Aging, Believe, Faith, Lessons Learned, Life, Sixty, Uncategorized

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

For the last few months, I have been mentally preparing myself for my quickly approaching 60th birthday, which is now only days away and I just keep asking myself, “How the hell did that happen?” For whatever reason, as I approach this milestone birthday, it just seems like it should be a big deal and yet, I just can’t seem to completely wrap my arms around it and embrace it. But there is a part of me with a small plan to celebrate me, along with my life and to make it last for the next ten years.

For quite some time now, I have been on a personal journey of self-awareness and self-discovery and while it has always been hard for me to celebrate myself, this birthday, I am trying very hard to push myself outside of my safe zone and celebrate the last sixty years with complete awareness, truths, applause, failures, successes, along with a lot of dancing, a lot of cake, a lot of wine and a lot of candles. After all, I do believe living sixty years of my life is a celebration in of itself. My journey has been guided with the help of friends, family and other friends, who are not personally known to me. Every day, I listen or read something from the likes of Brené, Elizabeth, Deepak, Wayne, Maria, Maya and of course, God. I have found each of them to be helpful with guiding me along this journey to be a better person with myself and with the people who surround me.

I have been trying to focus on all of the gifts in my life and to be in the moment with all the knowledge from the life lessons I have learned. I’m trying very hard to embrace this next chapter of my life and while I don’t have a master plan, it’s really okay because I have learned that even with the best plans, life can be interrupted. I’m trying to be accepting of every fine-line wrinkle on my face with knowing that I earned each and every one of them and they each come with their own story. I am trying to accept the fact that with every passing year, body gravity is inevitable and everything eventually goes south. Not unless of course you have help from a little nip and tuck or a little beep, bop and boop to plump things up or a large wallet to purchase some $500 creams. At this stage of my life, I am going in fully knowing that the six-pack ab days may be long gone and my focus needs to turn to eating healthy, endurance, strength, balance and stretching.

I don’t think of myself as an expert in any one area of life but one thing I know for sure life is most certainly a mystery. People will come and go throughout your life. Some will enhance your being. Some you will be able to count on. Some you will love. Some will suddenly leave you for no reason or sadly because of the inevitable. You can end up disappointing yourself and others. People you counted on may not come through but at any given moment, a total stranger can show up unexpectedly and take you to places you never dreamed possible. You can have wealth or enough to live a comfortable life and then with a snap of a finger you can be left with nothing and on the brink of poverty or practically homeless. For me, this is for certain, I have learned time and time again, when you fall, you peel yourself up off the floor, you dust yourself off, you learn, you move on and just know you will survive. Life is indeed a mystery filled with many moments of truths and realities and somewhere in the midst of those truths and realities life can be so magical.

I thought I would share with you some of the lessons I have learned along my six-decade life journey. Some are borrowed, some are new and some are old but they are all lessons learned. I share them with the hope that they may help some of you on your own journey to live more genuinely, to live more consciously, with more gratitude and with less judgment of yourself and others. They are some of the best lessons I have learned and my hope is that we take every one of our life lessons learned as an opportunity to be better than we already are and to always celebrate the life we have. I am certain there could and should be more than sixty but in honor of this milestone birthday, I will leave it at sixty and I know that somewhere over the rainbow in the next decade of my life there will surely be more life lessons learned.

