50 Things I Learned in My First 50 Years, Part 1

01/16/2013 08:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A year ago this month, I turned 50 for the first and last time. ᅡᅠI vividly remember being a little kid and doing the math and figuring out how old I would be when we got to the 2000s, but 50 seemed like an eternity. Well, I made it. And for my 50
last year I went to an island and wrote in my journal and thought about where I've been and where I want to go next, and I made this list. Since I'm about to turn 51, I thought I'd revisit it. It's still true for me! Hope you like it!
  1. Always trust your nose. Listen to it. Obey it.
  2. Hunger comes from many sources--rarely the need for food.
  3. Raising kids does not get easier as they grow up; it just gets more complicated.
  4. Always believe in love. ALWAYS.
  5. People will be mean. Don't let it stop you.
  6. Being mean makes you feel crappy. Don't do it.
  7. Find your happy place and go there often.
  8. There are all kinds of sex and all kinds of sexual pleasure, but there's only one kind that is truly satisfying, and that's true love sex. Don't stop until you find it, and if you do, try not to let it go.
  9. Smile at everyone.
  10. If you can, send your kids to sleep-away camp. They will thank you forever.
  11. Demand Organic!
  12. God is in everything and everyone, everywhere. The sooner we all believe that, the quicker there will be world peace.
  13. There is no Satan.
  14. Books are the doorways to the universe.
  15. Make sure you have an awesome bed and you love it because you will be spending a lot of time in it sleeping, napping, reading, snuggling with kids, and hopefully, having great sex.
  16. Further. Always push further.
  17. Grudges take too much energy to maintain. Forgive and forget.
  18. All physical ailments are rooted in problems at the emotional, energetic, and spiritual level. The sooner you believe it and act on it, the faster and more fully you will heal.
  19. Seek the advice of experts.
  20. But know when it's time to trust your own expertise.
  21. Never be afraid to create.
  22. Most of the stuff you read in the news and gossip magazines is made-up lies or just one perspective on a complicated situation. Be careful what you believe based on it.
  23. There are many different perspectives on any situation, and they are all valid to the people who hold those perspectives.
  24. Children are like seeds we plant. Our job is to nurture and protect them, but not to control or change them. A carrot will always be a carrot, and not a tomato.
  25. Cashmere is a gift from God. (And it's OK to have a comfort item, even as a grown-up!)
Check back on
for the rest of my list. And share some of your life lessons on my

For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com