Tradition has been that Dale writes a post for me on my birthday. This year, however, he didn’t meet the editorial deadline and I find myself having to write this one myself. You know what, though? It’s okay. If I have learned one thing in 52 years it’s that . . . wait . . . I bet I can come up with three things instead of just one thing . . .
- I have learned that life is short and people matter more than things. I lost a brother when I was 17 and another when I was 31 and then my mom when I was 32. You don’t go through those kind of losses without realizing that there are no promises when it comes to your own longevity or anyone else’s. And what that teaches you is that you need to say the things you need to say while you can. Because no guarantees. Telling people you love them matters. A lot. Other things that matter a lot: forgiveness, trust, understanding, and recognizing that your own standards aren’t necessarily anyone else’s.
- I have learned that the key to happiness is being satisfied with what you have. Would I love a fancy house with lots of closets and a gigantic master bedroom suite? Kinda. But on the other hand am I willing to sacrifice to get that? Not so much. I love that Dale and I have jobs that allow us to be together a lot even if they don’t pay us a lot. I love that our mortgage is low and that we live in the same house we have lived in for our entire married life. I love that we live next door to Jack, that both of our daughters live within walking distance, and that we can see our family frequently and easily. So, yes, there are things I would change, but I’m content with the way they are right now. And being content is way more valuable than a master bathroom. (maybe)
- I have learned that it’s never to late to live an authentic life. To try new things. To go outside your comfort zone. To stand up for yourself and how you want to be treated. To spend time with people who matter because time is a precious commodity. To be true to yourself and to be present. Because being present is really all you have. And, best of all, it’s enough.
If I can add one more thing I have learned, it’s that birthday wishes make birthdays much much better. Yes, that’s a hint and I hope you’ll take it and leave gobs of comments today. Thanks, friends.
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