  1. Nothing in life is for certain and the sooner you embrace the concept, the less disappointed in life you will be.
  2. Find every excuse and opportunity to celebrate your life.
  3. Love the age you are.
  4. Stop worrying about what others are saying. At the end of the day, it’s a waste of time and who cares.
  5. Have faith that God’s love never fails and that He is always there listening. Find hope in your faith.
  6. Be grateful for everyone who has loved you. Don’t regret a love that once felt right.
  7. Know there will be times when life will break you and when you think you won’t be able to handle it, know that you will.
  8. Always be kind to your body. You only have one. Learn to love it, take care of it and know that the body keeps score and it always wins.
  9. Know and understand that diets are a lifestyle and not a temporary restriction on what you can eat.
  10. Know that you are the only one responsible for the life you live.
  11. Know that laughter and a good night sleep are sometimes the best cures.
  12. When it comes to parenting, always trust your gut and heart.
  13. Make friends with your children’s friends. They’ll make you laugh and they will always give you valuable information. Pay attention.
  14. Know that physical and verbal abuse are equally wrong. Know that we teach people how to treat us.
  15. Hug your mother, father, children and grandchildren. Tell them you love them with every chance you get. Never take a moment of time with them for granted.
  16. Get smart about money early in life. Be diligent and consistent with saving some.
  17. Know that marriage and parenting are the toughest relationships to master.
  18. Be curious about your emotions and others.
  19. Know that every day is a gift. Be thankful for each day you get to witness another one.
  20. Stay out of other people’s business.
  21. Always choose kindness instead of being right.
  22. Don’t engage in gossiping. Know that it hurts the people you are talking about and will eventually come back to haunt you. When someone shares something very personal with you, always choose to be a trusted confidant and know it’s not your story to tell or share with others.
  23. Know that life is impossible without believing in something.
  24. Choose self-acceptance. Believing you are enough gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.
  25. Spend time alone. Don’t be afraid of it. Know that you will be okay with being alone and some days you will prefer it.
  26. Always say please and thank you. Look for opportunities to be a better person.
  27. Look people in the eye when you are talking to them. Trust that you will learn something every time you do.
  28. Sit down to dinner every night with your family. Put the cell phones away. Turn the television off. Talk to each other. Listen to each other.
  29. Play with your kids. Read to them every night. Make great lasting memories with them. Always make them feel safe and secure.
  30. Celebrate and praise your children. Teach them to feel valued. Teach them to treat others respectfully and with kindness.
  31. Always have an open table and an open mind.
  32. Be available to those in need.
  33. Pay attention to your partner, the one you love. If you don’t, know that someone else will.
  34. Don’t ever believe someone is better than you or you are better than anyone else.
  35. Know that disciplining a child teaches them the difference between right and wrong and taking accountability for themselves. Know that when you don’t follow through on the punishment, your word loses all credibility.
  36. Learn how to turn off your critical and judgmental voice.
  37. Learn the difference between compromise and selling yourself short or settling for less.
  38. Listen to your gut. It knows more than anyone else you are asking for advice.
  39. Practice prayer and meditation. It will keep you in check with yourself.
  40. Never make your work more important than your family.
  41. After years of putting everyone else first, know it’s okay to pamper yourself.
  42. Don’t allow anyone to shame you or diminish you as a person. Set boundaries upfront.
  43. Get good at forgiveness. Don’t wait for someone to die to forgive. Know that you will need to practice forgiveness throughout your life.
  44. Know that control does not equal happiness.
  45. With every chance you get…dance.
  46. Get good at letting go. It’s good for your soul and your overall well-being.
  47. Relax your expectations of others. Don’t expect people to be perfect. No one is.
  48. Learn how to communicate in your own home. Don’t let hostility become the only way you know how to communicate.
  49. Know that therapy is not a waste of time nor a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.
  50. Know that it is okay to distance yourself from toxic people, even if they are family.
  51. If your marriage comes to an end, don’t let anyone tell you, you have failed. Be grateful for the love you shared, the memories you made and the lessons you learned.
  52. If you have a pity party, make it short, turn the page and then move on. Don’t see yourself as a victim. See yourself as someone brave.
  53. Don’t let fear stop you from living your passion. Know you can rebuild yourself and your life at any age.
  54. Be brave enough to write your own story and always know it’s never too late to rewrite it.
  55. Be brave enough to try love after your heart has been broken.
  56. Spend time outdoors. Breathe, take it all in and let it calm your mind.
  57. Spend time around people who see you, who celebrate you and who want the best for you.
  58. Know that trust and loyalty are the most important things in a family relationship. Stay connected to that family trust and loyalty and never let anyone or anything come between it.
  59. Take care of your parents when they age. There isn’t anyone more loving and caring to do the job. Remember the sacrifices they made for you.
  60. Always believe and have faith that the best is yet to come. Always believe and know that you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XulvnXo6BJk