16 May 2012

Wish you knew these at 16?

By the time we have learnt about life in the hard way, we are often too old to make use of our newly-found wisdom.


Some things take a lifetime to learn. We learn through the hard knocks and disappointments in life.

It’s enough to make one want to believe in reincarnation – the mere thought that maybe next time we’ll know these things at the starting line rather than two metres before the finishing line.

  • When you find something like a jacket you really like, buy two.
  • Make sure you always have painkillers, antiseptic cream, plasters, antacids, tampons and condoms in the house.
  • Don’t punish yourself for what other people have done to you.
  • The agony of the hangover is never cancelled out by the pleasure of the party the night before.
  • If someone is abusive towards you, changing your behaviour won’t put a stop to it.
  • Earn your living doing something you enjoy.
  • It is always so much easier being polite to all people who serve you.
  • Leaving a really unpleasant job or choosing not to go to a social function can be very liberating things to do.
  • If you want lots of friends, become a good listener.
  • If you are really sick, you earn no brownie points for going to work.
  • Your entertainment is your own responsibility. Don’t wait for others to do it for you.
  • You are never as lonely on your own as you are in a relationship that is not working.
  • Put a hook for your keys at the front door.
  • A house that is 80 percent clean and tidy is quite sufficient.
  • Never criticise yourself or your appearance unnecessarily. All you will be doing is focusing other people’s attention on your shortcomings.
  • Get written quotes for jobs you want someone to do.
  • Building a house is always a nightmare and always costs at least 20 percent more than you bargained for.
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Buy clothes that don’t need ironing.
  • Have secondhand cars tested by the AA before you drive them off the floor.
  • Don’t even start smoking.
  • When you deal with a large company on the telephone, get the name of the person you are speaking to.
  • You cannot change other people.
  • Don’t nag your children. Remember that you want them to visit you when you are old.
  • It is better to have traveled, than to have money sitting in your bank account.
  • Get a GP who is younger than you are. He/she might see you through to the end.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24, updated May 2012)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Incontinence & You »

When should you see a doctor for urinary incontinence? Incontinence and your sex life Treating incontinence

Here’s how to train your bladder

You train to increase your physical fitness. So consider training your bladder too; it may decrease your chances of developing urinary incontinence when you are older.

FYI: Cancer »

Could a blood test spot lung cancer early? Many breast cancer patients can skip chemo, big US study finds

Do you know what causes cancer?

Wrong ideas about what causes cancer can lead to unnecessary worry and even inhibit good prevention and treatment decisions.