Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 22: Lessons Learned

In an effort to inject some positivity into my daily mindset and the online world I have created a Daily Gratitude Challenge and I am inviting everyone to participate. If you have missed my introductory post that explains the challenge and maps out the daily post schedule, visit here.

Daily Gratitude Challenge What life lessons are you grateful for

Day 22 of the Daily Gratitude Challenge is all about lessons learned. While it may not be obvious at the time, lessons learned (particularly when they are learned the hard way) are instrumental in our psychological and emotional growth. This is an opportunity to look at the lessons you are grateful for, and how their impact has made you a better person. Continue reading

Love Later Life


There is no cure for ageing

Because ageing isn’t an illness, but a way of life.

And some are better at it than others

The secret?

Think yourself younger than you really are:

On a crowded bus or tube, offer your seat to a young man

Design a website, invent an app

Take up Zumba, forget to nap

For no-one can predict what’s lying in store

With a future more challenging than ever before.


So enjoy the adventure

Time flies, they say, but it’s us that fly

Time sits on its hands, as we rush by.

And life has a way of gathering speed

So seize the day, we’re a special breed

In the blink of an eye

The wave of a hand

The beat of a heart

The brush of a tear

You are old.

But valued still.

Welcome to the fold.


Written by English poet Roger McGough

This poem was created for the latest Age UK tv advert – I think it’s beautiful. In the cinema version of the advert, it is read by 92 year old movie legend Christopher Lee.


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Image Credit: http://www.wisdomquotesandstories.com

Do Alligators Alligate? The Teachings of Ralph Wiggum

Of all the Simpsons characters over the years, Ralph Wiggum is by far my favourite. He’s sweet and innocent, refusing to be corrupted by those around him. He’s… special. After hearing that every Simpsons episode will be aired in chronological order on FXX, I thought it would be a nice idea to delve into the many sides of Ralph’s personality and discover the life lessons that he can teach us.


The Lover

“I love Lisa Simpson, and when I grow up, I’m gonna marry her!”

(Lisa feels sorry for Ralph when he doesn’t receive any cards on Valentines’s Day, and so she presents him with one that says ‘I choo-choo-choose you.’ After breaking his heart on national television, Ralph forgives her and moves on, proclaiming “I can’t believe I ever went out with you.”)

What Ralph teaches us: There is nothing wrong with putting yourself out there and wearing your heart on your sleeve. If you get your heart broken, you can pick yourself up and put it down to a bad learning experience. And more than likely, you’ll look at your ex and wonder what you ever saw in them in the first place…



The Medical Practitioner

“The doctor said I wouldn’t have as many nosebleeds if I kept my finger outta there…”

“And when the doctor told me I didn’t have worms anymore, that was the happiest day of my life…”

What Ralph teaches us: Our health is important. Make sure that you look after yourself and visit your doctor if you have concerns. Most importantly, don’t stick your finger up your nose. It’s probably best not to stick crayons up there either.



The Non-Conformist

Bart: Be there or be square!

Ralph: I want to be a triangle!

“I’m pedalling backwards!”

What Ralph teaches us: Be yourself – you don’t have to conform to other people’s expectations. In your personal life you should feel free to do what you want, when you want, and as long as you enjoy it and it isn’t deliberately hurting anybody else then that is all that matters. Never apologise for doing something that makes you happy.


image The Philosopher

Lisa: Players play and managers manage.

Ralph: Do alligators alligate?

What Ralph teaches us: It’s good to think outside the box and question the world around us. Don’t be afraid of asking questions. Challenge yourself and those around you. Do alligators alligate? I’ve been asking myself this question all morning.


imageThe Careerist.

“When I grow up, I’m going to Bovine University!”

What Ralph teaches us: Education and ambition is important, even degrees from Bovine University. Whatever your career path, it is always good to want to work for something in your future, and having a plan will help you achieve your goal. I probably wouldn’t want to go to Bovine University, but each to his own…



The Conversationalist

“My breath smells like cat food.”

(During a conversation between Lisa and her new friend Allison, in which they decide to exchange anagrams as they walk home. Ralph, instead of participating, informs them of the status of his breath instead).

“My cat’s name is Mittens.”

What Ralph teaches us: It’s good to open the conversation up and discuss other subjects. There may be times where you feel out of your depth or are bored by the conversation, so listen and then gradually steer the conversation towards something that you may be more comfortable with. And, to be honest, anyone who enjoys talking about their cats is fine by me.



The Fantasist

“Mrs Krabappel and Principal Skinner were in the closet making babies and I saw one of the babies and the baby looked at me.”

“Oh sleep, that’s where I am a Viking.”

What Ralph teaches us: It’s good to have an active imagination. For those of us that consider ourselves writers, the more active the imagination the better. However, in the real world, it is important at this point to know the difference between fantasy and downright lies.



The Achiever

“I dress myself.”

What Ralph teaches us: Be proud of your achievements, however small. It isn’t arrogant to tell others of your successes – we all need praise occasionally and doing this will inspire you to continue in your endeavours. I remember when I dressed myself for the first time. I told everybody. It was awesome.


What about you? What life lessons have you learnt from your favourite cartoon characters?

You can also find me at Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog