Tam’s Life Lessons – updated!

April 23, 2020/ By: tomdoidge/ Topic: life

Four years ago I turned 40 years old which I thought was a truly momentous occasion. I mean, to make it to 40 without even dying is a pretty spectacular feat in my books, ammirite my 40-something friends? Even though I felt nowhere near a successful adult (and still to this day find myself fumbling around in this ‘adulting malarky’), 40 definitely felt big and like I should have acquired some pretty serious adulting skills by that time (I hadn’t). If nothing else; the achievement for sure felt like a great justification for writing up a list of my ‘wisest life lessons‘. I know, the phrase ‘OK Boomer’ comes to mind, but surprise surprise: I am actually Gen X and we are the coolest, wisest and most under-appreciated generation of all time, don’t you know? (I kid of course, I think ALL generations are cool!).

Recently, a friend on Instagram was looking for the post, as she felt it could help her during these very strange pandemic/ coronavirus times. So I looked up the post for her, read it myself, laughed a bit and thought; “hey, I’m actually turning 44 on May 3rd, why not update the list and publish it again?” :)

So lucky you! Here is the updated list. I know, you can’t contain your excitement. I turn 44 soon, I love that number, feels so auspicious! I’m sure it’s going to be a good year, even though I’ll probably spend most of it in lockdown (I’m high risk). Anyway, want to hear about what I learned in all my 44 years here on this bluey greeny planet? Let’s get started, maybe some of the lessons will support you during difficult times, if not that then some of the lessons may at least make you smile a bit. <3

If you have some super wise lessons that are not on this list and could be particularly helpful during these challenging times of the pandemic, please add them in the comments: we appreciate your wisdom. 

Life Lessons by Tam

  1. Life is hard, life is joy, life is fun, life is MESSY, life is sad, life is bliss; you gotta keep going, no feeling is permanent or final.
  2. Everyone struggles and is fighting some kind of war one way or another. Everyone really tries hard, most of the time they try their best. Everyone needs our compassion and understanding.
  3. It’s totally ok to hide under blankets with buckets full of chocolate, pizza, wine and 80ties music pretending to be a sloth or hedgehog when you’re depressed or sad.
  4. Kindness is holy.
  5. Feel your feelings. Allow & notice your feelings, all your feelings; give space to them. They need a way out and they need to be heard; it’s super good for your health. Bonus: painful ones leave you sooner if you feel them instead of repressing them; irony, life haz it.
  6. Build a great relationship with yourself. Learn to know, understand & love thyself.
  7. Cheese is laced with crack cocaine.
  8. Get to know your heart. Follow it. Don’t confuse heart messages with mind messages. Don’t let your mind drive your car. Mind is helpful sometimes but should be relegated to the back seat of the car. 
  9. Become trauma informed. Learn the difference between your ‘intuition’ and a ‘trauma response’. You may not think you’ve had trauma but most people have and many of our actions can come from these trauma experiences. Trauma tends to be any difficult/ hard experiences you’ve experienced alone and unprocessed.
  10. Try empathy instead of sympathy when responding to people, empathy creates connection, sympathy less so. Read all of Brene’s stuff or check out NVC/ Marshall Rosenberg on that one.
  11. Focus on the things you can control, not on what you can’t control. 
  12. Break the rules. Sometimes smash ‘m.
  13. Breathe deeply. Focus on your breath often, it helps ground you into your body and into ‘the now’.
  14. Go Slow.
  15. Embrace diversity for a healthier heart, mind, society and earth.
  16. Read books, magical worlds can be opened up for you through reading. 
  17. Kindness is sacred.
  18. Your feelings are valid.
  19. Let go, be present, surrender to what is.
  20. Learn mindfulness & meditation for healing and inner peace.
  21. There are entirely too many calories in 1 tiny peanut.
  22. Calories don’t matter as much as love, connection and the light inside people.
  23. Diet culture is a thing and has been very destructive to people’s self love, self acceptance, health and relationships. Explore the body positive & HAES community.
  24. Self love and self care are imperative.
  25. You are adored, cherished, loved and cheered on by billions of stars in the night sky.
  26. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others. You can’t serve water from a dried up well (or whatever that expression is I forget!) :)).
  27. Don’t waste your time on finding the one matching sock. Odd socks are quirky, fun and save you time trying to find the matching one that is clearly in a black hole somewhere after having dropped through a crack in the space-time continuum.
  28. Dogs are holy. Puppy dogs are divine.
  29. CBD oil can greatly assist health. Check with your doctor before taking it though.
  30. You are innately worthy. They are innately worthy. We are innately worthy. I am innately worthy. Your abilities, skills and achievements do not equate your worthiness. You were born worthy and always will be worthy. Forever and ever. There is nothing you can do, no matter how hard you try to suck at life to make you unworthy.
  31. Find community and connection with other like minded humans. You need each other.
  32. Living in community is hard, you really have to connect over tedious things like: ‘why did you not put the lid back on the toothpaste tube?‘ & ‘who used up all the milk?’ and ‘hey, who farted?’. Still it’s worth while to find your tribe.
  33. Art & music can help you heal.
  34. Flowers too.
  35. It’s ok to rest, go on vacation, take a break. You do not have to be endlessly productive. Productivity does not equal ‘worthiness’.
  36. You gotta be gentle with yourself and others, always gentle.
  37. Rainbows, unicorns, glitter, spirulina and coconut oil are awesome.
  38. The most violent people are often the ones who need the most compassion, love and understanding.
  39. It’s ok if you can’t be the one to give it to them.
  40. Humans can do the most mind-blowingly awesome amazing things.
  41. Humans can do the most shockingly horrifyingly awful things.
  42. There are diamonds to be found in devastation (hardest lesson to learn for me and I’m still grumpy about it, but yeah: the wound is the place where the light enters you).
  43. It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to say yes. It’s ok to give up, it’s ok to keep trying.
  44. You are not alone in feeling like you’re the odd one out. Embrace your weird, and find your fellow weirdos. Trust me; there are many and they are flipping awesome!
  45. Every single person in the world has something special to give.
  46. Thoughts can lie and distract. Examine them, don’t fight or repress them. Just watch them fly by.
  47. Get yourself a good therapist. Even if you think you don’t need one. Having a neutral person to talk to can be a deeply life changing and massively supportive.
  48. Declutter your spaces sometimes. Decluttering externally can really help with decluttering internally.
  49. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. A great burden will be lifted off your shoulders.
  50. Question what you read in the papers/ social media (particularly random posts on Facebook) and what you watch on the news: fact check articles/ posts before you share them. Be informed and don’t buy the media’s messages about what they think will make you happy. Hint: it’s not a new car, a better body, the next anti-wrinkle cream or more guinea pigs, ok maybe more guinea pigs but not the cream.
  51. Hold your own. Shine your incredibly wild beautiful bananaballs amazing big beautiful BRIGHT LIGHT.
  52. Stand in your truth. Examine your truth.
  53. For every belief or opinion you hold, try to listen (with objectivity & calm and with great attention) to someone who has the opposite belief or opinion. Learn from it.
  54. Kindness is cool.
  55. You have a soul, or rather: you are a soul inside a human body.
  56. Everyone has a different truth. There is no ‘one truth’.
  57. Be open to new ideas, change, growth and purple trousers.
  58. Take magnesium supplements, apparently we are all magnesium deficient. It’s helped me with depression. Check with your doctor first though!
  59. Turning 40 (and 44) is an odd paradox where you feel that the age 40/ 44 commands some kind of respect like; ‘wow, you made it all this way without even dying and you managed to pay bills and cook some semi healthy food without setting the kitchen on fire (sometimes that is; I did once set a microwave on fire, oops), and you didn’t even end up in prison and most of your clothes don’t have holes in them’, but on the other hand you are painfully aware that you know absolutely nothing and you feel like a massive kid inside and you stare wild eyed (and WIDE eyed) at how ‘all the other people manage to be so responsible and grown up and have proper jobs like being an accountant and smoke pipes or cigars and talk about the stock market or the rise and fall of the economy and they understand insurance, navigation, peak oil, VAT, mortgages and pensions and they drink sophisticated drinks like martinis’ and this is a terrible & long run on sentence that proves I am not allowed to be 40/44 quite yet. :D  So yeah: 40/ 44 is a little bit of a lie, or a charade or a mask you put on that you can intimidate younger people with, but inside, oh inside you know it’s ALL one massive big joke! Nevertheless, let’s continue on with listing my wise life lessons (ok Boomer). You must respect my opinions and views, now that I’m 40/44.
  60. Love open-heartedly even if you risk being shattered into a million little pieces of broken love puddly sadness. It’s true that it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. You are not a rock nor an island, pain and sadness are part of the deal. So are bliss and joy. Give lots of hugs. Smile with your eyes. And if you’re finding it hard to find people to love on, start with yourself, the people will come.
  61. There are no mistakes only awesome learning opportunities.
  62. Cultivate the courage to ‘fail’ (there isn’t really such a thing, there is only learning). If you can muster the courage to try again over and over and over: you can and will make it anywhere.
  63. Embrace all of you, quirks, flaws and all.
  64. I suspect, the universe is alive and intelligent and loves us immeasurably. :)
  65. Corporations should not have the same rights as human people.
  66. It’s ok to express yourself even if others around you think it’s ‘too loud, frivolous or a waste of time’. Sing, paint, dance, run, cook, bake, pottery, write, poetry, crochet, knit, be a make up artist, a hair stylist, a landscaper; express your beautiful self.
  67. Cry as deeply and loudly as you need when you’re sad. Throw plates, scream in pillows. Get it all out. Also; if you’re male: you too; cry, feel sad, feel your feels dude. It’s braver and healthier than the other option: pretending you’re all hard and stuff. It’s really not been very fair on men at all; all that ‘you gotta be strong & hard and be the man and you can never show your feelings because that equates weakness’; b*llsh*t.’ Be strong and brave: feel your feelings.
  68. Vulnerability is a strength
  69. Be authentic. Share you as you are.
  70. Slow down. Notice. Breathe. Slowly. Slow. Be quiet, listen. Listen.
  71. Everything, including who you think you are, is a story/ narrative. Try to find the ‘real you’ within you.
  72. Spend time with trees.
  73. You will get through this.
  74. Become familiar with your shadow. Moving towards it and learning to understand it is less scary than you think it is.
  75. Lizzo is fantastic.
  76. You can not spiritually bypass your trauma or shadow. You are everything: the trauma, the divine. Embody and examine it all.
  77. Go, with the flow. The flow likes you to go with it. Flow baby. Resistance = futile.
  78. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) can save lives and heal the world.
  79. What you resist has a tendency to persist. Allow the unfolding of life.
  80. You can do more than you think you can. You can do this. I believe in you.
  81. Fame, fortune, physical beauty, material possessions are seductive, attractive and sometimes helpful but they are also fleeting and fickle and will not solve all your problems or help you feel a deep inner peace and happiness (you have to go spiritual for that one). 
  82. It’s ok to feel hopeless, angry, infuriated.
  83. You are loved exactly as you are.
  84. People matter, animals matter, you matter, the earth matters.
  85. You are the breath of the universe. You are the light.


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