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Three On Thursday: The One About My Birthday

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 . . .

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. 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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This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. You’re a beautiful woman inside and out. A strong woman inside and out. I’m lucky to have had what we had and have what we have now, make sense ??
    Happy bday Carole ??????????

  2. Happy Birthday, my friend. In sticking with the theme of three – I’m thankful for our shared history, grateful that we are friends in the present, and hopeful that we’ll have many more adventures together in the future. I love you!

  3. Yep. You got it! Perfectly stated.

    Happy birthday, Carole. I usually tell people to “enjoy every moment” of their birthdays, but that is totally redundant for you. Because I KNOW you will embrace and enjoy each moment — today and every day. I’m so glad you’re my friend. I wish you every happiness. XO

    (And I always marvel how you have an Earth Wind and Fire song all about YOUR birthday!!! Lucky duck.)

  4. Boy, once you get the contentment thing, life really opens up doesn’t it? It leaves you available to experience so many great things that striving & wanting bury. Does it mean I don’t have a little envy now & then? Ha! But it has helped me remember I have the things that matter & to make time for the people that matter.

    Wishing you a joyful birthday that is only the beginning of a year of joys and contentment.

    (PS. What does it say about our culture that every time I tried to type ‘contentment’ Apple tried to make it ‘contentious’?!)

  5. Happy Birthday Carole! I hope you have a wonderful day and a fantastic year! Hope all your birthday wishes come true!

  6. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and a wonderful year ahead! Thanks for sharing your three eloquent, true, and honest birthday thoughts. It’s your birthday and you’ve given us a lovely gift!

  7. Well, we all know what Dale would say anyway: “Carole is wonderful. I love living with her.” etc. Like he does every year. 🙂 So we can give him a pass this time. And yes, you are a great person and he’s a lucky fellow. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  8. I love these things – because yes, these things are the things that make life so much better. It is not the size of our bedroom, but the size of our heart that matters – and your heart overflows. I am blessed to call you my friend! I am sending you so much love and joy! Have a most blessed day, my dear friend! XOXO

  9. Happy Birthday, Carole! What a great outlook on life you have! Here’s wishing you a warm weather weekend to enjoy being outside with Dale on your deck!

  10. Happy Birthday, Carole! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and glimpses of your life with your readers. May you create many more happy memories with family and friends, and time for snacks, reading, knitting and playing games!!

  11. ?Happy Birthday!!?

    A lovely post. I have read and enjoyed your blog for years. It is like a note from a friend!

  12. Happy birthday, Carole! May the celebrations last through the weekend, and may the year to come bring you much happiness! (I mean, it’s bringing a baby, so that should help…)

  13. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday and a wonderful year! I celebrated mine yesterday and I want to thank you for sharing your wise birthday thoughts!

  14. Happiest of birthdays to you! I am so glad I met you (What? A dozen or more years ago now?) in person as well as virtually. Life IS short, so have a lot of fun celebrating this birthday…. maybe a 5-day weekend even 🙂

  15. Well….I am a firm believer that birthdays are the most magical day ever, and I LOVE my birthday. So I could not slide by without wishing you a Happy Happy magical birthday.

  16. Happy Birthday Carole! May your new turn around the sun for filled with love, laughter and lots of knitting! I want to thank you for your blog as well. Every morning (well 5 days a week, when you are not on al blogging break) I sit with my breakfast and read your words – laugh, ponder, dream, plan my knitting or reading. Thanks for sharing!

  17. You have learned the best lessons there are in life! Best wishes for many many more years of learning and happy birthdays!

  18. Your birthday statement is the truest, most meaningful thing I’ve read in a long time. Thank you. Have a wonderful day! Then batten down the hatches for the next storm coming our way!!!

  19. Blessings and felicitations on your birthday, Carol! You are very wise, but I find most people who grow through loss become wise. You have used your adversity to hone life down to its essence, and you said it very well. Everyone who is in your life is so fortunate to know you, and your generosity of spirit is your gift to them. Even though I don’t really know you, I feel like I do, and I feel lucky. I hope you have a lovely day.
    To shift gears, that lipstick color is fabulous on you! Candied apple? Oh, and 52 is just getting started!

  20. I think my list would be very.similar to your list! Life is pretty good, even when there are things that we might wish were a little different! Time to appreciate how lucky we really are!
    Happy birthday wishes from A Canadian follower!???

  21. You have learned important lessons so many people never learn in a life time! We’re one smart cookie, Carole and one incredibly authentic person. Love you!!

  22. Here’s your Joey Come Lately birthday salutation. May you have a year full of happiness, love and accomplishment. I am guessing you will!

  23. I’m late, too, but Happy Birthday! Contentment is the best way to be happy! Hard in this culture, but your post is a great reminder of how to be content with the good things we have before it’s too late!

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