What I’ve Learned From My Last Birthday

As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of *Jes Baker of Militant Baker fame. Each year she posts the things she has learned from her last birthday; I was pretty impressed by it and wanted to do the same here.

So, here goes–these are some of the things I’ve learned since my last birthday last month:

  • I got breast cancer with no warning, and I got through it.
  • My parents are older now and need my help. I find that there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them–moreover, it is a privilege and a pleasure.
  • I am finally taking myself MUCH less seriously.
  • I understand finally that I can’t do everything on my own, and I can now allow myself to lean back into the loving arms of those who want to help.
  • We are all teachers, believe it or not.
  • Money is not a lifesaver, but a means to an end.
  • Abundance (in everything) comes when it’s needed.
  • I have more strength than I ever thought I could have.
  • After surviving a bad first marriage, I truly appreciate the good one I now have.
  • My age spots have become a connect-the-dots game.
  • I understand now that I am in control of my moods, thoughts, body and mind.
  • Sometimes the things I need to learn come at a big price–but it’s always worth it.
  • My own needs are not the only needs.
  • It’s ok to lean a bit on friends; while they cannot fix what’s wrong, they definitely help and love you through it.
  • I’m ok–really, I am ok.
  • Work has finally taken its proper place; it’s a means to an end, and not the most important thing.
  • While the heart can break, it mends faster and better than you can believe.
  • I do not have to be the boss of everything.
  • The people in my life are meant to be there, just as I am meant to be in their lives.
  • As far as makeup goes these days, less is definitely more.
  • The vast ocean of love that surrounds me is endless, and even when I have to lose some of that love, the rest sustains me.
  • When you get older, your hair gets frinky–wispy, curly, slightly mad-looking with wild white hairs (yeah, I was going for that look)
  • It’s ok to be sad just as it’s ok to be happy.
  • Pain is necessary for growth, and if you were to stack up the small amounts of pain you have to experience against all the wonderful things you experience, the scale tips heavily on the wonderful side.
  • Love lasts, sorrow doesn’t.
  • It’s ok to be an idiot now and then.
  • Death does not mean the end of all things. Rather it is a transition, a cross-over to a new way of life. We don’t ever lose anyone in death, rather we keep them closer and firmly planted into our hearts.
  • Laughter heals.
  • Tears are necessary; temporary, but necessary.
  • I find I don’t have to take myself so seriously any longer. What a relief!
  • If it’s funny, laugh! We don’t have to be politically correct about every little thing.

These are the stand-outs for me now, and the things I will take with me to the next birthday. The wonderful Penn-Dutch folk have the perfect saying for this time of life: “We grow too soon old, and too late smart.” But still, nothing is wasted, no experience is for nothing. It all counts.

When my time comes to meet my maker, I hope that I can say that I did my best, that I helped when I could, that I gave of myself, my time and my talents, and that I did the best with all the gifts I was given.

*http://www.themilitantbaker.com/. Check her out–she’s a most interesting and feisty young woman.


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