes, you’ve got a big spot brewing or your chubby arms are sagging. It’s probably you that notices more than anyone. But caring if you’re ok, they care more than you think.

Crafting is my thing – as well as blogging obviously.

There are never enough blankets

Do the things you enjoy – Life is too short not to. Say no to the things you don’t want to do and say yes to the things you do. Simple.

Treat yourself how you want others to treat you – Yes I typed that correct. Don’t put yourself down so much, be hard on yourself or expect too much. Take a little me time, eat that chocolate, have a reading day. You’re only human just like everyone else. Sometimes you’re rubbish at stuff.

There are perks to having wheels

And also frustrations

I like small parties – Being lower down than most can make communication awkward. There’s not much worse for me than being at a party with loud music, loads of drunk people stumbling all over me, and beers dripping on my head. Give me a civilised afternoon tea any day.

I love the outdoors more than people (and I) think – You wouldn’t assume me the outdoorsy type. I burn at the slightest hint of sun, I hate getting rained on, I feel the cold easy, creepy crawlies bug me (ha), the wind messes up my hair and wheels aren’t good on rough terrain. Saying all this, some of my favourite things to do are in the outdoors, the wilderness as I like to refer to it. I love a picnic, chips by the sea, festivals are often the highlight of my year.

Treasure the ordinary – A quiet moment with tea and toast, or cake. The drifting in and out of sleep on a sunny morning. The smell of a bookshop. Uncontrollable laughter with a friend. Staring out of the window while somebody else is driving. A fresh piping hot pot of tea.

That’s life…


An image to pin. The photo is looking up at pink blossom on trees. The title text 34 Things I’ve Learned In 34 Years is placed over.
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30 thoughts on “34 Things I’ve Learned In 34 Years

  1. A terrific post as always…love the candor, humor and all-around positive approach to this…and don’t worry, if you “never get old” then you’ll always know what’s #1!

    Like

  2. “Should I buy this cake or should I buy that cake? Buy them both.” Hehehe great words to live by for a tea-lover!! 😀

    It is awesome to hear that you love the outdoors. I hope one day you’ll be able to visit Canada. They’re not cheap, but there are so many gondolas here that can take you to near the top of mountains. I think it’s great that folks in wheelchairs can enjoy the epic views as well.

    p.s. I love those mini baking videos as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’ve grown wiser with age too, or at least I hope I have!
    I love your list, and your photo comparison to when you were little!! It’s interesting when you said you write best late at night, I’ve found the same. I think I’ve been like that for a while – back when I did my OU degree, the essays I wrote in the middle of the night as I pulled all-nighters because of insomnia were the best ones I’d written. And today, the personal writing I do seems to come more naturally at night. And no, hospital food never seems to improve! I’ve never had anything even verging on pleasant! ‘Nobody cares as much as they think you do’ – I’ve definitely come to learn that too, I think that does take age and experience. Treasuring the ordinary is something illness has taught me, and for that I’m grateful too. Brilliant list, Gemma – you’re going to rock being 34! ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes I was the same at Art School and Uni, I would try to set aside days to write essays however it never flowed properly until later in the day/evening. It’s a shame we can’t control our creativity! Well I can’t anyway.
      Oh I can imagine you’ve had as many awful hospital meals as me. It makes no sense considering the impact nutrition can have on a persons health.
      I think those that have disabilities or illnesses often learn to appreciate certain everyday things more than those without.
      Thanks Caz 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you had a fabulous birthday. Read a book that said memories and experiences make us happier and longer than buying stuff. I believe it. It is a privilege to age and wish more people got it. Friend at work said “look at the alternative”. Great post love learning more about you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely love this and agree I’ve always been old too…

    ”I thought getting old meant drinking tea all day, not knowing what song is number one, struggling with technology and gadgets, wearing nothing but knitwear, happily being in bed by 10pm, and drinking red wine. I realised much of this has always been me. Was I born old?” 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gemma, it’s my birthday tomorrow!! I’ll be 57…I don’t think I’ll come up with a list like this, but I sure loved yours!!

    Happy Birthday my friend…I hope the day has been as wonderful as you are!!! oxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this, and Happy Birthday! 34 is such a nice age (I almost remember it!). I have to say my fave item from the above is, “You are who you surround yourself with.” Truer words were never spoken, or written. Oh, and the olives. I love olives! Hope you enjoyed your day–and all the cake you wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

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