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life lessons

My love for Gilmore Girls knows no bounds. Once I entered the world of Stars Hollow there was no going back.

The show introduced me to the love of my life Jess Mariano and has engraved the lyrics to Carole King’s Where You Lead in my mind forever.

It also taught me some of the most wonderful life lessons that I will always carry with me.

This too shall pass:

Queen Gilmore herself taught me the most valuable lesson out of all the show’s ladies. During the revival series Emily moved me to tears as she dealt with life without her beloved husband. Throughout the four episodes we see her deal with Richard’s death (which I will never ever get over) and make huge lifestyle changes. Emily showed me that the dark days will make you a better, stronger and truer version of yourself.

Coffee makes everything better:

I am convinced that Gilmore Girls has strengthened my love for coffee. I can’t go a day without drinking a cup of jo. I turn into a little gremlin when I don’t have my daily dose. Lorelai guzzles up mug after mug of coffee, but I don’t think I’ve reached her level just yet. If only my local cafe offered free coffee refills like Luke’s Diner does.

Don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dream:

I will never ever be happy with Lane’s ending. She deserved so much better than the disappointing storyline she had in the revival episodes. Mrs Kim and her strict rules terrified me, so I’m not surprised Lane fled the nest when her mum stopped her from following her dreams. I felt so proud of Lane when she moved out of her family home and showed us that nobody should hold you back from doing what you love.

Hep Alein were EVERYTHING

Find your happy place:

Gilmore Girls always makes me feel warm because of the homey feel it gives off. Every character on the show seems to have their own happy place; a spot that makes them feel cosy and safe. For Luke it’s the diner that his dad owned. For Rory it’s the library. For Lane it’s behind the drums. For Suki it’s the kitchen. Gilmore Girls showed me that having that go-to place is essential especially on those dull, dreary days when the world is getting you down.

Your mum is your best friend for life:

Lorelai Gilmore is my spirit animal. I admire her passion, her spirit and her undying love for 80s pop culture (My heart bursts with joy whenever she mentions the Brat Pack.) Lorelai and Rory’s relationship is the thing I loved about the show the most. We all argue with our mums from time to time, whether that’s over forgetting to take the washing in when the rain is pouring down or over harsh words you regret saying in the heat of the moment.

The Gilmore girls certainly went through their fair share of ups and downs, but their bond always remained strong. The show reminded me of just how lucky I am to have a close relationship with my mam.

Oy with the poodles already!


Friends was the most popular sitcom of the 90s, and it still holds a special place in our hearts today. 

The hilarious characters taught us so many life lessons throughout 10 wonderful seasons (that are ALL on Netflix now, so we have no excuse). 

Check out the 13 things we learned from our favourite New Yorkers…

1.Not everyone likes to share food, and that's okay.

2. How to charm the opposite sex.

3. The difference between breaking up, and being on a break!

4. Go easy on the fake tan for goodness sake.

5. How to lift furniture…

6. True love DOES exist!

7. Sign language for everyday use.

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8. To love yourself, no matter what! 

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9. Mexican food solves EVERYTHING.

10. Casual dating is okay guys!

11. Ladies can propose too!

12. How to take a GREAT photo.

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13. How to dance like a total BOSS.

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13. Most importantly, it taught us that friendship is the most IMPORTANT thing ever!



In dog years, I’m 210 – an utterly useless fact which inexplicably cheered me up when I lamented my impending 30th birthday last June.

‘If I was a pug, I’d be really over the hill,” I’d console myself as I rubbed my lower back and wondered how the f*ck I’d hurt it again.

In the run-up to this milestone birthday, I reflected on the various life lessons it took 29 years to learn – some of which I’ll admit I had to revise time and time again before they began to sink in.

And despite all these seemingly important lessons, there’s something about turning 30 that forces so many of us to pause, reassess and worry – a polite way of saying there’s something about turning 30 that makes so many of us feel like we’ve failed in some way.

Your twenties are spent focusing on the things you want to do and celebrating the things you have achieved while your 30th year is spent focussing on the things you haven’t done and lamenting the things you haven’t achieved.

Sure, many people use this birthday to focus on goals like owning their own home and progressing up the career ladder for example, but a worrying amount of time is also spent regretting those perceived failures.

I didn’t travel enough when I had the chance. I didn’t start saving when I should have. I didn’t do what she did. I didn’t do what he did.

For me, turning 30 brought with it a vague existential crisis which I would have been more committed to experiencing if I wasn’t so damn tired.

I mean, I was 30, after all.

But as a result of its brief appearance, I forced myself to look at my life objectively, and yes, that is as hideous as it sounds.

However, as a result of this self-inflicted soul searching, I realised that while I may not have purchased a house, learned anything further about pensions or saved a cent in the six months which have passed since my turning 30, I have picked up a few more life lessons.

And right now,  it’s as much as I can ask for.

1. The next thing isn’t going to make you happy

Yes, it’s important to have things to look forward to, goals to hit and milestones to reach, but if you’re constantly expecting the next thing to make you truly happy, you need to stop and reassess.

What is it about your current situation that convinces you the next thing will make it better? And when does that really end?

Is losing those 10 lbs or getting that new title in work really the key to your complete happiness? Probably not. So, why devote so much time fixating on them?

Life will always throw obstacles your way, and that will happen whether you’re 10lbs lighter or €10,000 wealthier a year, so it’s up to you to do your level best to find happiness in every day life.

2. Everything is a work in progress

Whether it’s your career, your appearance or your life in general, these things don’t remain stagnant, so stop writing yourself off every time you hit a rough patch.

I’d wager you have watched friends go through tough times and harboured no doubt that they would come out the other side a stronger person. And yet when it comes to yourself, you struggle to apply the same positivity.

