15 Things You Should Know How To Do By 50

know by 50

Getting older should mean getting wiser, and for me, the most valuable forms of wisdom that come with age are being more confident in yourself, taking care of your body and home, and loving yourself and others just the way you (and they) are!

All of those forms of wisdom are well represented in the list I’ve put together to share to day. It’s a list of fifteen things that I think every woman should know by the time she turns fifty. (And if you’re over fifty and there are things on this list you haven’t conquered yet, there’s no time like the present!)

15 Things Every Woman Should Know How To Do By 50

know by 50

1. Say “No” Without Feeling Guilty

This is number one for a reason! If you always prioritize other people’s needs over yours, your productivity will suffer and resentment will mount.

2. Laugh At Yourself

Laughter is the best medicine, and learning to laugh at yourself is a surprisingly effective way to deal with negative circumstances. Studies have shown that being able to laugh at yourself is linked to better mental health.

know by 50

3. Whip Up A Signature Dish

Having a recipe that you can whip up for get-togethers or family dinners is valuable skill for any homemaker. And keep in mind that your “signature dish” doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be yours!

4. Take Yourself Out To Dinner Or A Movie

Going out alone means having time to enjoy yourself and do exactly what you want (or see the movie you really want to see) without feeling like you need to defer to what others want. Give it a try—it can be quite freeing!

know by 50

5. Look Good In Photos

It’s time to stop shying away from the camera! There are plenty of resources online that are full of great tips about flattering poses and positions that can help you look and feel your best in every shot.

6. Defend Yourself

You don’t have to be a black belt to defend yourself—there are many simple moves that can help you get away from an attacker. Look for a self-defense class near you, or look up self-defense moves online (and don’t forget to practice!) Here’s a resource to get you started.

know by 50

7. Operate Your TV

Easier said than done? Maybe, but it’s empowering to do this yourself. Dig out that manual, search online, call the technical support line, or whatever you need to do to figure it out. You’ll be glad you did!

8. Light A Grill And Cook On It

Don’t leave all the fun to the men! You can cook an incredible meal on the grill with no pans to scrub, and cooking on the grill isn’t difficult once you master the basics.

know by 50

9. Find A Bra That Fits Correctly

If you’ve never had an expert bra fitting, you may be in for a shock. Most women are wearing the wrong size — I was too! Wearing the wrong size bra can make it hard to look or feel your best, so it’s worth taking the time to get expert advice.

10. Examine Your Own Breasts

At any age, self breast exams can save your life. According to the 2003 National Health Interview Survey, 57% of breast cancer survivors found their own cancer. If you don’t already do so, start examining your breasts every month.

know by 50

11. Sew (At Least A Little!)

Sewing is practical and a great way to save money — and mending things makes you appreciate them more. Knowing how to sew on a button and do up a hem can get you through any number of “wardrobe malfunctions”.

12. Graciously Accept A Compliment

A smile and a sincere “thank you” when someone gives you a compliment can make their day. Instead of shying away, accept compliments and bask in your achievements.

know by 50

13. Strategize For Retirement

Make sure you understand your financial future — get involved, ask questions. Your bank or brokerage firm has a lot of resources you can use.

14. Walk Away From A Bad Situation Or Relationship

This is a tough one, but so important. You are in control of your life, and you set the terms for what is allowed and acceptable. There comes a time when giving someone or some situation the benefit of the doubt starts to do more harm than good, and that’s when it’s time to walk away.

know by 50

15. Exercise In A Way You Don’t Hate

Exercise doesn’t have to be all about losing weight. Regular exercise can help you sleep better, improve your mental health, and help you get stronger and live longer. You don’t have to turn into a fitness buff overnight, but you should at least have an exercise routine that you can and do stick to.

What would you add to this list?

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Thanks for finally writing about >50 Things Every
    Woman Should Know How To Do By 50One Good Thing by
    Jillee | One Good Thing by Jillee <Loved it!

  • The anonymity of the internet/comments sections have blatantly reduced most of you to blabbering idiots. Some enjoyed the list and others did not. If you were offended…guess what? The world does not nor will it ever revolve around you.

    The world is inherently good! People and the negativity they spew each time they speak will always be around but the rest of us are shaking our heads in dismay at you.

    Jillee has a great blog!!! She obviously thought we would get a kick out of this list. This is almost like the Aspartame post a few months ago! Wicked trolls get off your computers! See this as an opportunity to appreciate how diverse you are from those that match this list.

    • Well said!…well except for calling people trolls; But that was funny, so it works. In the words of William Shakespeare in “The Taming of the Shrew” –

      “Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to speak;
      And speak I will; I am no child, no babe:
      Your betters have endured me say my mind,
      And if you cannot, best you stop your ears.
      My tongue will tell the anger of my heart,
      Or else my heart concealing it will break,
      And rather than it shall, I will be free
      Even to the uttermost, as I please, in words.”

  • Hi Jillee! I really enjoyed the list. Although there are a lot of negative comments on here, I hope you do not take them to heart. I believe that it is important for a woman to know what her strengths and weaknesses are and what things she can still learn. I know this was not made to be sexist, but more for the women reading it. I am 23 and I have accomplished all but 2-3 of these things, and I think that is because of learning. I shared this blog with my grandma, who is 72, and her comment was “that about right”. She thought it was interesting, and I think that she is going to start reading your blog from her iPad! :) My father always taught us new things, which made me into the adult that I am today. I think that this list is a great way to either reflect or to acknowledge the achievements that you have made throughout your life. I enjoy reading your blog everyday! Keep it up! :)

  • <—–cracking up at all the cattiness in the comments! That is why I only have friends who don't judge, have gumption, and would love me for me no matter what, make-up or no…you GO Jillee! Way to get them riled up! Got them talking about being self sufficient!

  • I think that most of us can do many things on the list, but few of us can do them all. My finances do not stretch to foreign travel, but do allow for the back roads and byways of my country. There are things on the list that do not interest me and things I will give a try. I would say that to figure out what you are good at and to nurture your passions is important at any age. Take a few risks, go out on a limb for friends and family and try new things…you may surprise yourself. Most of all, learn to be comfortable in you own skin and be a blessing to those around you. And maybe learning to change a tire would be one good thing for me to learn.
    62 and still learning…

  • I like the list. I don’t live in the big city or in the country(anymore) but I have done 75% of these things already at the age of 44. I don’t think it has anything to do with being a girly girl at all. I wear very little makeup and I don’t carry a compact in my purse. I think some of you are taking this list a little too serious. I do my own taxes, change a flat tire, mow my own grass, planted a garden, opened a champaign bottle, put make up on without a mirror and I fix the run in my hose with clear nail polish. I can’t wait to hail for a taxi in a big city or tour a foreign country!!! To me this is a good bucket list for women. I taught 2 boys how to cook, do laundry and use coupons at the grocery store.

  • I can’t believe people are getting so upset about this list!!! I’m in my 20’s and I in no way find this list sexist or outdated. What’s wrong with you people? I think the point of this was to encourage women to be more independent. Why wasn’t it geared toward men, too? Probably because the vast majority of people who read this blog are women. Jillee asked for people to give their own suggestions, and instead it seems like everyone just decided to whine and complain. My guess is the people complaining are “offended” because after reading this list they realized how little they could do, and instead of being inspired to broaden their horizons, they decided to cry about it. Seriously! I can’t believe some of the comments I’m reading. People getting hateful because their family doesn’t eat turkey, they don’t wear a bra, or wear makeup. I think some of you guys owe Jillee an apology for your down-right rude and insulting comments. It’s not her fault you woke up on the wrong side of the bed looking for something to complain about.

    • And by the way, I make my own laundry detergent and other cleaning materials, I quilt, I sew, I’m a stay at home mom to two girls under the age of 2, but I’ve still travelled internationally on many occasions, hailed a cab, mow the lawn, carve a turkey, and many of the other things on this list. Shame on the commenter who implied that because we read Jillees blog that we don’t wear bras or makeup.

  • This list is amusing. So many of these are unnecessary and others silly and others very valuable. Why does anyone need to put on makeup without a mirror? Compacts have mirrors! Why travel if you don’t like to? Hail cabs if you live in the ‘burbs and drive everywhere? Made me laugh tho.

    I’d add read a map, even with GPS this is a good skill to have many women lack. And plunging a toilet is good.

  • John Nichols– REALLY?! You think this post is NOT what Jillie is about!? Sir, this is Jillie’s list of the things she wanted to be able to do when (or before) she turned 50. She recently had that milestone birthday. She felt she would like to share HER list with her blog – her friends, her fans, her followers. Why do you presume to tell her what she is about?

    Jillie – I personally like your list. Some items match my list and some items are not for me.
    Please keep writing and being yourself. I will keep reading.

  • Mow your lawn – never have and never will, I have my hubby and two boys to fall back on for this one.
    Hail a cab- never had to do this one but I have called for one.
    My signature dish is spagetti and that will never change.
    Fix a tire- this has been on my list for some time now.
    Open a bottle of champagne- I don’t drink chanpagne.
    Jump a car battery- I have helped with this but never completely on my own.
    Everything else I can check off !! Not bad!!

  • I’m sitting here, once again, in shock and awe at the self-righteous comments made by some of the posters here. Seriously, People?? Do you have nothing better to do with your time than bash someone for their FREE information they’re giving?
    Did she say ANYTHING about ‘if you don’t do this, you’re going to be a failure in life’?? NO! Honestly, get over yourselves! If you don’t like it, don’t read it, and move on with your all-knowing lives.
    The information, whether accurate or opinion, is FREE and she’s just as entitled to say it as anyone else on the net. Trashing her for her post doesn’t make YOU look smarter. In fact, it has just the opposite effect. Be kind, or be gone. Some people’s children! Grow up already. SMH…
    Jillee – if you felt attacked by these people, please know that there are others, like me, who are standing by you and supporting you. You’re a great lady that I would love to meet in person some day, and I really respect your opinions – whether I always agree with them or not.

  • I know that this may sound horrible–but by 50 every woman must know how to deal with loss–either a parent, spouse , friend etc. and also how to comfort a friend during this horrible time. By 50 I had lost both parents and my husband and I was so grateful for my friends who–really talked with me–no “BS-y” small talk.

  • ~ Learn from your mistakes.
    ~There is no such thing as failure, just unexpected results.
    ~Enjoy what you have rather than whining about what you don’t have.
    ~Unexpected things will happen. Deal with them to the best of your ability.
    ~Do one thing for yourself everyday. Whether that be reading a few pages in a book, a new type of tea/coffee, or jetting to Milan.
    ~Love yourself in order to love others.
    ~Know that constructive criticism is meant to help, not hinder or insult you.
    ~Help others (when you can) without expecting something in return.
    ~Accomplish one thing a day … even if it is only folding that basket of laundry.
    ~Face each day with a glad heart.
    ~Live each day to the fullest, as if it were your last. You never know.
    ~Laugh at yourself.

  • I liked this list! I’m a small city girl who can’t hail a taxi because there aren’t any to hail. I call one if needed. I would think you can call one if needed in any large city too.

    Substitute roasted whole chicken from a store for the turkey. If you know how to carve a bird or roast you waste less meat. In this day & age of pre- cooked meals & chicken meat, knowing how to cook something, cut it up, store it, save money, & eat healthier is just as important as how to handle money & people. I am constantly shocked at how many people can’t cook an egg, boil water, or follow recipes – no matter what their age.

    I feel privileged to have been to Europe & Canada and to know how to get around strange places on my own. I also know many people who can’t handle their money, much less do their own taxes. I know so many men as well as women who don’t even know how to check their oil much less change a tire! Knowing car care is a critical part of keeping your investment in good working condition & preventing being taken advantage of.

    I’ve met a lot of widows, including my sister-in-law, who let the men do the investing & finances until their death & were very afraid to venture out on their own. I think the stock market is a scary place myself!

    I do agree that most of this list can apply to men as well as women, but I do think there are somethings that women do better than men and vice-versa. Such as asking for help, directions, & admitting mistakes at work! LOL!

    I think taking a good picture means being happy with the portrait of yourself that others will see. If you are happy, then that’s what counts!

    I also agree that the list should include gardening (yard or pots).

    I would also add that we should all learn how to recognize past issues & be willing to deal with them so that our daily lives are not negatively impacted by the past. This is super hard to do, so if you can do it by age 50, you are doing great!

  • one last thing – my actual positive observation is that we live is a great big world and people have many different experiences so it would be IMPOSSIBLE to come up with 50 things that fit for everybody…and I think it’s beautiful that we are diverse – let’s celebrate it by adding to the list, not bashing Jillee for not having the PERFECT list!

  • Oh gawd, people! If you don’t like it, don’t comment.

    Does everything have to be about YOU???

    Are you really THAT important that you can’t read something that isn’t about you and not flip your ****??

    Jillee writes a really fun blog, is open about her life and is willing to take risks. You read one post that you don’t like because it doesn’t fit your particular life situation and you go HATER on her.

    What kind of person are you?

    When you read a blog regularly, you start to feel a fondness for the blogger. What kind of “friend” are you that you would go ape sh*t because you don’t wear make up and this post mentioned make?

    You don’t live in the city so you won’t hail a taxi.

    You don’t ______ so you don’t need to ______.

    Of course, what you do is SOOOO much better!

    Gawd, get over yourself! You’re not that special or that interesting.

  • wowowowowow!

    Who knew so much discord could come from something so lighthearted!

    I refuse to spend all the time reading through all these comments, life is too short. – too many that I see are negative and seem to have the expectation that Jillee is posting some sort of LAW! Gee Whiz! I’m shocked at the narrow mindedness (I shouldn’t be – I’m 52!) Have I done everything on there? I dunno and I’m not worried about it. Jillee made this up! This is a blog, people, she is not Moses coming down from Sinai with new commandments. It’s interesting to see people’s natural personalities come out. Those who would pick things apart to criticize hop right on in here and do so. Why!? I just don’t get it. Don’t you come on here to get good information, have a bit of down time to enjoy the banter and then move on? That people would go on and on about what’s wrong with this list is baffling to me. Many others here also have taken the time to address these gloomy gloria’s and bless them, but I’m sure your well meaning words fall on deaf ears. Anyone who would take the time to criticize this list surely doesn’t have enough objectivity to even see the err of their ways.

  • As a pastor my husband has had to help too many widows figure out the banking, how, when and where to pay bills and keep a budget. The panic that has hit these women when the bills start flying in is unnecessary. Keep a binder with banking information, passwords, insurance info and companies you typically send bills to and how much you pay. It will help when things are tough.

  • I think a lot of these are indications that you really need to broaden your horizons and step outside of your comfort zone. I recently decided to “put my Big Girl Pants On” and make some long overdue decisions. I find I am having to reaffirm my self-worth several times a day in the past couple of weeks. I know there are “sisters” out there going through the same thing. Pray for strength and ask for help! Thanks, Jillee – I love your daily emails. It’s like getting a Hello from an old friend.!

  • I thought the list was great and love the additions. I think Jillie was looking to start a conversation and probably got more than she bargained for!

  • Looks like you have 50 blog posts for us Jillee! At 40, I see I have a LOT to learn in the next 10 years!!! I realized after my divorce three years ago, I have never even driven more than two hours away from my home, which led to a near panic attack driving through Kansas City. Ridiculous I know.

  • I’m 62 and live out in the “boonies” and in Nebraska, of all places. I love my life, for the most part and love Jillees blog. I don’t have time to read it all the time but when I do, I usually learn something new. I’m surprised at all the feathers this blog ruffled, again not taking time to read ALL of the comments. I’m thinking if I had to come up with something new and different everyday, I’d eventually run out of topics and ideas. I say, read the blog; if it applies, fine. If not, skip over it. Jillee blogs a lot about gluten-free recipes, etc. We have no one in our family for that need. So those blogs, I naturally choose not to read. Relax, appreciate Jillee’s efforts and go and enjoy the sunrise or make your family some muffins for breakfast before your day starts, etc. etc. etc.

  • Oh, and I lived in New York for 7 years so let me just say you can all hail a taxi.

    1. Stand out in the street facing the oncoming traffic going in the same direction you want to go (just not so far as to get hit by the cab–unless your destination is the hospital).

    2. Put your right arm in the air and hold it there (cabbies will be looking a couple blocks ahead so they have time to slow down and pull over for you).

    3. If it’s raining and cabs are scarce, put some dollar bills in your outstretched hand and make sure you’re downwind from other cab seekers so the cab comes upon you first.

    4. Get in cab, be polite and tip well.

    This really only matters in NYC. Everywhere else, call the cab company and ask them to send a cab. Go directly to number 4.

    It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it or will ever do it–the point is you all CAN do it! It’s easy just like in the movies and that’s one more you can check off America. You’re welcome:)

  • Haters gonna hate. The only point of a list like this or any similar is not that you can do all these things but that you BELIEVE you can do them and anything else life throws at you.
    At 45 I am confident enough to know that, whatever the task is, I’m either accomplished enough to have done it, smart enough to figure it out, or humble enough to ask for help.
    Jillee, you are all three! Go girl!!!

  • friends, neighbors, and country(wo)men. lighten up! the idea here, as i see it, is to be empowered to do THAT WHICH IS NEEDED in your life without the help of anyone else IF POSSIBLE. sorry – i’m not shouting. just want to emphasize what i find important in this message. i know how to clean a gun, for instance, but don’t own one. we’re tee totalers, so no need to open champagne – but there are plenty of bottles that are hard to open and might need some learnin’. can you start a fire? the time might come when you’ll need to – even if you live in downtown brooklyn or rural puckyhuddle. but, i know how should the need arise. i actually think this list is just a starting point – for men and women. maybe guys don’t need to apply make-up anymore than some of the female readers here – but, the time may come when Dad will need to help tween princess to tone hers down. i sure do think there are plenty of other things that we should all learn to do to be independent. but, my sons learned some sewing, some cooking, some cleaning, all about female hygiene needs, and much more that has served them well in their adult lives.

  • Ladies… and I’m sure there are gentlemen out there as well…. Cant we just all get along?
    It’s just a blog!
    If you can says “I can do everything on this list” then wonderful for you!
    If you can say “I can not do everything on this list” that is wonderful as well because you didn’t need to or you don’t want to.
    There is no right or wrong here. Just one person giving advice that works for them. If you want to follow this advice that is up to you.
    I am sure that all of you have given someone else advice at least once in your life that only applied to yourself and not to the person on the receiving end. If you don’t like this post then don’t read it. No one is forcing you.

  • Love this!! I would agree with most all of it, especially the emotional and personal things!! As woman we always seem to be tuned into others’ needs and the sooner we learn to truly “tune in” to our OWN and attend to them, the BETTER!! LONG before 50, like 30 would be wonderful!!

  • I don’t understand how folks can be offended by something like this list. It’s not a requirement, it’s a suggestion of some life skills that you may, or may NOT, have acquired by the time you reach the age of 50. No one is saying that if you don’t do some of these things that you’re not a complete woman. Obviously we all have different values and experiences. And I don’t think the list was meant to make women sound incapable – it’s obviously a list targeted to women on a blog that is primarily read by women. There’s probably a list out there somewhere of the things men should be able to do by the time they’re 50 (and I’m sure that list is even more sexist).

    Let’s all lighten up and take this in the spirit for which it was intended – as a lighthearted and somewhat amusing list! Thanks Jillee for sharing this with us. Safe travels!

  • I keep thinking about how thoughtful Jillee is and how I hope she’s not in New York for something awful or stressful. I hope she takes some of these comments with a grain of salt or at least a drop of essential oil.

  • I’m 51 and a few weeks ago I had to learn how to unclog a drain to my garbage deposal. There was a twig from some rosemary stuck in the pipe. It was backing everything up from the deposal into the sink. I watched several Youtube videos before I was brave enough to do it. It was actually pretty easy! I lived in 2 foreign countries, where I haled taxis and opened champing bottles. So except for putting on make-up with out a mirror I’ve done the rest. But there are a lot of things I still hope to accomplish, and a few things on this list I hope to improve on. I am woman hear me roar!

  • I am 37 and I can gladly say I have done everything on that list! Mostly because I am a single mom with no one else to do it for me. For the last five years I have become very independent and funny enough I now need to learn to depend on my fiance. Life is full circle and I can’t wait to add more to my life “list” especially as I am disabled myself and learning when to be independent and strong enough to lean on someone.

  • The rude comments were completely uncalled for.I would like to add to the list : learn not to be so annoyed by small things that don’t matter. You, your family, and your friends ( if they can put up with you) will be better off. And I would add to the one about telling off one person who deserves it …. only if you need to develop assertiveness, too many people mouth off at the drop of a hat and they should rather be encouraged to hold their tongue.
    Kudos Jillee on your blog, let the rudeness roll off your back and just keep doing what you’re doing! Happy Dayt to all!!

  • I don’t know why everyone seems so upset, like others said before this was HER LIST, she asked for input, so why get so upset? So you’re a country girl add a comment, keep the condescending remarks to yourself. Reading this blog is the highlight of my day, but reading those comments are just upsetting. Why get offended, the women’s rights movement was based on our right to make choices for ourselves not conforming to either way of thinking be that traditional or otherwise. Im an Army girl, I meet women from all walks of life and I respect and love them all, because if we were all the same, life would be boring. PS, My addition to the list would be to spend a night in the woods.

  • I realize this is not Jillee’s list. For me this list is just plain silly, just my opinion. I’ve been widowed twice, once at 30 (4 kids), once at 52. I’m 60 now & blessed with 13 grandchildren. My youngest daughter had litters, rather than single births, and blessed me with twins first, then triplets. Ha!

    I’d advise all of you out there that are taking offense from some silly list to get on with things far more important than applying makeup or choosing a wine. Either get someone to show you or take a class. 1. Make sure you know your total financial situation 2. learn how to run your home maintenance 3.Learn how to take care of vehicles. In my generation some of these things were considered the husbands area of expertise. I had little interest so I never paid much attention. Now I’ve learned and am capable of taking care of these things and so more. It might be a good idea for some of you to learn these things now rather than later (like me)
    since statistics show that women outlive men.

  • I just wanted to say that get around a foreign country can also be get around in a different city another Provence or even state. Keep a broad mind when reading this because there can be so many variations of each of these such as open a bottle of champaign it can be wine or even a beer. Lol can also be that damn jar that’s been in my fridge for 2 months.

  • I am of the mind that there are a few people that woke up today with a low supply of oxygen. How else can one explain someone being “offended” at this list? How easy it is to offend people these days. If a list saying that everyone woman should be able to do certain things by the time they are 50 offends someone then that someone is just looking for a reason to be offended. This list doesn’t say that you should do these things every day or even on a regular basis, how often does one really need to change a tire, certainly not every day. I am really at a loss as to how anyone can find this list sexist. But then again I am comfortable enough with who I am that I don’t feel the need to rant and defend myself when someone says something that differs from my views. The list is meant to be light hearted and fun, take it as such and cool down.

  • All this whining about “the list”!…it’s a GOOD list! Get over yourselves – add and subtract your own things and call it a day. The people of this world are so unappreciative, it’s sad. Stop complaining and be thankful for a place to start! Thanks Jillee, it’s a GOOD list!

  • At least half of these are bogus. Not every woman needs to know how to do all these things. Depends on your lifestyle. Frankly, many of these are once-in-a-lifetime things that may not even happen that many times (I’ve never had the need to “hail a taxi”-just saying). Guess I was hoping for a more general list not something geared toward career-oriented city women. (There’s nothing wrong with being one of those, but there are others out here in the world who don’t fit that mold)

  • I read this list and immediately thought of those items that I haven’t done yet. Challenge accepted! If you are offended by the list, you might consider adding “get a massage”, “practice meditation”, or “seek counseling” to your list. This is just for fun. Life is short. Let’s enjoy it! Thanks Jillee!

  • I loved the thought behind this list. And the fact that there are so many people finding fault with it is SO telling a big problem in our society today. Everyone is too sensitive and easily offended and PC to an extreme. If you have a problem with it, move on. Oh, and I’d also add to the list ‘learn to use a firearm’ but I’m sure someone would take offense at that too.

    • No offense taken here, and learning to use a firearm is a necessity as far as I am concerned. With the way this country is headed we will need them to hunt for our food, I mean the zombie apocalypse is fast upon us and we will need to know how to defend ourselves. :-) I learned how to shoot a gun when I was kid so if you need any help in that area let me know, I would be happy to help you out. :-) Hope you have a glorious day!

  • This list is so stupid. I don’t drink or travel. I have kids and am a stay at home mom. Also, I’m married so I don’t need to learn how to change a tire. Please.

  • Holy Jeebus people… can we all relax? I think a lot of commenters are completely missing the entire point of the post – it isn’t meant to be a list that every single woman in the world must have completed by age 50… I took it to be more of a post about how we should make it a point to learn to do certain things on our own! Some things won’t apply, some things will seem “backwards” to certain people, but depending on what country you live in and what age you are, the skills a person should learn throughout their life are going to be very different.

    I can change my own tire, but I know plenty of women of all ages who would be lost if they had a flat. On the other hand, even though it’s an integral part of my job, I very rarely can tell you what direction I’m facing without a compass! I’m 26, a lot of these things I already know how to do just from being born within the last 30 years, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important things to know.

    Nothing on this list is explicitly sexist – it says “Carve a turkey” not “Know how to carve a turkey in a manner that pleases your husband”. It says “Apply makeup without a mirror” not “You must wear makeup every day and know how to apply it without a mirror so you can always look good for the menfolk.” What it is is a list of things that are fairly common for women NOT to know how to do. My own mother, who will be 50 in a few years, can’t do several things on this list, that doesn’t make her less of a woman. She had a baby at 17 and another at 21, has been married to the father of both for 22 years, finished her degree in teaching while being working full time, and runs her own small business in addition to teaching. But even though she’s a wonderful woman, my brother and I still worry about she’ll do if anything happens to my dad, because there are certain things she just never learned how to do.

    As to it being a list specifically for women… perhaps it should have been titled “50 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do Before 50”, but realistically the audience of this blog is overwhelmingly female, so it’s not out of line to address a list like this to women specifically.

    Can we just take this post as it was actually meant and stop attacking each other (and Jillee, who runs a great blog and who I’m not even sure wrote this post)… please?

    • As for things I’d add personally:

      Drive a stick shift (my fiance is currently teaching me)
      Speak one foreign language moderately well
      Forgive someone
      Light a fire (sometimes I can, if conditions are good!)
      Know how to fix basic tech problems
      Be able to do minor home repairs
      Change your own oil (should be taught right along with changing a tire)
      Know how to budget within your means
      Be able to read a map

      • Excellent point Angela, and very well said. I also love the things that you have added to the list. Speaking a foreign language is also on my list of things to do as is the house repairs and the budget thing, which I am horrible at right now. Thanks for you positive feedback. And when your fiance is done teaching you perhaps he could come give my daughter a lesson, I have not patience for it. :-) she gets mad at me and gives up. Ha ha ha I am such a mean mom. I have got her to the point that she can manage it if I am in the car but does not feel comfortable enough to do it on her own. Good luck with your list I am sure with such a positive attitude you will have it accomplished in no time.

  • I enjoyed the list and it gave me things to think about and maybe some goals to work toward since I have two and a little more years to go. I took this list as a “pre-bucket list” and obviously not to be taken verbatum. If things are really not within your realm of practicality, or environmentally or morally stressful for you, then please omit and try making your own list that applies to you. It just reminds me to not get into a rut. Please “eat the seeds and spit out the shells” with this one. I like the idea of being able to get around in a foreign country by myself – it would be a great challenge. Sometimes the person we think will be with us forever simply won’t be, it’s good to practice being on your own too.

  • Love the list!… and it’s just a list. I am a big city (6M+) convert to a small, north woods town of less than 2,000 and the things I didn’t know until I moved up here, astound even me. I used to only know how to fillet a fish, now I can clean and skin a deer (and other wild animals).
    I would add:

    ~cry for no reason (in case you have to talk your way out of a ticket)
    ~build a fire
    ~drive a stick shift
    ~operate a chain saw

    Fun Reading!

  • Jeepers, people need to lighten up! This is for fun. Stop taking everything you read on the Internet so literally. I am pretty sure Jillee didn’t post this to offend anyone or insult women. With this post and most others on this blog and others I frequent, I use it as a guideline and apply it as I see fit. I don’t take every post as gospel.

  • Hail a taxi, foreign country (not alone, yet), mow a lawn (never had the opportunity). Well that’s only 3 missing from the list. I actually don’t drink but I can make a mean cocktail on the fly (Peach fuzz being the specialty). Peach slices/pink lemonade/vodka/ice (blend up).

    Happy Weekend and Loads of Love

  • I thought the list was fun. Some of the things I have accomplished in my 47 years, others I have not and probably never will. I loved the comment about being independent. I watched my mother have to learn to pump gas at age 78 simply because my father always did it and he died suddenly. “Drive a stick-shift” is a great addition to the list, as are computer skills.

  • I wonder what this list would have looked like 40 years ago? Credit was given to a writer from the Huffington Post, and while her list isn’t a perfect fit for me, it is thought provoking and I appreciate that Jillee shared. I love reading what others would add! It is still amazing for me to see that comments can be so aggressive. If one of the items on the list doesn’t fit your life, let it go… Just let it go. Create your own list- borrow some thoughts and include some original ideas, then share them! It’s all about feeling confident and capable. Quite possibly, your list might inspire someone. It’s all about strengthening each other and Becoming Better!

  • Sorry–I forgot my additions to the list.
    How to respect/love yourself and others.
    How to deliver traumatic news.
    How to effectively communicate.
    Have realistic expectations of yourself and others.
    How to forgive and forget–especially yourself.
    How to stand by your values without be judgmental or apologetic.

  • This was a great list…to give you an idea of things you may need to know in life later. Do they all apply to everyone? Nope. But we’re all different & our own lists will vary.

    I guarantee I can accomplish more on this list than my spouse, but there are things he can do that I can’t/don’t want to even mess with! Does it mean I’m dependent on him? A little. But he depends on me as well, so this list isn’t aimed at saying these are things men do that we need to learn ourselves, it’s just some things that need to be brought to our attention as something we may use someday…and let us decide if we want someone else to do it for us, or learn how before we NEED it!

  • I think there is a difference between knowing how to do these things and doing it. I can hail a cab, but prefer and allow a consierge or porter to do it for me. We need to remember that in the US a huge part of our economy is services based. Millions of men and women depend on providing these services to earn a living. Who cares if you can’t________. There is always someone out there who can and in a pinch we can learn (especially with the internet). If we all knew this stuff we would know how easy it was and not be willing to pay others to do it. We would stop needing each other.

    Sorry to the men who were left out of this forum.

  • I was the oldest of seven children. I was taught to iron, sew, do dishes, laundry, mop floors, cook, bake, work of cars, lawn and do some minor house repairs. Also I learned how to hold a baby, feed, burp and how to change a baby. The kicker is I thought everyone did this until I went to live in a dorm. My point is that everyone is a product of their environment.
    To your list I would add, learn how to iron. how to put out a grease fire in your kitchen, how to use different fire extinguishers. How to change batteries in your smoke detectors. How to find a stud in your wall. How to use power tools.
    This list applies to men also. I know men, who can’t do much of this list.
    The key ingredient is to learn. Sometimes you may think you know, but you really don’t until the opportunity manifests itself. Peace

  • Personally, these things I have all done, well before 50, but I might add some other tougher things: make a minor repair, do your own laundry, prepare a holiday party from start to finish… say please and thank you in a foreign language (always a must!)

    Or we could go with a list a hair more self-sufficient: How to properly dress a chicken. Butcher a live chicken. Choose the right cut of beef for a meal, Plant a garden and grow (at least some) of your food for your family.

    Are the ones above considered essential or just good to know?

  • Hmm things to know by the age if 50?heres one, learn that one persons opinions are not always going to be the same as yours, there is no need to get offended,any person with common sense would realize that there is no such thing as “one size fits all”.(heck you should know that by 20!) jillies list is her opinion it does not have to apply to everyone.

  • I loved the list. IN my opinion it is to be read and looked upon as “how many do I know”. Growing up on a ranch I can do almost all of them. My parents were strong (second world war era) role models of “You can do it”. M y dear husband encouraged me to do so many things If I asked how to do he took the time, showing me and if it did not turn out he assisted in redoing to make it right. (he passed in Jan). I ever so grateful for these lessons. As a Mother of two grown men -their wives are thrilled they are very capable of doing /fixing/building almost anything I am proud to say I can do many things not on this list as well. Run a snowblower, drive a tractors- semi trucks (stick shift manual transmission) , paint houses etc. I look upon this list as “Never be afraid to try”. Alas I can not play a video game on my phone and champagne don’t know a thing about. I can make homemade wine. thanks for making my day.

  • I can’t believe how offended all you women are getting with a post like this. Seriously – some of you are just looking to be offended. Sexist? Really – woman are not the weaker sex but travel the world and we are obviously viewed as such. We can tout that we can do all – but in my circle (which is a very independent group of varied women) ALOT cannot do some of these things..

    Yes some of you don’t wear makeup or eat turkey or live near cabs..BUT the ability to pass this onto someone else. Seriously – I have 2 daughter and influence a whole lots of girls (girl guide leader) and I may not be interested in activities like fishing or carving sticks but I sure as heck are going to learn it so I can teach those girls to give them the opportunity to learn something new. So where makeup or turkey carving or whatever is concerned – knowing it to pass on properly is a skill – I want my children to not just be carbon copies of me but to be offered the opportunities to choose what they like…should they choose makeup or eat turkey or live in a big city to hail a cab or nail something together.

    Swim – critical LIFE skill. You can save lives with this skill.

    Thank you for this nice, entertaining list – will pass it on. One to be included is :

    **not get easily offended and be able to determine the difference between offensive and non-offensive

  • I loved the list. Although I don’t neccessarily agree with everything on the list, I think it makes for a well-rounded person! There’s nothing wrong with having a variety of skills in a variety of areas.

  • In Jillee’s defense (not that she needs one), this list is so old that I received it via email over 5 years ago, if not longer.

    So this seems all encompassing and mainly “for the city”. I have been on my own almost my whole life, whether married or not, and even though so of these sound trivial, they can be true. I was SHOCKED when my mom just told me LAST YEAR that she’s never had to fill up the gas tank. She’s 71 now. Granted, it’s great that my dad always did it for her but there are some things that both sexes should know how to do.

    My ex had no clue how to do some of the above until I taught HIM.

    Don’t get on her case, just add some like she asked. I hope she’s not kicking herself for posting it because as we all know, you can’t please everyone all of the time…hey, there’s one!

  • Being a teetotaling vegetarian removes several of these from MY list, thankfully! (And I would add several cooking tasks that aren’t on your list, like being able to prepare dried beans and make your own bread.)

  • I think people should focus more on continually setting and meeting personal goals rather than continually comparing themselves to others. The only reasons I could think that a list like this might offend somebody were either that they know they can’t do many of the suggestions and feel guilty, or that they don’t regularly set or maintain personal goals in general, and feel guilty. As far as being sexist, I consider sexism more along the lines of “All women should stay at home, cook from scratch, and raise children, no matter what” or “Women don’t need a college education.” So this list is to me, the opposite of sexism! Just my thoughts.

    • There is so much more to sexism. It is a frame of mind, and in some it is pervasive to the point of abuse. There is still a glass ceiling. Some of us who fought through Woman’s Lib know more of the battle to eradicate sexism. It is not gone and may never be gone. May those who don’t know about or experience sexism never have to do so. May they also understand and appreciate all there forebears did to pave a better way for them.

      Now, perhaps some will better understand why the list offends others and accept that we each have a different history.

      • Debbie, the examples I gave in my comment were the first off-the-top-of-my-head scenarios I could come up with, but for me sexism definitely goes way deeper. I just don’t think Jillee’s blog is the place to discuss it. I completely and totally agree with your statement that it is a frame of mind deeply ingrained in both sexes of our society and all generations. It will take massive amounts of small steps to eradicate it, and perhaps may never happen this side of glory (for those who believe such) ;)

  • this list gently encourages us to think about areas in our lives where we may be taking for granted the skills of the people around us. I was raised by a father who firmly believed that all of his children should have basic life skills before leaving the house. His daughters were required to learn to change a tire, change oil on a car and drive a stick shift. The boys were required to learn how to do their own laundry and cook their own meals from ingredients purchased at the grocery store. We also learned the far more valuable lesson that we can and should learn the basics of anything since you never really know the unlikely situations hat life can throw at you. Just keep learning to keep your mind young and flexible.

    My own list of skills I want to learn by age 50:
    How to rock climb,
    One foreign language,
    How to make an awesome pie crust
    Painting my walls without leaving splatters
    Basic wiring skills for home maintenance
    How to teach English as a foreign language
    How to raise my children to be resourceful, loving, independent adults who are passionate about life

  • I think many of the women commenting here should add to their own list “learn to take things lightly”.

    Clearly nothing is one size fits all. Write your own list.

  • After reading ALL the comments I have a thing to add to the list:
    Know how to express your views so you don’t look like an idiot
    Really..the comments show how the younger generations don’t get it yet!
    Common sense can get you a long way in life.
    With life experiences you learn to do things for yourself and are sometimes forced to do it.
    I did like the comment of …love yourself
    another thing to add to the list…learn to negotiate a deal for yourself..like a new car, house, car repairs,house repairs or remodeling

  • I LOVE “Your” list. I am a 52 year old woman and I find it rather humorous that so many women are offended by “your” list. Isn’t it great to be a 50+ woman who is confident in herself and the goals she has and will set for herself. Thank you for a fanJILLEEtastic list (and blog). I look forward to seeing what you have to say each day.

    • I’m 55 and think the list needs some tweaking. I would add that one should be able to think independently enough to disagree with someone or something and express it! Telling someone off is on the list! There are many ways to do that (especially by focusing on the behavior and not the person.) I am surprised those claiming that disagreement is negativity did not attack that point on the list.

      I can’t or don’t want to know everything on the list and I feel very capable and independent. I do attend a boot camp exercise class and while the oldest in the class, I can sometimes keep up with the youngun’s! The men lifting gobs of weight are my best cheerleaders. Is doing a clean and jerk on the list?

  • Knowing how to do something, like carve a turkey, doesn’t mean that I have to do it. It is an art that links us to generations past. Knowing how to change a tire doesn’t mean I won’t use my cell phone to call someone. Just knowing that I could gives me a sense of confidence and self respect. Some of the items on the list don’t apply to me and where/how I live, but I get the idea. I should be able to care for my self in a variety of situations. The list covers a sampling of things that boost independence and confidence. :)
    SOME ART/CRAFT/MUSIC SKILL– even if only a little, because we all need a way to express ourselves.

    • Oh yes, seconding that last one! I’m never bored or at a loss for something to do because of that, nor will I have acute empty-nest syndrome (I’m 51 with an 11-year-old).

  • There is no “one size fits all” ever in life in general. And the ONE TIME you find yourself NEEDING to hail a cab, you’ll wish you knew how. I think it was all food for thought and we women are THE WORST at complaining about what we don’t know how to do. Maybe this post could be incentive to make a list of the things you wish you knew how to do or things you’ve never taken time to explore. I didn’t know how to run a farm, until I ran one. Conversely, I never knew how to travel in foreign countries until I did it. That’s the point! DO SOMETHING! Some days I wear make up, other days, I simply don’t want to. I’ve JUST let my daughter show me how to make my nails look good! I’m a guitarist, so I’ve never had that opportunity. We get one shot at LIVING life…not just existing. Seems we get the complaining part down pat. Get past all that “sexist” chatter and go outside your comfort zones today. That’s the stuff lists are made from! Just my thoughts…my opinion…not inviting anyone to lambaste me for them. :) HAPPY WEEKEND FOLKS! I’d be REALLY interested in reading comments that include things you’d like to try, learn or introduce into your lives. There are usually great comments…but today there are a lot of fussypants UP N HERE! LOL!!!! YOU GOTTA LAUGH!! :)

  • Wow! The comments from some readers… I for one loved the list, not because I viewed it as “this is what I must be able to do!” but because it made me think, I am 24 and this list made me think about what I want to be able to accomplish in life or at least experience by the time I’m 50.
    Sure, there are things on Jillee’s list that most younger women today know how to do, but those things are historically “man-tasks.” Things like pumping gas. I couldn’t tell you the number of times I’ve had an elderly woman ask me to help her run her card through the pump and pump her gas because her “husband always did it.”

  • I consider myself in pretty good shape as I only missed 2 –

    1.) change a tire (feel pretty lucky with that one and I have roadside assistance)


    2.) defend myself against someone (never been attacked but I do know self defense and own a gun) I hope to never need to use either

    Happy Friday and thanks for the list.

  • Here’s a challenge that would be relevant to all those evolved and educated above and beyond the previous generation.

    –Make a blog comment without being a snot.

    Have faith in yourself – You CAN do it!

  • Wow, it was amazing to see that so many people were ‘offended’ by this list. I just turned 40 and I am proud to say that I have crossed off every item on this list. The last item was a gift to me with a proper fitting of new bras. I live on a farm in a rural area, but I have traveled the world so I could add many more. Thankfully, I taught my own daughter most of these before she was 21. She now has lived in two foreign countries and could write a list 10 times longer. I am proud that I can independently do more than what I was taught and my daughter has surpassed me, which is something I am proud of!

    Jillee I love your blog!

  • Hey I’m 66 and know how to do everything you have listed except apply make-up without a mirror which BTW might come in handy when my X’s 10 magnifying mirrors no longer work! Some of you youngins may not relate to this today, but just wait and see…these tips could come in handy 4-U DOWN THE ROAD!

    As for those who think this list is a slam…I beg to differ. My mom recently passed away at age 93 and my father when living did everything for her…she didn’t even know how to write a check let alone pay a bill or screw in a light bulb. I say the more you can learn and do for yourself all the better off you will be because perhaps one day you could be all on your own! My mom lived with us for 33 years and I don’t know how she could have made it all on her own if our family hadn’t been there to help. She also got involved in many scams because she was so easy to take advantage of, so all of you that think this list is offensive…try thinking outside the box…the more you can do for yourself the better off you will be.

  • Great tips! I am 65 and have been married for 40 years. I know how to do most on the list but have my husband do them for me. Need to practice more. Made me stop and think! I love wearing make up and my eyesight not getting any better at least I am great at putting it on without a mirror! LOL

  • While I don’t agree with everything on the list I sure don’t find it offensive, just outdated! I was very lucky as my husband wouldn’t do every little thing for me, mind you at the time it made me mad, but he would make me try to do things on my own . If I had trouble he would show me what to do or if it turned out to be too physically hard for me he would help. Now he is disabled and I see the sense in what he did for me! If I need help I’m not ashamed to ask but I always try first. Except for one thing, changing a tire! Do people not know they use impact tools to tighten the lug nuts and there isn’t any way most people can get them loose without a “long” breaker bar or impact wrench? See, I do know the “how” just can’t physically do it and won’t even try, it’s to dangerous. As far as some of the other things they are just not appropriate for where I live.

    This list just doesn’t sound like Jillee to me, must be a guest blogger!

  • I appreciate this list but it is not all inclusive. There are things missing but I think it was made to be a general list of things. There are also many things not everyone can claim. I don’t think it is necessary to get on the band wagon about any one item because we all will not be able to do some of the things.

  • I find it interesting that people feel they can say what ever they want on the Internet as there are no real reprecussions. I find this sad as some of the commenters to this post would be the person I told off if they had said this to my face.
    Yes this isn’t the 50’s but unfortunately many women today, that I’ve meet, can’t do some of the simple things on this list. I think those squawking the loudest to this post may be having to look at their own reflection and don’t like what the see.

    Everyone needs to chill-out, as always Jillee is just having a good time. She does a wonderful job plus doing a daily blog is a lot of work and I appreciate what she does. I say keep it up.
    I’ll add:
    – Change your own oil
    – Troubleshoot your own computer/major appliance
    – Safely switch out a socket or light switch
    – Light a fire (camp or fireplace)

    And yes I can do all of these plus most Jillee’s list. I also can drive a tank (and I don’t mean one of those crazy big SUV’s, but the real thing). I’m a deadly shot within 350 meters and I love to garden. Take that June Cleaver!
    Have a blessed day all!

  • I have known how to do most of the things on this list from an early age. Being older now and having physical limitations that I didn’t have earlier I pick and choose those I wish to do. I also taught my sons and daughter to do a lot of these things. Some of them I have never had a reason to do and others I would not do. All this being said, I (and I’ll bet most women) are smart enough to know how to get what they need to do done without actually doing it themselves. Knowing how to do them doesn’t necessarily mean one has to do them. And I don’t mean ‘find a man to do it for them’ when I say this. Every person (male or female) needs to be taught to be self-sufficient long before they reach the age of 50. Those who haven’t been taught this will learn the hard way! And as I have a stubborn streak, I will admit that this is the way I learned some of these things!

  • Come on people. It’s just a list. Why are you getting so defensive? I bet half of you that are commenting are not even 50 yet. I’m 66 and there are somethings on this list I can’t do. And somethings not on this list that I can do very well, but I don’t feel inadequate and get my panties in a wad.

  • OMG Ladies – R E L A X! This list is not sexist – that wasn’t the point. The point is we should know how to do these things on our own, without a man or anyone else to assist us. As you get older you’ll realize that (unfortunately) many women are going to lose their husband first, and will have to either do a lot of the things on the list above, or hire someone to do it, or ask a family member to do it. Do I need to hail a cab, no, but I could do it. Have I traveled in a foreign country, no, but I could do it. Read Nancy’s comments above – she gets it!

    Enjoy the blog, if you don’t like the content, or you think it doesn’t pertain to you, than be mature enough to STIFLE! And have a nice day…

  • I couldn’t even finish reading all the comments because THIS is exactly what is wrong with the world right now. A person cannot put something on a blog without being badgered and called a sexist or whatever. This world is entirely too self-centered and all about” me”. Because something doesn’t apply to you and where you live, well obviously the person who wrote it must be a sexist person and against women. If you don’t like something, here’s a hint stop reading it. Everyone thinks everything that goes on has to be about them and if it isn’t making them happy and giving them a sense of fulfillment then it is wrong.The entire list did not apply to me, but I still enjoyed reading it and even if none of it applied to me, well I just wouldn’t read the entire blog that day. I know that sounds hard and complicated, but it’s not.

    Thank you for all you do Jillee, I know people can sometimes be unbearable and if it were me, I would sometimes question whether it was worth it or not. Please know that I appreciate all you do and have learned many things from your blog and am grateful.

    • No one said a person was sexist. They said the list was sexist and they are entitled to their opinions. I don’t thinks folks are disparaging Jillee. They are commenting that it is not her usual kind of post. I think the opinions are great. I don’t understand the “positive” vs. “negative” feeling. One may agree or disagree with the comments. A “positive” person may react negatively to a thought. If there were no negative opinions, life would be boring and many interesting and potentially life changing ideas would never occur.

      It could be said that every comment posted is self-centered. The comments come from the “self”. We express our own opinions – they are ours, and from ourselves. We think from our own experience, from where we are “centered”.

      It is often the exchange that brings about the change. Keep on commenting everyone! Jillee, you must be smiling.

  • I loved the list. Of course everything would not apply to everyone. I printed the list and was pleased to have ticked off at least 95 percent, of which I have accomplished. It gives one a feeling of accomplishment. With my husband having died 2 years ago and with the children being adults and having a life of their own, it’s good to do a check like this and know and feel your independence. Keep it up Jillee, as everything will never apply to everyone. We all need a remimder and a wakeup call at times.
    Love ya. You’re the best.

  • I’m feeling good – 46/50 and not quite 50! I’ll get them all.
    For you haters – didn’t your parents teach you “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?”
    Jillie – rock on with your bad self – you are GREAT!

  • I am now 72. Most of the list I could do by the age of 21, but the only way I knew to call a cab was to get on the phone, as I lived in a suburb! I could shoot and sort of knew how to skin a squirrel or a deer as I had assisted in these things as a kid. I could plant a garden, but never could keep the kids or dogs out of it. Make up just went on for the rare fancy dress affair. Although I could drive a tractor and hitch up a trailer, I never mastered the changing of a tire. Silly, but there you are. I could prime a dry pump, unstop the plumbing, rewire a lamp, flip a breaker, paint, wallpaper, repair dry wall holes, sew, mend, darn and embroider…never learned to quilt, knit or crochet although most of the women in my family did those things. I planned European tours twice, making all arrangements for the group. I did not go there alone, but have traveled all over the US by myself, usually but not always by car. Is the list perfect? No, but it is a perspective and I enjoyed it. It reminded me that not all of us live the same life….Thank God!

  • *know when to take a nap
    *work through the death of a loved one
    *use the skills learned in the first half of your life to gain different skills the last half of your life
    *be open to change and recognize it as inevitable
    *see setbacks as lessons and “mistakes” as learning experiences
    *love yourself
    *realize that the world continues to spin despite your actions

  • I’m exactly, to the day, one year older than you are Jillee…just to date myself.

    There are many things I could add here, but I think you have forgotten the most obvious and most important:

    Love yourself; unconditionally. With this comes self-forgiveness, feeling at home in your own skin, knowing who and what you are and accepting it without reservation.

    This list is about self-sufficiency and I think these things are important for women at every age. The number one item on my self-sufficiency list is knowing that by loving myself, I have the confidence, the belief, the faith that I can tackle what life throws me. I have been divorced and “alone” for 17 years now, with kids and now as an emptynester. I’m often asked if I want to remarry, don’t I get lonely, how can I live without love and I laugh. No, never and what makes you think I’m not loved? I have the luxury of living with the most loving, accepting, easy relationship of my life, with my best friend…ME.

  • I am happy to say I am capable in all of these areas. I see that some do not care to wear make-up. When I am at home and just working in the vegetable gardens or fixing a livestock fence or building a shelf or other DIY projects I skip the make-up. Time has not been good to my surgical scars from cleft lip and palate so I choose to wear a bit of make-up when I “go to town”. And by golly, I can cover my scar and apply lipstick without a mirror! I am usually on the run, as a busy wife, mother, grand mother and community and church volunteer. I have to say, I am very proud that I am capable in all of these areas! I am woman!

  • Some of the list was true but it is definitely not a one size fits all. What bothers me about the list is that alcohol is mentioned two times…..wine and champagne…..really? I think that is the last thing we need on our lists. My list would include to put God first, and pray daily, and be kind and have compassion in what we do.

    • First, apparently I’m the only one who read Jillee’s note re: credit for the list is Huffington Post. The list wasn’t hers.

      Now, my reply to Debbie is that I too put God first, read the Bible and pray daily and always attend church and sing in the choir. I am also compassionate. However I do enjoy wine and that does not make me a bad person. Remember John 2:1-11 and John 8:3-11.

  • I loved this list Jillee!!! I think everyone should make one that is taylored to their lifestyle and goals… we all have small goals that we want to accomplish that may not be fitting for all.. its all about what is important to you. The important thing is to be strong and accomplish those little things that you have always wanted to do and empower yourself… no matter how insignificant they may seem to others.

    I think my list would start with:
    buying a really fast sports car just for me (since I am a mom an drive an suv)
    learn how to sew a hem (that actually looks nice and neat)
    learn how to make really awesome coffee at home (simple I know… but it never takes as good as it does at the coffee shop)
    and the list goes on and on….

    Lighten up guys!!! It’s friday and I can imagine that we all have a lot to be thankful for!!!
    Have a great day!!!

  • People around here are becoming really nasty. I’m so sorry so many rude, selfish, and mannerless people throw their hatred around your blog, Jillee.

  • The whole point of Jillee’s post is the same as all her others are—take what you can use and discard the rest! She is never saying that we are to do everything she posts! Some days I love her tips, some days, not so much because it really doesn’t apply to my circumstances. That’s ok!!! Why all the fuss? This is HER blog, not ours! Take what you need and don’t worry about the rest–someone else might like it.

    Jillee–Thanks for a great blog and for having a sense of humor!!!


    • JR – I agree…it’s not my kind of thing to read on Jillee’s blog but I can ignore the things I’m not interested in and just look forward to the things I am.

  • I can’t believe that so many people are so easily offended! I really don’t know how they will make it through life with such delicate attitudes. I did not find this offensive or sexist at all. Just suggestions for being a more competent and self reliant person.

  • I thought the list was amusing. I am 62 and still have problems figuring out what size bra to wear, or how to adjust the straps for best fit. I haven’t done a lot of the things you listed, so looks like my bucket list is growing. I make soap and candles, and garden, but something I think would help a lot of women would be a class in engine upkeep and small motor repair, as well as hunter safety classes so we can instruct children about guns and their proper use, as opposed to what they might be learning from violent video games.

    • Yes, I’ve read a similar list in Men’s Journal for men. I love lists like this because they make you think – sort of like a bucket list of your own skill set. I like the “learn a foreign language” – great idea! I wouldn’t have thought of that.

    • I agree. Add to list- make sure spelling and grammar is correct on publicly read material.

      People, I think Jillee meant this list for fun or kinda meant to be a joke. If you think something doesn’t apply to you then SKIP IT!!! Geez is it that hard to do. Where I live we don’t need to hail cabs so I simply SKIPPED IT.. Same to other things on the list. And I’m sure Jillee didn’t mean that you absolutely HAD to accomplish these things or you were doomed for failure. They were just suggestions. Lighten up people, lighten up. Oh and get a sense of humor. Love your blog Jillee. Keep ’em coming!!!

  • I think this list is cute and in no way offensive. Its not like its a serious checklist. I don’t think it was all inclusive or meant to offend in any way. Just meant to be taken in good fun.

  • I think this is a great list! Geeze so many negative comments… Sexist?! Really?!
    I’m 40 years old and it’s appalling how many of these things I HAVEN’T done!

    My generation…. Grew up in very middle of the road middle class intact family.
    I didn’t learn to do many of the things my husband of 2 years wishes I had learned.
    When I have accomplished one of these tasks, I am so proud if myself! I live in Okinawa, but recently travelled to mainland Japan all by myself, had to make all my own arrangements with hotel, shuttle, taxi, deal with language and cultural barriers.

    I’ve never changed a tire, but I served in the Air Force as a medic and had to learn to change a tire on an ambulance. I never actually have done it, but I suppose I could figure it out.

    My daughter is 10. My son is 8. They will learn how to do basic tasks and not have the attitude I grew up with… I will have someone to do it for me, or pay professional.

    I would add to that list:
    Be able to drive a stick shift
    — military wives, stuck at home in a foreign country (and probably happens stateside too I’m sure) because she cannot drive her husbands car while he’s gone on deployment. It happens!!

    • Hooah!! To our military families. I’m a retired Army Soldier and a proud Air Force Wife ( but don’t let the hubby hear that, I give him grief for picking the wrong service lol). Getting around in foreign countries is always fun especially Asian countries whose culture is VERY different from westernized American culture.

  • I thought the list was thought provoking -I am approaching 50 and it made me appreciate all the things on the list that I can do and made me think of the things still on my to do list! In life I think you need to Learn to not let little things bother you -if you don’t like what you are reading-move on-it isn’t always about you

  • Wow….in really hope all of these ridiculous comments don’t hurt your feelings when you read them Jillie. As you are reading them just think about how thankful you are that you (a) have more of a life and (b) aren’t so sensitive and self righteous that you will sit there and write a paragraph on someone’s blog about how offensive their post was…especially when it was about something so innocent! You just thought it would be a fun list to put out there and you got torn down for it. Just try not to let it bring down your day!!

  • I appreciate the list as a measure of indepence and incentive to improve. Now I have to google “hailing a cab”, I thought I knew how, but I guess I got lucky in NY.

    Jillee, love your blog. Looks like you’ve stirred the pot with this one, good!

  • Poor Jillee! I don’t even know you but I sympathize with you.

    Don’t worry. You just cannot possibly please everybody. Was it Steven Covey (sp) who wrote about perspectives in his book “The Seven Habits…”? You’re writing to a worldwide audience but people always want everything to apply to them personally or they are outraged. Have a margarita Jillee and don’t sweat it.

    So what who wears make up or who can saddle a horse, or who doesn’t live near a taxi? The list wasn’t meant to be taken that seriously…it’s Friday for goodness sake!

    I laughed about the bra fitting because I’m 42 and still don’t think I’ve got that one right. Yikes! Maybe if you ever post a list for MEN, it can include they should know how to unhook a woman’s bra properly by 50! LOL.

    Have a good weekend.

  • Geez! You all need to lighten up! Did everyone of them apply to me?!? NO, may I add #51?? Being able to realize not EVERYTHING is about me! Life is too short people to be offended by something like this. Be offended by something of importance. Thank you for the wonderful blog…you can’t make them all happy.

    • I totally agree with you on this one!!!! I read the list and thought, “What would I put on MY list?” I was shocked that the comments were so negative!! I like a good challenge and yes, there are things on this list that I would say that I need to learn to do and some I’d throw out and add my own!! Have fun with the list – make your own, or just move on without all the negative comments!

      And hey Helen from the following comment – I hear ya on that bra thing!!!! So funny!

  • I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel this list was offensive. REALLY. I am unsubscribing because this is not a “one size fits all” but someone else’s opinion. AI I have my own and can think for myself, thank you. Jillee you have some great ideas, but this was post not one of them.

    • Wow Karen. I really can’t understand how this list would be offensive — so offensive that you would unsubscribe. I think you are taking it way too personally. It’s really just some ideas on things it would be good to know how to do. Jillee even invites you to add your own ideas. Take what applies to your situation and ignore what doesn’t. No need to be offended.

      • I was about to note that I didn’t think any of the comments were rude, they simply described people’s opinions. Why else do we read the comments than to learn what others are thinking and respond with our own thoughts on the topic? It is interesting and fun. It is peanut butter and jelly. It is day and night. It is lots of matches and mismatches of thought. As I like to say, if we didn’t have bra burners, we would not have woman’s rights! We need people with strong opinions. Life is not always positive and one of the things we should be able to do is express opinions and thoughts and respond to those – not attack the person.

        Sadly, I read this and another post. I no longer feel there are no rude comments. To comment about thoughts is one thing. To comment about someone personally is another.


  • My adds!

    – Read a map
    – Make a budget and live by it
    – Mow the lawn or snowblow the driveway
    – Make a will
    – Live your own life despite what family thinks of you

  • It seems like a lot of people are missing the heart of this list. I think it’s about being proud of accomplishments and having goals to add to our own list. I love Jillee’s blog, but it’s not the Gospel. Lighten up and have some fun with your own list!

  • Ladies who disagree with the list, lighten up! If the things on the list don’t apply to you, then skip them. Why can’t we as women see each other as friends and sisters? I am 54, and there are several things on the list I should know how to do, but have depended on my husband to do for me. This list made me realize, I need to stop being so dependent on others and learn to do more things for myself. That’s what I thought the purpose of the list was for – to show us we can and should be doing more for ourselves.

    • Gina –

      Right on, Gina! I’m 49 and I’ve done or can do everything on the list and LOTS more. As I’m sure is the case for most women who read this list. There are also tons of other skills that women possess or can learn.

      Thankfully, I’ve not had to defend myself from an attacker or perform CPR but I could if the situation arose.

      Ladies, make your own list or add to this one but dig down and find your sense of humor and some decorum before you go blasting other folks on the Internet. It not necessary to belittle anyone for thinking differently. Even if you think they are wrong, wrong, wrong. Just keep it to yourself. It serves no helpful purpose and makes YOU look bad.

      Wear makeup or don’t, clean horse stalls or don’t, make your own detergent AND hail a cab. Diversity makes the world a better place. Keep smiling or better yet, see the beginning of the list and laugh at yourself! It will lower your blood pressure.

  • LOL! The responses were so stupid I stopped reading. I’m pretty sure it’s an incomplete list that says add yours in comments below for a reason. Just sayin. ALWAYS whining! It’s SO tiresome! The list was cute and it’s not the actual acts that are listed that are important it’s what is necessary to perform the act. What type of woman would be capable of these things. You have to think a little deeper than the words taxi and makeup and all of these things. As my daughter would say. You’re not smart LOL. If you needed your “own” list or a one size fits all that was more all encompassing which could go on for years you totally missed the point here… *sighs*

    • Totally agree. Remember ….it is Jillee’s list. I cannot believe women are so critical of a list!
      BUT, this is Jillee’s list! Don’t be so critical and make your OWN list. Get a life if this list really insults you. I have two friends with lung cancer and the least on my mind is to criticize someone’s else’s list! When one goes through a crises in life it opens up your eyes to what is REALLY important in life! Lighten up! Happy Day.

      • You are so right! I see this as a fun post. Why is everyone getting their feelings hurt? Geez, it’s just for fun people!!!

    • I can’t believe you just said “women are such hormonal p_____” and all these women agreed with you! That comment was horribly inappropriate and offensive. I may or may not agree with your point of view, but your means of expressing it blew the rest of your point out of the water. And I can’t believe this website allowed you to post that.

      • Hi Qusie! I didn’t realize the foul language had gotten through. I’m sorry about that. I’ve taken the foul language out of the above comment.

      • Thank you, Jillee. Please feel free to edit or delete my response as well. Guess I was just a little shocked.

    • Hi September…I wanted to say thank you for some of your nice comments but I had to edit your comment for language. I just like to keep things appropriate around here :)

  • Well, excuse me, but why limit this to 50 things at age 50?
    Shouldn’t you be able to do most things on this list earlier in life already?

    Apart from a few things which I don’t like (make-up), need (carve a turkey…I’m a vegetarian), or cannot afford (invest in the stock market? I wish…) , I have done everything already, and I just turned 30!

    And I agree with the previous commenters who said that this list is a time traveler from the 50’s.
    Not that it is bad, it is just outdated.
    And I would like to see men do those things on the list, too!

    I would add:
    Try to speak at least one foreign language
    be able to read maps
    use a gyro compass
    light a fire without fire starters
    pitch a tent all by yourself
    repair a bike
    know your way around a computer and doing basic maintenance (deleting files, installing programs etc. My mother is 63, is a teacher and STILL drafts her exams in pencil and then has someone type it for her…)
    parallel-park a car by yourself
    milk a cow (or a goat, or sheep…it really is not that difficult and who knows when you might need it)
    learn to whistle like a bird
    some home repair (broken vacuum, anyone? ;))
    change a plug
    drive a gearshift car
    read at least one book each month
    start over from scratch in at least one area of your life (for example, you move abroad and take only those things with you you can carry by yourself at once)
    (get and) stay out of debt
    build something with your own hands from scratch (no, not your lipstick collection ;))

    I could write more, but my lunch break is over now…
    It’s definitely not a bad list, but it needs a makeover.

    • Isabel, love your input. As a military wife at age 17 during the Viet Nam era, a lot of what is on your list was more than a suggestion, it was mandatory for day to day survival.

    • Awesome contributions! While I don’t see anything on the original list that pegs it solidly to the 1950s, I absolutely agree with your inclusion of computer skills, map reading, home repairs (although there are some on the original list) and – OMG – parallel parking!

      Don’t be too quick to dismiss learning to invest in the stock market; even if you don’t have the funds at the moment, knowing how when you do have a bit of money can be key to your self-sufficiency. No, it is not about being obscenely rich as one snarky commenter implied. It is about not living in a van down by the river eating cat food from the can when you are old and alone.

      • Gail… I wouldn’t invest in the stock market with economy the way it is. I certainly wouldn’t expect any investment to keep me out of the poor-house. Too many investors are “living in a van down by the river eating cat food from the can” and they’re not even old.

  • Jillee, I am 33, I have some time to complete this list. I’m proud to say I have done many of the things on the list and I’m glad to be inspired to accomplish more. Thanks!

  • I got a kick out of your list; and having raised my children alone and been on my own, I have done all, some because I have had to. Funny thing about narcissistic people, if it’s not all about them, they don’t care about others.

  • As I am reading the comments, I am appalled and how rude some of you are. This is her list and her opinion. I am almost 50 and I have done everything and more on this list but I will not be rude.
    I learned a very important lesson from my mom and I hope I have passed it down to my girls, If you can’t say anything nice or in a nice way, don’t open your mouth or in this instance write it as a comment in a blog.
    This is why I am not blogging.

  • I think people are taking this a bit too seriously. I agree that I know a lot of women who can’t cook, don’t wear makeup, or if their husbands are away tell me that they don’t know where the check book is or have no idea who holds the life insurance policy. The idea is to be strong and independent women. Admittedly I don’t know how to swim, but it’s on my list of to-dos since I don’t want to fall of a bridge and drown. I wouldn’t say it’s sexist unless you say things like, “Make sure to put a ribbon in your hair before your husband comes home from work” or something else. These ideas are all reasons why my husband loves me. I can take care of myself. There’s probably also a list for men including, “Know how to carve a turkey” and “Make a signature dish that’s not steak or breakfast food.” Even if you’re from the backwoods (as I was), you should still know how to hail a taxi.

    • :-) Me too. Even my baby picture was awful. I am now 62 and I stay behind the camera. The family will just have to use my baby picture for my obituary.

    • Easy-be comfortable with yourself and don’t worry about how much you hate photos-instead focus on the fun moment that called for the photo, or in a studio, think about how great your outfit is, or something else pleasant. Let your mind wander to pleasantries and you’ll do fine!

  • I see the list more as teaching someone that they can be independent even if they think they cannot. So from that aspect, I think it’s quite the opposite if sexist. You just have to modify it to fit your own views of independance. There are tons of things on this list that I wish my mother knew how to do, however, she was dependent most of her life and had other people do these things. Now she’s not in the same situation and it’s like she’s learning how to actually think for herself. Its frustrating for me because i keep thinking “why dont you know how to fo this????” But she grew up in a different era then me and even though I was raised by her I became independent when I went to college. I’ve done most of these things and still have quite a few years until I’m 50. I’ve hailed a cab and I’m from a rural area. The only thing I would add is the addition to grow a garden, big or small. I also know that my daughter will not have to wait until she goes to college to learn how to be independent.

  • At 75, I have witnessed the loss of several of my friends’ husbands. I am always amazed to hear such comments as, “I don’t know how to set the alarm system,” or “We have clothes at the cleaners and I don’t which one we use”, or “I’ve never pumped gas before,” and the list goes on an on. My husband always wanted me and our daughters to be self sufficient in the event of an emergency or death. He felt that either could put us in a situation where we could be vulnerable and perhaps at the mercy of someone else. While I can’t do many of the things on this list, I still think it’s a good one. Oh, yeah, I can put on makeup with no mirror. Using the rear view mirror while doing makeup on my way to work on those mornings that got away from me just didn’t seem like a safe idea. Young people should accept the list as a challenge. What is there to lose?

    • Sorry if I keep on commenting, but I love reading people ideas and the debate they create.

      I’m 34 and this list is not a challenge at all. It seems that it contains very basic skills. Of all of them, I can point out some that I don’t know how to do:
      – Invest in the stock market: I am not interested as I live comfortably and I don’t want/need to be disgustingly rich
      – Defend themselves against an attacker with at least one signature self-defense move: thankfully I have never found myself in this situation, but the situation here in Australia is getting worst and I thought few time of taking part in a self defense course.
      – Carve a turkey: not interested, I don’t like it at all.
      – Order a credit report — and then be able to read it: I have no idea what you mean by “credit report” and I’m not sure we have something like this here.
      – Apply makeup without a mirror: irrelevant. I don’t wear make up.
      – Put together a real retirement strategy: same thing, I don’t think we need something like this in Australia. We have superannuation funds for the retirement that can be self managed. In that case, done.

      Everything else, I have done it more than once and I don’t think I am wonder woman, there are heaps of young ladies that have done this and more way before 50.

      • I didn’t see that anyone answered you about a credit report; my apologies if I am duplicating. In the US, we can get a list of any debt we have. The list tells us to which companies we owe money, if we are delinquent or slow payers, etc. Creditors also use it to determine if someone is a good credit risk. Not the best explanation, but at least it’ll give you an idea!

    • Nancy, you make a great point !!! The “list”, as it is, isn’t to put women down, it’s a VERY loose guideline, with some tongue in cheek parts, so women can know they don’t always need to let someone else do it all for them ! Personally, at nearly 61, I was able to look at the list, and not be offended by some of the items that don’t pertain to me. Let’s see….”hailing a cab”. Hmmmmm, I only live 60 miles from the nearest big city, Houston, so that’s pretty much not on my need-to-do list. I was actually able to filter through the list, and, in my opinion, a LOT of the list could very easily adapt for men, too !!!

    • Wonderful! The first I read so far who has their thinking cap and understands a little bit of the concept behind such a list. This is definately one way of looking at it. Learning is a wonderful thing. Skills u think u might never need someday you might. Just because all u do is milk a cow today doesn’t necessarily mean u will never have to hail a cab. It’s good to learn new skills and to also maybe learn a thing or two outside your immediate everyday skill set. Duh? Ppl don’t realize how much they don’t have to do because it’s done for them. That’s just another angle to see this from. Not the only one. Now some will argue from this they r single and do everything on their own. A lot of people just see a one inch by one inch view…silly..

  • I have seen this list around the world wide web so I don’t think it is by Jillee.

    And yes some of it is a bit silly.
    It will depend greatly on if you are a city girl, a country girl and then again what country you are from. For me in New Zealand we don’t hail taxis, we phone and them up and book them.

    Some things I don’t care about and will probably not learn by 50. But it is still a fun list to read.

    Maybe rather than criticize it maybe add what you think is right?
    I always find it interesting reading what woman suggest is important to know. Often it shows insight into their country etc also.

    • Hi Alisa,

      I live in Australia, but on a Friday night outside a pub you must be lucky and hail a cab as, if you call, you will be waiting on a recorded message for ages!

      Personally, I don’t think there is absolutely anything that someone must learn before a certain age. Obviously the more you know the better, but everyone has different interests and priorities and if you don’t know how to sew does it make you a failure? I don’t think so.

      People should simply learn how to be independent in everything and I’m pretty sure most of us has the skills and brains to do so. It is only surprising that a list like this is still around nowadays. It wouldn’t have surprised me in the ’50s, on the contrary.

      I am curious to know if someone made a similar list for men :)

      • I believe it is impossible to be independent in everything! Why would anyone want that? There is always something new to learn if one wants. It is also great to have friends/relatives/ partners that have strengths. I don’t think I need to build my own house or hunt/grow the food I eat. Do I really need to know how to change a timing belt? That would make me truly independent of anyone. And yes, I am sure most of us “have” the skills and brains to learn what we want to learn and can understand.

        What is important is to know how to get what is needed. I know how to research and find a construction company. I know how to wisely shop for the food I need. I know how to find a mechanic that won’t try to put one over on me. That is what I call being independent!

      • That is what I meant with “independent in everything”. I didn’t write “being able to do everything”, but I meant learn how to count on your self to do things or have them done, like the example you mentioned about researching a company. You don’t have to ask someone to do it for you.

  • “tell at least one person off who deserves it”
    come on, lighten up….it’s just a list!!!

    I suppose it depends on if you’re 50 now or not…. at 50+, it’s interesting to look back and see how much we’ve changed, and how much we have not…. and some of the “not” we’ve brought on ourselves trying to do it all.

    Anyway, I like the list….some things aren’t applicable, some things are….most I’ve done, a few I haven’t and it gave be something to think about.

    My only change would be “put together a real retirement strategy”….if you haven’t done it by 50, you’re getting on board a little late. Put that on the list for the twentysomethings!!!’

  • There’s a thing called “division of labor” and unless a man or woman wants to live alone there’s no reason to learn all this stuff. If they want to live on their own and do all this stuff good luck to them, there won’t be any time left to live life!

      • Not necessarily. Just because labor is divided, it doesn’t mean one does not know how to do what the other does.

        Additionally, in a partnership, life is shared. We like dividing the to-do list. We do so according to our strengths. Because I am over fifty, it does not mean I must know all and can’t play to my strengths. I can carve a turkey, I don’t like to. My husband does. Would I be “clueless” if he were (God forbid) not here. Nope, I would have to figure out some stuff, but I am smart and can always learn. I have a feeling age differences play into the perceptions in the comments.

        One’s strengths should carry them. Their weaknesses can be worked on to support the strengths. (As a teacher, I never understood why it was not okay to do very well in some school subjects and okay in others. Few are expert at everything.)

        To those who are down on Jillee – the list is not hers, it is from the Huffington Post (not the best source for anything!). I see where Jillee is coming from, but if she had time, I think her list would have been more thoughtful and reasonable.

    • We should know how to do all of those things and more-but that doesn’t mean we HAVE to do all of them. Always better to be prepared for the unexpected than to find one’s self flapping in the breeze…

  • What a wonderful list.
    All of your suggestions are not for me but I can easily substitute my personal ones.
    I would like to read a blog written by Debbe or Sara and see what kind of criticism they would receive and how they would handle it.
    Thank you Jillee for all the interesting things you write about.

      • Ms Sara-
        Why are you so defensive. This is a blog…not a mandate. If this list isnt for you, make your own list. Jinkies! Why so critical. I read Karen’s post 3 times, no where does it say you are not entitled to your opinion. From reading your posts it sounds like everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it is the same as your own. Get over yourself.

      • Tami, reading through the lines of something like “I would like to read a blog written by Debbe or Sara and see what kind of criticism they would receive and how they would handle it.” comes out as “instead of criticizing, try to do a better job”.

        Mine was a comment illustrating my own opinion and if people can’t see it as per what it is, I am sorry for them. And yes, on that list, I would add “learn to accept positive critics”.
        I don’t want or expect everyone to share my opinion, but I feel it is my right to express it. Am I wrong in this?
        I love the fact that everyone has their own point of view, otherwise there will be no debate and we couldn’t learn or consider other points of view.

        I am very happy to read all contrary comments, otherwise I would have already lost interest in this post :)

        I apologize if anyone got offended by my comments: English is my 3rd language, so maybe it doesn’t come out always the way I would like to. But, still, I felt offended by the list and I found it sexist. MY opinion.

  • I really hope this is a joke. If not, I find it quite offensive and sexist.
    It makes women appear as stupid princesses who can’t cook, stand up for themselves or all having the same interests and ambitions.
    I thought we were in 2013, not the ’50s.

    Some points are ridiculous. Are they really making a woman better? I hardly doubt it.

    “Carve a turkey”. No one in my family likes turkey and it is not something I need to learn and I don’t give a rat about.

    “Swim”, well, a lot of people have childhood traumas as they risked to drown, so it is understandable if they don’t want to be anywhere near water.

    “Hail a taxi” do women need instructions for this? Really?

    Jillee, I really love your blog, but this post was totally inappropriate and I am surprised you published it.

    • I agree. I didn’t finish the list as was appalled at the comments made.

      The list is totally sexist. Why should women alone have to be able to do this by the time they are 50? Why shouldn’t men be able to do this by the time they are 50? Save face and change the title to “50 things everyone should know how to do by the time they are 50”.

      I side with Sara on this issue. I love your blog Jillee and have got some great and very sound advice from it, but really, this post is not what you are about.

      • John, are you upset men weren’t included? This list doesn’t only apply to women. If you feel left out, by all means make sure you are correctly fitted for your bra by the time you are 50. While you’re at it, go buy some Midol because it sounds like you’re having your man-period.

    • Sara:
      Yes, some women/people absolutely need to know how to hail a taxi! Do you know how the cab lights work? Based on your comment, no. In New York and many major cities, if the surrounding lights are on, it means the cab is “off duty,” which means unavailable.. Cabbies go off duty instantly, anytime they feel like it by flipping the light switch. Flashing those lights is truly a super power of evasion.
      If the surrounding lights are off, the center light on means the cab is available . The center light off means someone is in the cab.
      Standing out in the street trying to flag down every single taxi that passes is mind numbing and embarrassing unless you know the system.

      Those offended by the list: yes, it struck a cord in me too at first read. I suspect this list is old, I could see this list applying more so to our elders who more often relied on their spouse to cut the turkey, handle retirement planning or hail the cab. IMO the list is meant to challenge that old ideal. Meaning = do for ourselves!

      With each generation we become smarter through education and experience than the previous. So no, most of us may not need to do these things as we see them as “no biggie”. … But trust that there are women living in places that are twenty years or more behind the rest of us of which this list could be very impowering.

      • Wow…your whole last paragraph is dripping with arrogance…”With each generation we become smarter through education and experience than the previous.”…really sounds like you have very little respect for people much older than you. Just because things are different, does not at all mean that we younger people are “smarter”. And if many ways, I think that this attitude has caused our culture as a whole to devalue those older than us and write them off as “old-fashioned or unintelligent” and we miss out on everything that we can learn about living life, raising families, and what it is like to really struggle. Just because so many more people have and are attending college does not automatically make us wiser, and I think that we need to really evaluate the way that we look at those that have come before us!

      • not arrogance at all
        I don’t think anyone can argue that research and knowledge are more advanced than even 20 years ago

      • I didn’t care for today’s blog, but it didn’t offend me either. I do think men and women need to know things, but what they need to know depends on where and how they live. True, women should not be left in the dark so that if they are widowed they are not lost. But really, the list is not worth arguing over., neither is one person’s opinion over another. I am beyond 50, but have been able to do most of it since I was a teen. I can fix things around the house, cook, plant a garden, prune trees, mow the lawn, home school my kids, care for my elderly parents, cut my family’s hair and groom my poodle all while running my own business for 22 years. I could go on, but there is no point. There are things we all should know in life, if we have to hire people to do things we also need to have knowledge about what needs done so we are not taken advantage of.

      • Agreed! I live in the out in the ‘boondocks’ but I occasionally VISIT a major city and there is an art to properly hailing a cab – unless you just like standing on the sidewalk for hours hoping one will take pity on you and stop!

        I remember the first time I visited NYC; stepping to the curb and hailing a taxi made me feel a lot less ‘awkward tourist’ and more ‘urban local’.

      • Dani,

        I’m a little offended by some of your remarks as well, such as “with each generation we become smarter through education and experience than the previous”. Obviously, through your vast experience and education, you failed miserably in communication.

        How many 85 year old women do you know who can balance a checkbook, use the ipad daily to check in on “the kids” through Facebook (and keep up on Jillian’s latest), grow her own vegetable garden, drive to “the city” to have her nails done (she doesnt bother with cabs, they’re too slow), has lunch with her 4 daughters every Friday, attends church every Sunday, does quilting, crochets, knows how to can fruits and vegetables, makes home-made noodles for family get-togethers, and knows when it’s time to hire someone to clean the house and do the yard work. She worked for Montgomery Wards in accounting for 20 years and every year did their own taxes. She was happily married to the same man for 65 years until his death at the age of 90. They raised four daughters and helped raise grandkids and great-grandkids and loved every minute of it. My mother is kind, gentle, generous, loving, talented, giving and humble….. I could go on and on but she has only a high school education. There’s not one thing on that list she couldn’t do…. unless she didn’t want to.

    • I agree here, too.

      On the positive-thinking side, perhaps Jillee was simply out of ideas and had to come up with something!

      This list does appear to be quite sexist. I know many MEN who don’t know how to do these things, either. There are many items on the list that are irrelevant to me, but it was an interesting read, to say the least.

      • My husband was ‘did not know how, did not like to, did not want to do’ many of the things that are on the list. I decided early on that we could not afford to have someone else do all of these things for us. So I learned how to do things that needed to be done. Now I am grateful that I did. He is now in a nursing home and I am by myself. I do not panic when the plumbing is plugged, the oil needs changing in the truck, the lawn needs to be mowed (I can even do regular maintenance on the mower), painting, investing, telling someone off, etc. It is a good feeling to know that I can be independent. Every woman should be independent. Learn how to do all of these things. Don’t just be reliant on someone else to do them for you. You just never know when you might be left alone for what ever reason. Makeup, opening a bottle of champagne, I almost laughed, such trivial things to worry about.

