40 Lessons It Took Me 40 Years To Learn

by Abby LaRochelle
Originally Published: 
pixdeluxe / iStock

Life is a powerful teacher. In my 40 years of existence, it has tested, challenged and defied a great number of my personal beliefs and ideas. It has taught me many valuable lessons, helping me shape an individual point of view and sharpen my cynicism. These lessons range from the most significant ones, such as surviving the loss of a parent, fighting for the life of the remaining one, discovering menopause at the tender age of 38 and experiencing a midlife crisis two years later, to more trivial ones, like being aware of the consequences of eating prunes in public or whether wearing makeup to bed is a good idea or not.

Below you’ll find 40 of my most worthwhile observations about the laws of the universe gained over the past 40 years:

1. You never really learn to swear until you get to menopause.

2. Pigs do fly! Unless you never took a plane!

3. Always check for toilet paper before sitting down.

4. Never wear eyeliner to bed.

5. Cabotage* doesn’t mean to sabotage with cabbage.

6. A girl will never stop expecting other people to make a big deal about her birthday—even if she’s 41!

7. It’s not a good idea to terrorize yourself with your thoughts.

8. Leave change where your husband can’t find it.

9. Ice cream is not better than love, and chocolate isn’t better than sex.

10. Never tell your best friend her diet is not working.

11. Don’t sneeze when you’re eating crackers.

12. Not everyone has a photographic memory, but many people have iPhones.

13. Let some things remain mysterious.

14. Mathematics can “prove your humanity,” especially when logging in online.

15. If you always tell the truth, then you don’t have to think twice.

16. There are days when you’re the bug, and there are those when you’re the windshield.

17. It’s not always a good idea to be spontaneous.

18. Keep away from prunes.

19. Don’t let your life serve as a warning to others.

20. Some people really have won the lottery of sperm.

21. Depression is not lack of enthusiasm.

22. Always wear underwear under white shorts.

23. We spend one-seventh of our lives on Mondays.

24. Plant pumpkins only if you have lots of friends.

25. Nudiustertian** doesn’t mean a Martian nudist.

26. If love is blind, then marriage is a real eye-opener.

27. By the third bottle of wine, you won’t remember most of it.

28. It’s good to be careful when handling a gear stick.

29. Sometimes the villain is the princess.

30. Thinking about buying a treadmill is not the same thing as actually buying one.

31. Sex starvation is real.

32. A remote control is not a good place to store dead batteries.

33. Brain farts do exist.

34. Winning the Nobel Prize for silliness may not be the best life achievement.

35. Locking yourself outside in your PJs when it’s -30 degrees isn’t as funny as it sounds.

36. Don’t whine about your mistakes. Learn from them!

37. The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

38. Tittynope*** has nothing to do with tits.

39. Women can have rectal exams too.

40. I still have a lot to learn!

*It means the exclusive right of a country to control the air traffic within its borders (coastal navigation).

**It means the day before yesterday.

***It means a small quantity of something left over.

This article was originally published on