Today’s writing prompt from 642 Things To Write About is:

Write an anonymous letter to a stranger detailing the things you’ve learned about life…

Things I’ve learned about life…mmm, let me think…in no particular order:

Don’t swear as much as I do. People often find it offensive.

Money is over-rated, except when you don’t have any. There is nothing noble about being poor, or in debt, or scrambling down the back of the sofa looking for 50p tomorrow’s lunch money. Nothing.

Pensions are important. Take it from one who is fast approaching an impoverished third age. As a member of the first cohort of women to achieve equality of retirement age (hurrah!) I cannot start claiming my state pension until I am 67. I have a measly civil service one which does start paying out when I am 60, but it will barely cover my credit card bill. My husband is five years younger than I, so I won’t benefit from his final salary public sector pension until I am….well, likely dead. The next decade is going to be interesting.

Children are hard work. Sweet smelling, chubby, smiling babies grow into rank, sour-faced, skinny teenagers. Then miraculously, just when you thought you had lost your sons forever, they blossom into hard-working, loving men, with families of their own. Was it worth it…yes, just. Would I do it again…mmm, I will get back to you on that one.

Very few people get to follow their dreams. Most of us end up working in dull jobs, simply to pay the rent/mortgage/Mastercard/taxman. Grab what happiness you can, but don’t deliberately harm people in the process.

Stand up to bullies. I always did, until I was bullied by an expert. I almost lost my soul. And it is still frayed around the edges.

New York is quite simply the best city in the world. No contest.

If you get the chance to visit sub-Saharan Africa, take it. It will change your life.

Red wine is essential to (my) life

You can have too many handbags/shoes/dresses/lip gloss

Your parents don’t always know best.

Being a grandmother is better than I thought it could be (and I had high expectations). Suddenly, your life makes sense.

You don’t get a second shot at life…this is it.

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