As long as you're breathing, there is scope for change, so don't let current circumstance dictate your approach to the future.

3. The exterior doesn’t always match the interior

It probably shouldn’t have taken me so long to internalise this one, but I was busy ignoring letters from my bank and Googling whether the mould in my apartment would kill me.

As a child, I was taught never to judge a book by its cover, and while I’ve attempted to live by that mantra, I haven’t always succeeded.

However, since turning 30 I have learned more and more that the face people choose to expose to the world doesn’t always accurately reflect the person they are.

Maybe it’s born of anxiety, insecurity or a sense of unease, but reserving judgement before you get to know someone properly is something my 30th year has taught me. And yes, I know I should have learned it a lot sooner.

4. Resigning yourself to a particular approach is not good

By the time we turn 30, many of us have a fairly strong sense of self.

In that, we know our strengths, we know our weaknesses and we definitely know what we do and don’t like, right?

Well, convincing yourself of this is a guaranteed way to stunt your physical, emotional and spiritual growth.

You may have turned 210 in dog’s years, but you can still be taught new tricks.

5. A good attitude goes a long way

There isn’t enough positive things to say about the impact a good attitude can have on yourself, your family, your friends and your colleagues.

And no, this doesn’t mean you have to be become an all-singing, all-dancing Pollyanna type, but it does mean displaying a level of warmth, empathy and understanding even in the face of the utmost adversity.

In actual fact, this approach is more self-serving than many of us realise – just consider how many times a bad attitude helped you to progress.

6. Asking for help is just as important at 30 years of age, as it is at 3 years of age.

The most successful people in this life have absolutely no shame admitting that they don’t know everything.

Until your dying day you won’t know everything, but why not learn as much as possible (or refresh your memory) along the way?

There’s no doubt it can be humbling asking for assistance or guidance in a field you may be very familiar with, but hey, once you ask the job is done.  

And remember the last time you judged a colleague for asking for a quick hand with something? Yeah, us neither.

7. Being friends with everyone simply isn’t necessary

And you should be wary of people who are.

The older you get, the easier it is to define people by the relationship you share with them, and there is nothing wrong with compartmentalising them either.

As a child, everyone was your friend, and as a teen, the more pals you had the better, but by the time you reach 30, the concept of friendship takes on a much more profound meaning.

Now, don’t get us wrong, there is no doubt that being open to new friendships is a good thing, but remember to love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.




1. It’s okay not to get on with your ex
This may seem like an obvious one, but allow me to explain and rewind a little. What I mean by this is that self-respect is everything. Like many girls, I was a ‘fixer’. I was obsessed with ‘helping’ one guy in particular, and it did me no favours – to be truthful, it broke my heart multiple times.

It’s okay to decide that someone is not for you to help, that they will never change, and to move on. It’s a level of maturity and self-worth that, in hindsight, took me far too long to reach – but no regrets.

2. It’s never too late to make new friends…
When I was younger, I believed that a person made all of his or her friends at school or college, and that was that. Wrong! Every year of my twenties so far – and not just the college years – has brought new friendships with some of the nicest and funniest people I’ve ever met.

3. …but old ones are more special as time passes
As I get older and busier, the friends that I manage to keep in touch with are the ones that mean more and more to me. It can be really difficult (and I’m still working on it!) but the memories and understanding that I share with these people make it all the more worthwhile.

My oldest and wisest friend recently departed to work with a charity in India. Saying goodbye to her was an utter shock to the system. She’s always been around, my whole life, so waving her off and not knowing when she’ll return was no easy feat. Needless to say she wasn’t the first of my friends to emigrate (and she won’t be the last), but that didn’t make the goodbye any less bittersweet. I’m so proud of her that sometimes I see pictures on Facebook and just well up… it seems that another side-effect of getting older is that I cry more easily!

4. Nobody really knows what they’re doing
I’m just beginning to realise that this whole ‘growing up’ racket is a total myth in itself. One of the most difficult lessons I’ve had to learn is that age is by no means a measure of maturity – this is something I find myself saying to friends over and over again. Some of the most, er, memorable (and, in hindsight, hilarious) encounters and exchanges I’ve had with people have surprised me because I kept thinking ‘surely at his/her age, (s)he should know better?!’ Wrong again! Everybody you meet in life is kind of just bumbling along and winging it to some extent.

5. Super high heels aren’t worth it.
When you’re a bit more comfortable in yourself, you care far, far less about what other people think, and learn how to ‘do you’ with ease. For me, this means sticking to what I like to do, rather than what I think I should do.  I grew up believing quite subliminally that women wore heels for all smart occasions. Well, of course they don’t – they wear whatever they feel good in. Lesson learned: I hate heels, therefore I rarely (if ever) wear them.

Oh, and nobody cares, anyway. They’re all far too busy worrying about what others think of them!

Deirdre Foley is a history grad, sceptic, wearer of red lipstick and self-confessed 'beauty maniac'. She is also the co-founder of fabulous Irish beauty blog, Viva Adonis.



There’s no TV show quite like the Irish classic, Father Ted. And there never will be again.

But it’s not all fun and games on Craggy Island, here are some important life lessons that Father Ted has taught us all over the years.

1. Sometimes you have to do the impossible. And kick Bishop Brennan up the arse

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2. Always expect the unexpected

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3. It’s always okay to have a bit of a flirt

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4. Say no to drugs.


5. And yes to puppies


6. Dance like nobody is watching


7. Try not to get caught

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8. Take pride in your appearance

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9. And in your achievements

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10. Sometimes you can’t help who or what you love

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11. Eggs are feckin’ great

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12. So is tea


13. You should never say no to tea


14. Racism is bad


15. Stand up for what you believe in


16. Ryan Tubridy shouldn’t be on The Late Late Show


17. Ireland’s Eurovision days are over


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