This year I turned 44. In my excitement, I realized I keep learning things, so I’m doing a David Letterman’s top 10 list of things I’ve learned now that I’ve turned 44.
I want to keep these brief and bold and move you forward in life. In the comments below, let me know… Do you relate to some of these things? Are you younger or older than me, and you also relate to some of these things? Let me know when you learned them and what are some things that you learned this year at whatever age that you're at.
Learning #1: Having older kids does not mean my house is any cleaner or will be cleaner.
I look back at photos of my house when my kids were young, and my house was clean. Now because they can move everything around, the house is messier. I think it's also because I used to clean up after them. Now, I'm at the point where I believe they can be doing it themselves.
I've got my own solution to this problem, but it is funny how my kids are 8 and 11, and I thought my house is going to be so much cleaner when they can help out. They do help out and they do have some jobs. But boy, do they have a lot of stuff.
Learning #2: Speaking for five minutes on stage can be scarier than eight hours.
You might think, “How is that even possible, Diane?” Well, I have done trainings that are eight hours long and full-day trainings, and I don’t freak out about it. Then in the past year I did a stand-up comedy class, and I had to do a five-minute set on stage and then for another show an eight-minute set. I'll tell you, I was so much more nervous to do that than I was to get up and do a keynote or get up and do a half day training or get up and do a full day training.
The reason is there is no room for error. The punch lines and the lead-up to these jokes are so important that you land and say the right words. Otherwise, your punch line is not going to get any laughs. And with 25 jokes just a few sentences long, there was a lot to remember.
Also, I was having a hard time remembering the order of the jokes and which joke came where, and if I did the joke at the wrong time, then it wouldn’t link with another joke I was doing.
I do love the thrill of stand-up comedy, so I am going to continue learning how to do it and add jokes into a humorous keynote that I'm putting together. But it does scare me.
Learning #3: It's important to call widows and hug them.
I have a friend who was sharing with me that hugs from her daughter, son, and grandkids and massages are the only physical touch that she gets. She's not necessarily a widow, but she was sharing this with me. Then I also think of my mom, who after my dad passed away, is living alone; therefore, she doesn't have someone to talk to all day or at any point in the day at home, and she doesn't have the physical touch from my Dad anymore, and so it is important to at least call. And lots of hugs when I go visit her.
I've also learned this from coaching widows and people who are alone. They miss these things. It's a simple thing. But if you have a friend in one of your groups, coworker or whatever, and you're friendly enough, maybe give them a hug, call them or message them sometimes.
Learning #4: I love soccer so much that I will cry if I'm forced to give it up.
I've had a rough few years. I don't know if you've heard some of the episodes of the Dynamic Women Podcast or read my other blogs where I talk about my journey with soccer, my body, how I've been injured, and I kept getting injured.
I got injured back in May when I tore my lateral meniscus on the same knee that I had a reconstructive ACL. It's a bad knee. The orthopedic surgeon said, “The best is not to play. Do you do it for fun? Or do you do it for fitness?” I said, “I do it for fun. I love it so much.”
He said, “Okay, well, it's your choice.” I was saying this to a teammate and friend. She said, “Maybe it's just time to give it up. Not play anymore.” I started crying. I wasn't able to answer her next question or even answer that because I was so upset because I love it so much.
I think the other thing is, I was forced to retire early from rugby. I tore my ACL playing rugby. Then I did three months of physio thinking I didn't need surgery because that's what I was told. Then five minutes into the first game back after an intense three months of physio, I fully tore it. I needed surgery and didn’t get back to playing. Then it was leading up to my wedding, so didn’t play because I wanted to make sure I could walk down the aisle, then I started having kids and I just never got back into it. I'm not ready to give up soccer.
With the knee injury, the other thing I realized was I'd get healthier. I'm losing weight, and eating better, so my knee has less inflammation and less pressure on it. I've learned that I will get healthier. I'm motivated to get healthier for a soccer body, not a summer body. Times have changed. My priorities have changed now that I'm 44.
Learning #5: I can be at my heaviest weight and feel like I'm so far gone, and still come back from it.
You may have listened to my Dynamic Women Podcast episode or my blog where I talked about how I lost weight. Now, I've lost over 35 pounds. I'm going to keep going until I'm at a healthy goal weight.
How was I able to come back? Because honestly, I was feeling like, “I don't know if I could lose this weight. I don't know if I can come back. I just don’t have the willpower or ability.” The key thing was I hired a coach.
I know what to do. But I didn't have the emotional and mental bandwidth to do it. I needed accountability. I needed someone to just guide me and tell me what to do. I would just say yes, and follow the plan and tick things off and get the, “Good job, Diane.” That's what I needed. What I actually realized from that was I could eat more, exercise less, and still lose weight. Isn't that amazing?
If you want to know my coach, let me know. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learning #6: I like online digital investing.