    • Come on now, it’s a blog and 50’s or 2013 . City or Country and I live in country, she did say this was her list if you have something you want to put down please share. I can, make candles and gardens well as crochet. But I am in IT. Love it all… Enjoy the blog and add you’d to it.

      • Nowhere it is said that this is Jillee’s list. And, as most of us presumed, it was a “copy and paste” thing.
        I believe this list was made many years ago and nowadays a woman (city or country) has done most of the things in this list before 30.

        But it is very interesting, reading all this comments, how priorities are different depending on age, cultural background, country, education, character and so on.

        I moved from a small town in Europe to Melbourne by myself at 27 and I had to learn another language, but other than that I didn’t see many differences in lifestyle or habits. Australians are just very relaxed on many things (e.g. if someone says “I don’t give a rat” it’s not perceived as rude).
        All these comments are very amusing as well as “educational” on all the different way of living of all the people reading and commenting.

        Thank you!

    • I LOVED this list! As a disabled, adult female, PERSONALLY, I’m fiercely independent! With that being said, though, I can TOTALLY see that the upcoming generation is being raised with a HUGE self-entitlement complex. They want everything handed to them when they want it – how they want it, with little to no regard for doing it themselves. I find that this list is ABSOLUTELY appropriate, because people are being TAUGHT to be lazy and manipulative to get their agendas met. (Ya only have to look at the general populous of teenagers today to understand that!) Does that mean you’re a failure if you don’t have everything on the list knocked out by 50? No! We’re ALL a work in progress, regardless of our ages. I don’t believe at ALL that she’s trying to make people look stupid with this post. I think she’s trying to show people that they really CAN do for themselves, and don’t have to always have someone else do for them. Trust me when I say that you simply can’t understand that kind of power – until you’ve had it taken away.

      • Thanks, Jen K! I think it’s kind of funny that people are taking her post so darn personally – like she’s pointing a finger directly at them! Why do people do that? So strange! It’s been my personal experience, though, that people who claim to know everything still have a LOT to learn. Maybe that’s the case here, too.

    • I have to say sadly there are plenty of woman I know that do not know how to do 1/2 of this list at least. Change a tire, pick their own wine? They think that is what a man is suppose to do. Sadly they would never survive without a man (which is why they are without one so often). Thankfully I can do almost everything on this list. I have quite a few years until I am 50 ;-)

    • Ladies, when will you learn that these types of posts are not absolutes. No one is putting a gun to your head and making sure you know how to do these things. Read it and make your own judgements on it. BTW one of the things on the list was to able to listen to a speech or the news critically and independently, you might have to add blog posts to the list.

      Jillee said she would be away in New York City and that she would have filler posts this week (my wording not hers).

      That being said I think that alot of the things on this list could be considered generational, and personality might be at play here also. I could do or have done lots of the things on this list, at age 35. My mother in-law is 65 and widowed for 1 and a half years, she has a really hard time with over half the things on this list. In fact my husband and I feel like we can’t move away to pursue our own dreams because she would have a hard time surviving on her own, yet she is really independent minded. Yes, it does cause a few issues. I hope that my daughters know how to do lots of the things on this list by the time they are 25, yet they will still need to know how to rely and lean on their husbands. Sorry about all the ramblings, just the thoughts that came to my head.

    • Kara, I have to agree with you here. I don’t wish to be mean but really, my daughters were educated on how to do most of the things on the list before they were 20. The Huffington Post needs to broaden their ideas for articles. In addition, my exhusband couldn’t do even a small percentage of the list. We are not June Cleaver.

  • I guess the list depends on who you are and how you live. This is not a one size fits all list, as advertised. For instance, I don’t wear makeup. Shocking, I know, but not all women do. Really. So, I would not be able to apply it without a mirror, since I don’t get the practice that say…you, get. This must be a list for a city girl, “hail a taxi”. Nothing in there about “get down and dirty in the real dirt”, as in plant a garden. Where did this list come from?

    I do agree with much on your list, but it’s just not “one size fits all”, as advertised. That’s my complaint. Guess the makeup thing and that assumption bothered me most.

    • I hear you Debbe. I’ve never worn make up (what for? To please someone? To feel better about myself?) and I don’t see the point in having to learn how to apply it without a mirror. Never heard of pocket mirrors? I bet that most women who wear make up have always one in their handbag.

      • Hey there, I’m a girly girl, and I do apply make-up regularly and with great skill and I take pride in my skill and how I look afterwards. That being said, sometimes a quick touch up is required ….I don’t think anyone was implying that eyeliner and the whole 9 be applied without a mirror ….But a quick swipe of powder or bronzer, a dab of blush, and a dot of lip gloss without a mirror, SURE! :)

    • Debbe, you’re SO right !!! I guess that “non-city” list would include, cleaning your own stalls, saddling or hitching your own horse, knowing the best places to flounder,(that’s fishing at night, with a gig, with a lantern), tend your own garden, learn to be independent, change a flat by yourself, learn to shoot-if not expertly, at least with enough proficiency to protect yourself and your loved ones,(be it two OR four legged ones !), and, in my particular case, learn to cook off a chuck wagon. There are a LOT more, but bottom line, girls need to know they’re certainly NOT “the weaker sex”….unless they choose to be !

    • I agree Debbie, not one sized fits all. Get around in a foreign country, open cahmpagne, hail a taxi do not jive with the people who generally look at this blog and make their own laundry detergent!

      • I meant to also say that many of the things might seem basic to younger woman but I know older women that cannot do many of these things and are at a loss when their husbands die.
        Tell someone off that needs it is a good one, but I have an annoying co worker that pushes my buttons so I would like to add
        “Know when to let comments go through one ear and out the other and don’t let it get to you.”

      • I make my own laundry detergent and soap too but I can also much out a stall, get around in a foreign country and hail a taxi. Life experience can be broader than what you are doing right now.

      • Amen Nicci, there isn’t anything wrong with broadening your horizons. I too make my own laundry soap, use essential oils like Jillee talks about and I can change a tire, hail a taxi, and open a bottle of champagne. As for get around in a foreign county? well I haven’t been to one yet so I haven’t actually done it but I am sure that I could. I can also plant a garden, saddle a horse, move a sprinkler line, milk a cow and many many other things, oh yeah and I WEAR Make-up, because I like too.

      • Oh how hilarious! I will be laughing about what you posted for a week at least, Gloria. I’m one of those poor folk who makes her own laundry soap. Thanks for the chuckle, Gloria.

      • “Get around in a foreign country, open cahmpagne, hail a taxi do not jive with the people who generally look at this blog and make their own laundry detergent!”

        Why the heck not? I make my own laundry detergent (and my own bread, yogurt, homemade jam, pickles, and quilts). I also travel. I also drink champagne (just had a girls weekend and served mimosas in fact). And yes, in the course of traveling, I’ve had to hail a taxi or two.

        Maybe both sides should be a little less narrow in their outlooks. ;)

      • Thank you! You hit the nail right on the head!

        Nothing we do in life is one size fits all.

        I live in Rural America and prefer to not have to hail a cab.

        I have traveled oversees and I don’t prefer the taste of champagne.

        And I L.O.V.E. making my own laundry soap! It’s one of the best things ever!!!

        As for makeup, I do wear it…. because I don’t like to scare myself when I look in the mirror. Honestly! My eyebrows and lashes are so light that I feel naked and it scares me to look at myself. Yes, I guess I wear it to make myself feel better. Does that make me a bad person? I don’t think so, but if someone else does, shame on them for judging me!

        I have to say, Jillie, I think this list is fantastic and made me realize there are somethings I should have done by this point in my life that I haven’t. Rather than complain about what’s on the list, I think I’ll learn to do them before I turn 50! Look out Thanksgiving turkey =)

        Thank you!!

      • I agree with the list should vary with the individual…and with that said, at 62 years young I love to travel (can get around easily in a foreign country), love my wine and champagne (can open any bottle) and have hailed many a cab…but dang it if I don’t get hooked on all these awesome DIY products and projects! So don’t know if your accurate in your statement, please no offense!

    • Debbe, I am with you! This is not a one size list! I don’t drink and do not even like the smell of alcohol. I do not need or want to know how to make a cocktail.

      I don’t wear a bra, I wear camisoles. Bras are not healthy for me.

      Wrapping gifts in gift wrap is wasteful for the environment. We use the comics or reuse gift bags.

      I am not sure what looking good in a photo means. I am clean and well-groomed. Does feeling good count as looking good. Is the looking good for oneself or for others. I can’t account for a bad photographer who takes photos with folks eyes shut or takes a photo that produces red eyes.

      Depending on one’s situation, doing one’s own taxes can do more harm than good. Taxes can be complicated and it can take an expert who is up to date in tax law to do the best job.

      Buying something crazy expensive is not an option for everyone and should not be encouraged if it is not appropriate.

      There are good ideas on this list – it is not a practical list. If it was done as a humorous list, then I understand.

      • Wow Debbie – is your last name “downer” perhaps? Seriously? You can’t see how your life fits into these categories.

        “I don’t wear a bra, I wear camisoles. Bras are not healthy for me.”
        Ok, so you’ve learned how to properly fit yourself for an undergarment in place of a bra.

        “Wrapping gifts in gift wrap is wasteful for the environment. We use the comics or reuse gift bags.”
        So you still wrap gifts. Nothing was said about ‘gift wrap’ – it just said wrap beautifully. Using brown paper, newspaper, etc. can still result in a beautifully and uniquely wrapped gift.

        “I am not sure what looking good in a photo means.”
        Being comfortable enough with yourself to not tense up, turn your head away, avoid the camera, claim you hate being photographed, make unnatural faces, or feel like you have to ham it up. Just being yourself and smiling nicely when someone says “Hey let’s take a photo.”

        “Depending on one’s situation, doing one’s own taxes can do more harm than good. Taxes can be complicated and it can take an expert who is up to date in tax law to do the best job.”
        Having the knowledge to do ones taxes also includes having the knowledge to know when one needs to hire a professional.

        “Buying something crazy expensive is not an option for everyone and should not be encouraged if it is not appropriate.”
        Crazy expensive is relative. What’s crazy expensive for you might not be crazy expensive for me – or vice versa. Splurging on yourself once in your life is valid, no matter how you define “crazy expensive”.

        People take things so freakin’ literally and then get angry about how exclusionary they are. Instead of looking for ways you’re excluded, how about looking for the inclusive and how things can be personalized and applied in the spirit of the idea, not necessarily the rigid letter of the idea.

      • Here here Kara! Exactly!
        Yes there are things on this list that I have never done, but who knows where I will be in a few years?
        When it comes down to it, the list is about having confidence in yourself and your ability to deal with whatever situation is presented to you, be it opening champagne, changing a tire or mucking a stall (really girls? you assume all readers of this blog live on farms? I live in the burbs and love making my own cleaners and using essential oils etc).

      • Kara… I am laughing so hard at what you wrote first of all, but you are dead on. I agree 100%. I am typically a literal person too but not so rigid that I can’t appreciate someone else’s thoughts and apply it to my life…well said.

      • Kara, could we be best friends? Bc you are HILARIOUS!!! I totally agree 100% with your response! I’m from Alabama, and I still wear makeup, travel, buy myself expensive things, and even wrap gifts!!

        I also find that wearing a Bra is a CRITICAL daily need..for myself and those around me!!! Maybe if you’ve been blessed with a flat chest you don’t need a bra..or maybe if you just work in the fields all day with your donkey, you don’t need a bra! If you work in an established place of business, you need to be wearing a bra!!! NO ONE, and I REPEAT, NO ONE wants to see ANYONE’S nipples staring at us while I’m trying to eat dinner or shop for groceries!