A few of the things I’ve learned, aged 45. Actually I’ve learned something new just from writing thi


In no particular order:

  • Don’t let things fester. If you have something to say, say it, but not from a place of anger or resentment. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.

  • Some friendships need to feel like they are ending to begin again. A friendship reboot feels fresh, exciting and hopeful, without having to get to know each other all over again.

  • Some friendships (you never thought would) end and that's ok. No-one died.

  • People need space, so give it to them when they need it. Never take it personally.

  • Boundaries are essential. Without them people will walk all over you and take advantage. And you only have yourself to blame.

  • Don’t moan about the above when it happens. No one likes a moaner.

  • Make your boundaries clear. People will either like them or not. Dump the ‘nots’.

  • Being a good listener has it pitfalls. Did I mention boundaries?

  • It’s ok to show vulnerability. Actually, it feels really good to do so.

  • Therapy rocks. Everyone should have it. Actually everyone needs it, whether they know it or not.

  • If you’re gay, come out and the earlier the better.

  • It’s ok to judge people from time to time. Just don't ever write them off.

  • Alcoholism is not a disease. Cancer is a disease. Continuing to drink is a choice. Harsh, but true.

  • Never try to help an alcoholic give up drinking. They can only do that for themselves. Walk away if you have to and sooner rather than later.

  • Swimming is hard, even when an Olympic champion tries to teach you how to do it.

  • More swimming lessons do not help.

  • It’s ok to give up trying to swim. For now anyway.

  • Losing a sibling changes who you are. How could it not.

  • Watching your parents lose a child is the hardest thing to observe.

  • Telling your parents how much you love and cherish them (if you do, of course) on a regular basis is not hard. There is no point in waiting until they are dead and can’t hear you.

  • Don’t micro-manage people at work. They’ll end up hating you.

  • Apologise later to those you micro-managed. They might actually like you for it.

  • Be happy for other’s peoples’ successes. Don’t envy them. Envy is an unhealthy and debilitating emotion.

  • Tell them how happy you are for them and their successes. They’ll feel good and so will you.

  • Exercise more. It’s good for your physical and mental wellbeing. Fact.

  • Don’t talk about how you ‘will’ exercise and eat better. Just get on with it.

  • Be positive. It’s infectious. It may even infect the people who criticize you for it.

  • Ignore critics. Unless they make a valid point, backed up with solid evidence.

  • Be there for people when they need you, even if they don’t always do the same for you. We are all made differently and it’s better to give than receive.

  • Screw that. Sometimes it is better to receive, but that’s another story.

  • Be kind. Be kind. Be kind. Even if it kills you to do so.

  • Forgive. Even if they can’t forgive you.

  • If a girlfriend asks for your honest opinion on what she’s wearing, give it to her. Leave the lying to her pandering partner. Does it really make their lives easier to say “honey, you look wonderful in anything?”

  • No-one looks wonderful in everything. I have the pictures to prove it.

  • Dying my hair blond did not suit me. I have the pictures to prove it. Or I used to.

  • Still being a renter at 45 years old has its pros and cons. Pros – no paying for roof leaks, broken washing machines, new windows, mortgage hikes, subsidence. Cons – 12 moves in 20 years.

  • Believing you can never afford a flat in London is nonsense.

  • That I will own a flat in London by 2020.

  • That I need to save a small fortune by 2020.

  • That I’d better get on with it and make more lists.