It seems like just yesterday I was watching my mom and her friends, thinking that they were pretty cool for old people. Truthfully, they weren’t even old. They were just parents or adults, most of whom had survived life experiences. And then, in a blink, I was one of them. It was my turn. Years of experiences, trials, failures and successes gave me the right to join this group of seasoned individuals. I can finally say that I am honored. As I look back over the last thirty years or so, I realize, there are certain things that I too now know for sure. Things that while I wish I could have learned easier, the truth is that permanent lessons are best learned through experience. Hopefully, my own children will learn some of these truths as they watch and listen to me, along with the ones they will learn for themselves. While I don’t pretend to have it all together by any means, here are a few that made the short list.
1) always trust your instincts. they never lie.
2) happiness is not a destination it’s a journey.
3) it will only be good enough when you believe it is.
4) parenting is one of the hardest maturing processes that life will ever bring.
5) living alone is always better than living with someone who doesn’t honor, respect, and enhance you as a person.
6) a big paycheck doesn’t equate to a full heart or a fulfilled life.
7) a small house full of love, laughter, and peace makes a better home than a big, beautiful, and emotional house any day.
8) reality TV only serves to perpetuate greed and jealousy between the haves and have-nots forcing people to live more and more outside their means.
9) my days are better when my TV stays off.
10) some of the most satisfying triumphs are usually found on the other side of a difficult trial.
11) humility creates an opportunity through which unexpected wisdom can be received.
12) be mindful that one day my children will be the caretakers and I will want them to treat me well. my treatment of them should always be mindful of that.
13) unexpected kindness can stop a person in their tracks. seek opportunities to be kind.
14) a parent will have an opinion about their child’s choices until the end. learning which ones to voice and when to shut up is the most challenging part of the dance.
15) we married our spouses not our kids. that spouse was a vital part to the children’s existence. keep first things first.
16) there is no place in a marriage for selfishness. really, there is no place in life for selfishness. self care and selfishness are not the same.
17) having a spiritual connection is necessary to contain my control issues. without keeping my focus on God, it’s easy for me to believe that I have more control over things than I really do and “fault” factors show up quicker and stay longer.
18) it’s not about me as much as I want it to be sometimes. life continues outside my bubble.
19) it takes more time and energy to stay angry than to let it go. so let go, live and let live.
20) have fun. hold on to your silly. there’s plenty of time for being serious.
21) smart is not the new sexy… it is the main sexy. outward beauty shines until the words fall out.
22) it’s never too late to start something new.
23) bad sex is worse than no sex. never settle.
24) we are perfectly made in midst of the mundane or ordinary tasks. sometimes it’s just a matter of looking closer. made in the image of God, for a purpose greater than ourselves even when it doesn’t feel like it. emotions lie too often.
25) everyday i awake with the breathe of life is another opportunity to try again, right a wrong, share some love, demonstrate kindness, be a blessing and find something to celebrate about my life. some of the richest moments are found doing the ordinary and mundane things.