Don’t Eat Yellow Snow, Garage Sales..and Other Life Lessons


Where do we learn? How do we learn? When do we learn?

It’s been interesting turning 50. I’ve taken the chance to look back over my life at some of the lessons I’ve learned, and even where these were less than totally positive, I’m grateful for them all. As well as remembering never to eat yellow snow, I’ve also learned the following facts which might also help you.

1. Nothing is more special than today, and you are not guaranteed tomorrow, so keep nothing “for good.” I’ve spent too long at garage or car boot sales looking at lovely things in beautiful boxes that someone never had the chance to use.

2. Never forget that life has magic and adventure in it

3. It’s always a good time to eat chocolate and ice-cream.

4. Get to the beach or the hills as often as you can to connect with nature and put things in perspective

5. Smiling and laughing will instantly make you look better AND feel better, so create your own excuses to do both

6. Life is too short to be spent with negative people

7. A life spent celebrating good times and good friends with champagne and cocktails can never be wasted.

8. You are responsible for your own happiness.

9. Trust yourself. Ask for advice if you want to, but in the end, trust yourself, and trust your intuition.

10. Be as kind and compassionate to yourself as you are to others. It’s the Golden Rule.

11. You are all-ways more than what you think you are.

12. It is better to be a woman of strength than a strong woman. A woman of strength understands she must be gentle on herself – and the world doesn’t fall apart when she puts herself first.

13. Letting go of what no longer serves you is the only way to fly free

14. Take time to slow down, rebalance your life, and feed your soul.

15. Endings are always new beginnings.

16. Don’t ever be afraid to love fully, or love again, in your one precious life.

17. Every relationship starts with the relationship you have with yourself.

18. Pedestals are lonely places, and masks don’t hide anything; be your own imperfectly perfect self. There are gifts in imperfection (thanks, Brene Brown)

19. Life is a courageous journey or nothing at all.

20. We cannot become who we want to be by continuing to do exactly what we’ve been doing.

21. Everything that happens and everyone you meet is part of your life’s lessons.

22. Loving someone else should never mean you lose yourself.

23. Bitterness only makes you sour. Learn to forgive; failing to forgive people only hurts you.

24. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Learn from your failures.

25. Take time out of the chaos that surrounds you to find the silence that means your heart sings.

26. Stand up for your life. Know when enough is enough and be prepared to walk away from what no longer serves you, holds you down, or smothers your soul.

27. Cherish the time you spend with loved ones and appreciate most the gifts that come with love attached.

28. Learn to be content.

29. Other people’s business is not your business, and what other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Always be prepared to fight the battles of those who haven’t the strength to fight their own.

31. Be kind to those you meet; what you see and hear is only ever part of their story. See the wounded angel in them.

32. If you’re going to hold a party, don’t let it be a pity party.

33. How you “see” life affects what happens to you – so see it as amazing, an adventure, awesome. And that’s just the A’s.

34. Be yourself – everyone else is taken.

35. Love and approve of yourself exactly as you are.

36. Bad things happen – you can let them define you or you can let them strengthen you, and in the bad times, always remember not to shut out those who will support you.

37. In the hard times, remember “this too will pass.”

38. Be your own hero.

39. The past is your apprenticeship – it allowed you to grow into who you were meant to be.

40. The world isn’t one of black and white; get comfortable with grey.

41. When you look back at your life, focus on how far you’ve come. See the ashes; see the Phoenix.

42. Believe in miracles, angels, and the grace of God.

43. Make your home a haven If it’s useful or beautiful, William Morris had it right.

44. The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is to be loved, and be loved in return.

45. Carrying the past around with you longer than you need to robs you of the energy to enjoy today. Your future is waiting, and it starts now.

46. If you really want to do something, then do it. Live with no regrets.

47. Counting your blessings instead of money makes you see how rich you really are.

48. Shine; the world needs your magnificence.

49. You can’t take it – anything at all – with you. Let it go.

50. Life is not a dress rehearsal – so dare to be happier, and dare to live. Vivere!

A Happy Box

My eldest daughter moved to a different part of Scotland at the weekend to get ready for her new teaching job.  We’ve had many conversations about how your attitude makes all the difference in life and about how happiness is a choice. 

Mostly, I remember that and walk my talk – and I can now talk myself out of a downward or moaning spiral very quickly, and I’ve found all manner of ways to remind myself to do that.    One of them is my happy box, so I thought I would make one for her.

I found a lovely box that I’d kept for it’s heart shape, and I put some little inexpensive gifts in – a tiny bar of chocolate (as she’s adores chocolate; this is a girl who ate eight creme eggs in one day), a little bottle of bath bubbles and the cutest tiny plastic duck, a bookmark to remind her how important good friends are etc. 

And I wrote her this note:

This is your happy box – everyone should have one.  It’s for you to put in the things that remind you to be happy:

– a wee duck for lovely baths
– a bookmark to remind you how good friends are
– chocolate (of course, chocolate! Chocolate might just solve world peace!)
There’s room in the box for you to put things in and I suggest you use it to put noties/cards and other reminders in of the things that make you happy.  If you don’t know what makes you happy, start noticing that NOW – and write it down, and then put it in the box.   Things like
– the name and number of someone you know will chear you up if you ring them
– some films that make you happier
– some books that make you feel happier
– some quotes that make you feel happier
– some music that makes you feel happier
– some foods that you could make that you really enjoy
– some treats that make you feel better (a cup of proper coffee, a Starbucks, a massage)
– some things to do that make you feel happier (a walk by the sea, 30 minutes in the gym, baking a cake)
You see, you need this because when you are not feeling happy (or you are feeling less than totally positive), your mind finds it harder to remember these things.  Having these reminders all-ready in a box means you only need to remember one thing – your box.
And you could even keep a journal to record how you felt before and how you felt afterwards – and then you can see how what you think and do affects your happiness.  Simples.

It IS simples – try it and see for yourself.  Love, Carolinex