Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The BIG 4-0!

Yesterday was the BIG 4-0 as some people call it. Did I wake up feeling differently? Not really. In fact, it was a day just like the one before with the exception of all the wonderful birthday wishes, time with friends, the flowers, and cards. :)  Thank you to all those who helped make the BIG 4-0 memorable. 

I did spend some time reflecting yesterday and today on what have I learned in 40 years, some lessons I've learned by personal experience and some by observing others. I pass this list on with the simple hope it teaches you something.
  1. Friends come and go. When I was younger I was okay with this, as I get older I treasure each friend with the fierceness of a mountain lion. 
  2. I wish I had grown up with a family, I think maybe the lessons I now know would have come much sooner in life and some of my mistakes wouldn't have been so damaging to myself and others. 
  3. It's sick to want to be be sick. Be happy to be healthy, and sometimes you have to 'chin up' when you're sick, there's something to be said for sucking it up. Thank you mom for teaching me this. 
  4. It's a choice to look for the good in others. It's easier to see bad, to make it the focus, but I choose to look for the good. Sometimes, I must look deeper into people and see their true spirit, what drives them, and who they are, rather than just looking at the outside person. I have made many misjudgments simply because I was too lazy, too blind, or did not care enough to find the truth, or look into another's heart. 
  5. It's a bigger blessing to BE the blessing than to receive it. So the more I give to others, the more rewarding my life is. Sometimes all I have to give is my time, and I've realized sometimes this is all someone wants. 
  6. Keeping my balance in what I give is important because I can't give what I don't have. 
  7. Forgiving others is way more freeing for me, because holding on to what others have done to me only hurts me. 
  8. Praying for others to change rarely works, I've found that change has often come in my life when I've asked for God to help me instead of changing others. 
  9. Saying 'I'm sorry' to someone is not enough. Specifically apologizing by saying 'I'm sorry for...' validates what the other person feels, and this helps mends hurts whether real or imagined; imagined hurts are real for someone else. 
  10. Every person is leading someone somewhere. I have an impact on someone's life so where am I leading that person right now? 
  11. Saying hard things to the people I love in my life is never easy, but it is NECESSARY and it always pays off. Even if the person I am saying it to doesn't 'get it' I am no longer holding on to feelings I need to let go. 
  12. Following what God wants for me isn't always easy but it's never wrong. 
  13. Getting in shape is important to me. I'll never be the size 4 I once was, where I can eat anything and not gain a pound, so relying on discipline for the next 30 years needs to be a priority to keep me where I want to be. 
  14. I can't be all things to everyone in my life, I will kill myself trying so instead I choose to try and please Christ in all things. 
  15. Everything I have can be used to love others, my time, my hobbies, my job, and my material possessions. After all, God gave me these things and all of it belongs to Him so why not allow it to be used by Him to show love to others. 
  16. Praying with someone is invaluable, whether I do this in person or over the phone, I am blessed every time. 
  17. It is important for me to remain open to hearing the truth from everyone. Even if I haven't given that person permission to tell me, they usually have something really valuable for me to hear. 
  18. Taking ownership of my failures builds a foundation for my future. I can't regret what has happened in my life, it can't be unchanged, undone or forgotten but I can move on with grace. 
  19. God loves me because of who He is, not because of something I did or didn't do. 
  20. Taking deep breaths calms my mind and praying soothes my spirit. For me praying is my act of talking with God and meditation is the act of listening to what He has to say. 
  21. My life isn't very long. It's what's happening right now as I write these words, as I draw my breath, it's the here and now and it doesn't last forever. 
  22. I need to fight for what God says is right. 
  23. My actions speak the truth. I can say all the right words, but in the end, it's my actions that will say everything. 
  24. There will be sadness in my life journey, but I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other because happiness is right around the bend. 
  25. Self awareness of my choices will free me from negative, reactive behaviors. I choose to never stop learning and growing. 
  26. I will never seek my self-worth at the expense of someone else's. Devaluing someone else will only prompt them to treat me the same. 
  27. Praying in the morning gives me a productive day. 
  28. Giving thanks at night gives me a peaceful night's rest. 
  29. My pets give me great JOY, they are as much my family as the people in my life. Puppy kisses and kitten snuggles really make me smile. 
  30. I have enough. More is not better. 
  31. I want my legacy to be to add more value in the world than the resources I'm using up. 
  32. Being honest in all situations is sometimes by far my hardest choice, but it's the best choice for the rest of my life. 
  33. I hate uncertainty. This isn't a cliche, it's the truth. Life is uncertain, tomorrow is not promised, and because of this my choices need to be pleasing to God. But still, I hate uncertainty. 
  34. Taking time doing nothing is important for my growth. During this time is when I reflect on choices I have made and if I'm always busy I miss lessons I need to learn. 
  35. Coffee time with my girlfriends is therapeutic and I will work hard at maintaining those relationships. 
  36. No matter how much I swore when I was younger that I wouldn't become like my mother, in many ways I am. I AM VERY PROUD OF THAT. There is no greater woman than her, no one I'd rather be like and I hope as the years come I'll continue to grow into myself with some of her best qualities. 
  37. I need to let anger go. My anger is a cover up for my fear. I have fears because I haven't turned them over to God, I am a work in progress. 
  38. Not everything is about me. When people in my life do and say hurtful things I need to remember it's not always about me. Sometimes it's about something they're not dealing with. 
  39. I need to make daily deposits to the life of my dreams because perseverance pays off. When I take an active involvement in my own life by making decisions and taking action towards my goals I feel accomplished. 
  40. I must remain passionate about what I do, this is a must, and if I'm not passionate about it then it's not what I need to do. I need to be sure that it's something in me, in my heart and that I love doing.

And 1 to grow on:
  1. Carpe' Diem. I will enjoy life now. I will enjoy the moments more, I will relish the good times and absorb the not so good times because God's got this.
So look out 50, because if the first 40 has taught me this much; I can't wait to see what the next 10 teaches me.

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