What I’ve Learnt Since My Last Birthday

Tomorrow (30th October) is my birthday, so you still have time to lavish me with last-minute gifts.

I’m getting older. I know we all are but now I’m firmly a forty-something I’m focusing more on what I’ve learnt but also what’s to come.

What follows are the things I’ve learnt in the past year. Some you may find useful, most are just downright ridiculous, as ever.

What I’ve Learnt Since My Last Birthday

What I've Learnt Since My Last Birthday - excitement1.Having two cats is a challenge but the best challenge ever.

2. Editing a novel is like a wormhole. You begin and then you feel like you’ll never leave that dark place.

3. What you want isn’t always what life gives you.

4. What you need can show up in the strangest of places and from the strangest of people.

5. Birthday cake calories don’t count.

6. Moving house is flipping stressful and also ridiculous when you do it a week before Christmas.

7. Living life without your mum in it is still hard but memories sustain you.

8. Finishing a novel is an epic feat that no one should ever belittle.

9. Finding an agent is harder than finding the Holy Grail.

10. Other writers understand you and can be your best allies.

11. Other writers don’t understand you at all and can try to tear you down.

What I've Learnt Since My Last Birthday - live long12. Every single freaking person on the internet has an opinion and is not afraid to use it. I already knew this but in the past year, I know it even more.

13. Blood isn’t always thicker than water and that’s the way it is.

14. My husband is a constant who I love more every day. Cheesy, I know, but it’s the truth.

15. My best friend will always be there for me. I knew this previously as well but she just keeps on giving.

16. Running is bloody hard. You will get injured. You will then realise you love running when you can’t run.

17. Running in an event to raise money for a hospice that cared for your mum will be one of the most difficult, frustrating, amazing, and humbling things you will ever do.

18. I have found friends in people I never knew would be friends.

19. It’s okay to be an introvert and you don’t need to make excuses for it. Those who love you understand your need for space.

What I've Learnt Since My Last Birthday - secrets20. Every day when I don’t have depression is a great day.

21. I am awesome because I beat mental illness every day but I am not a failure when it temporarily gets a grip on me.

22. Not everyone wants or needs my help.

23. I cannot save the world. I need to wear undies over spandex tights to do that and I’m not quite ready for that look.

24. I still love chocolate. Chocolate still loves sticking to my thighs and belly.

25. I don’t hate my body anymore. I’m not a fan of the extra rolls and lumpy bits but I respect my body more. It is able to run, cross train, and work. It does a good job and I’ll remind myself of this because one day it won’t.

26. Being in my forties is easier than any other decade because I don’t sweat the small stuff so much now.

27. I improved as a writer every time I sat down and wrote.

28. I still need to learn not to feel guilty if I’m not writing and ignore the ‘You must write every day’ BS.

29. I am capable of writing and publishing a weekly blog post still. This is no mean feat as it’s easy to let it go, especially when working on a novel.

What I've Learnt Since My Last Birthday - dog years30. Grey hairs multiply like rabbits.

31. Beta readers are wonderful people. Never underestimate their importance.

32. Discovering new books and writers just gets better and better.

33. I am more determined than ever to get my novel published and it will happen.

34. I am tougher and more resilient than I think.

35. I like me. That’s a HUGE one for someone who spent years not liking herself at all.

Over to You

What have you learnt about yourself over the past year?

What presents are you going to buy me?

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

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