You know the saying "If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself"? At first I didn't quite get it. Then when I did get it, I would chuckle. I don't know if I was scoffing at the notion that I would ever get old or if the idea that I would live long enough to feel that way was too far fetched for me to believe. Nevertheless, it is no longer ellicits that snide chuckle.
As I approach my fiftieth birthday (you know...the 50, the half-century mark, the starting line for the downhill slide) I am reflecting on my life and what I have accomplished as I have written the book that is me. When I look back I wonder in amazement that I am still alive. Oh the things that I did. I smile when I think of some chapters and cry when I think of other ones. My heart aches in sorrow for the wrongs I have committed against God and others and rejoices at the pages that list and detail my long list of friendships, loves, and happy adventures that I've been blessed to have. There are plenty of things that I would change but many that I wouldn't, but isn't that the way with most of us? I have learned quite a bit but have forgotten most of it and I am forgetting more and more every day. I figure that by the time I turn fifty-one I won't remember my fiftieth birthday and if you remember this years party please don't tell me. I want to be surprised.
Looking back there are lessons in life I have learned. I am who I am because of the decisions I have made and the consequences of those decisions. I try to pass these lessons onto my children but as my daughter says to me each time "Mom I need to find out for myself!!!" I vaguely remember saying the same thing to my mom. History truly does repeat itself.
I'd like to list some of the things I have learned so my children can look back and see that I was young once and went through similar experiences.
#10 Just because someone says they are your friend doesn't make it true. Many people will come and go in your life. Some will hurt your or lie and steal from you. Few will stay. Many will go. Don't hang on to the ones that do not have the same values or morals you do and seek those that do. Cherish the good friends you find and hold on to them. Sometimes friends are the only thing that get us through to tomorrow.
#9 You are where you are now because of the choices that you made. When we make decisions we are standing at a "Y" in a road. Some rows may go to the right and up or to the left and down. Choose your path carefully because most of the time you cannot turn back.
#8 The only time you will use algebra is when you are trying to balance
your checkbook and find a check that isn't recorded. x=missing check.
#7 Trust your instinct. Listen to that gut radar that tells you to take a step back. Some of the worst things have happened in my life because I didn't listen to that little voice in my head that warned me. We all have the radar but not all of us choose to take advantage of it.
#6 Love yourself. Appreciate the person that is you. If you aren't happy you need to find out why and try to change it. Don't depend on someone else to make you happy because it doesn't work that way.
#5 Life isn't fair. Period! There isn't a guarantee that promises wealth, health, and happiness. The only thing that is certain is that none of us will get out of this alive so just enjoy the ride and try to make the world a better place while you are here.
#4 Compromise. Learn to negotiate. "My way or the highway" is a surefire way to guarantee loneliness and misery.
#3 Leaving the house with clean underwear doesn't mean you will return unscathed. It just means if you do get in an accident, the nurses at the hospital will know that you are a good kid and listened to your momma.
#2 Find someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Love that person more than yourself and cherish the time that you are together. Treat them how you want to be treated and don't hold them to a higher standard than you hold yourself to.
#1 Love The Lord and have a personal relationship with him. Talk to him daily and allow him to be the largest part of your life. Thank him for everything he has blessed you with and all that he has taken from you. He is raising you to be His child and sometimes throws speed bumps on the road to Heaven. Be still. Wait for Him. He loves you and wants you to be the best person you can be. Remember He loves you more than you can ever know. Think about how much you love the person in your life. Multiply that by infinity. That is how much you mean to him. He sent Jesus to the world to be a sacrifice for you and I. Don't let that be in vain.
I was talking to a friend of mine and was telling her how I didn't think I had accomplished anything in my life. She looked me dead in the eye and said "Yes you have!!". She then proceeded to list some of the things that I had done....raised two good kids, was a good wife.... She was right. I guess I didn't have to be a senator or a doctor to do some good in the world. I just had to be me.
Smiles and Hugs