This whole cryptocurrency, investing thing was doing my head in. My husband and I were looking at doing real estate investing in Vancouver. Just not ideal for the type of investing we wanted to be doing - flipping.
Then there are stocks, bonds, puts, and all these other types of stock market investing. I use my brain all day for work, I didn’t want to stretch it at night as well. It's not in my zone of genius to understand this financial side.
I didn't do any of it. But then I met a mentor. I realized I could learn to navigate this crypto world, this online investing digital world, and make good investments that are making me money because I have a great mentor.
Do you know what's really weird?
I have always thought, “I'm going to coach until I die. I love this so much.” But when I started getting into investing, and seeing how much was coming back to me, without me doing anything (passive income), not “Oh, I have to figure out all these businesses. I have to watch what the market is doing. I have to see if the stock is up or down and then buy low, sell high or any of that”. I didn't have to learn it. I don't have to be on top of it. I put it in. I get the interest and then decide to withdraw or compound. I then thought, “Oh, maybe I don't want to be a paid coach until I die. Maybe I want to volunteer coach instead.”
Anyway, that was interesting to me. I got excited about it because I had someone to show me where to go with it.
Learning #7: Sometimes you need to break up with friends, clients, or soccer teams if they're not a good fit.
When I say good fit, it might have been a good fit, but things and people change, so maybe it’s not a good fit for this period of your life. I won't go into why I broke up with friends, clients, or with these teams. But I'll let you know the learning from this is that even if I make a tough decision to end a relationship, to switch teams or to fire a client, I still think about them. I still want the best for them.
I grew up always thinking that everyone would be my friend, and everyone would like me, and I'd like everyone and everyone would get along. I realized it's not that way.
I want it to be that way, but it's not. Doing the breaking up or limiting my time and energy has really been hard. It sits on my heart about these people. I still pray for them every week, anytime my pastor’s like, “Lift up someone who's hurting right now”. If they say someone who has physical pain, I still lift up these people even though it doesn't even relate. It's just the whole idea of lifting them up and praying for them.
Not praying because I want them to be better or get better. No. Praying because it saddens me that there was a break or distance created.
Learning #8: I can't wear heels anymore. At least, I'm trying.
Here's a variety of reasons why I don't think I could wear heels. But I'm going to do it anyway. I wore them in my photoshoot for my birthday. I loved the power, the feeling, the sexiness, and the beauty of high heels. However, I need to go buy new ones, better ones, bigger ones.
I think what's happened is two kids (my feet widened), plantar fasciitis issues, ankle issues (yes, those are both soccer), COVID and not wearing heels (I’m out of practice). I had a client who is a personal trainer of people who do fitness competitions. When they come up to fitness competition time, she has everyone wear their heels in the house for at least 10 minutes a day because you have to build up all those ligaments in the feet and get them used to that position along with the calves.
Well, I just put the shoes on and I haven't even walked a step and my foot feels in so much pain. That makes me feel old like I need orthotics in my heels, which I don't think you can do, but I wear orthotics in my shoes.
That makes me feel older, and that's okay, but I'm going to have to train myself how to wear heels again and get some good ones for myself. (Since writing this I bought myself 3 comfy pairs!)
Learning #9: I'm more sensitive now, and I just won't rough it.
I used to backpack, stay in cheap places, get on cheap flights, and go into chaotic restaurants. I just can't do it. I can't do it. I'm not a fan of loud music, loud restaurants, loud spaces, chaotic spaces. I want to take cabs or an Uber or Lyft over public transit.
I will choose better seats on a plane just to be away from people if I can, and to have a bit more space. I want hotel rooms that have kitchens so I can prep my own food and more space in the room. Ideally, a room close to the elevator and pool. I don't want to rough it anymore.
My husband says, “We're not going camping because you don't like it.” I said, “Oh, I like camp fires, nature, smores, I just don't feel like sleeping on the ground because I know how my body's going to be in the morning.” That makes me think, “Yeah, I'm 44.”
Learning #10: I feel most alive and like myself when I'm with my friends.
When I get on here, and I write to you, I also feel like myself. This is the real me. Except when I'm with my friends for longer periods of time or more of them, I get a little edgy. I use my humor. I get into some banter pretty quick.
I picked all that up from my parents. We bantered a lot growing up. They're British and watching British TV shows. I love banter and I miss it. I feel most alive when I can be with my friends like that and just be silly, edgy, and funny. That's what I want to be like in 2024 I'm going to be bringing out a humorous, inspirational keynote, with a bit of my standup in it. That's going to be really good! I’ve already locked in a coach to help me with it.
Well, there are my top 10. Everything from heels to soccer to weight loss to housekeeping to investing to when I feel most like myself, so I'm curious, what have you learned over the past year? Do you relate to any of these? Let me know. Put it in the comments.
P.S. I hope to see you over in the Dynamic Woman Facebook community. It’s a free-to-join community for female business leaders to come together to connect, share, grow, and be inspired. There are virtual and live events, networking, coaching, and more!
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