Today I celebrate my 50th birthday! While there are days that I would LOVE to just pretend that this isn’t happening, I have come to realize that I must embrace this time of my life. So I have decided to talk about what I have learned in the past 50 years of being alive. Here is goes!
Life is full of ups and downs: We all experience the good, the bad and the ugly! I’ve experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in my 50 years. But what I’ve really learned from each of those experiences, is that life is here to be experienced! Take the good and the bad and really experience it. Learn from it and grow from it.
Your body is not to be taken for granted: When I was younger I would hear “OLDER” people talk about how it is important to take care of your body and not take it for granted! I always thought that I was a healthy person with good eating habits and the ability to exercise. In the past few years, I have learned that my body is not indestructible and that sometimes the mind is willing but the flesh is weak! Don’t let that stop you from working hard at it every day. Find what works for you and DO IT!! And trust me… The closer you get to 50 the harder it will be so don’t take it for granted.
Raising a family is not for the faint at heart: I honestly don’t know how these women with 3 or more children do it! I have now raised 2 amazing children into adulthood. Yes, raising a family is extremely rewarding! Yes, raising a family brings lots of joy and fulfillment! However, raising a family is a lot of hard work and there are many days when I thought I couldn’t do it. When I felt like I was failing my children and myself. Would I do it again? Absolutely!! I love my children and helping them grow and learn brought me some of my most amazing experiences! It also brought me some of my hardest experiences. I think that if a woman chooses not to become a mother that is ok. It is your own choice and I don’t think that making a choice to not have children is selfish.
Relationships are more important than things: I remember when I was young wanting the perfect job, the nice car, the big house, all the nice things. What I have come to know is that none of that matters! Your relationships and the people you choose to surround yourself with are what is most important. Surround yourself with loving, giving, honest people who are willing to tell you when you are being a selfish asshole and who will be there for you when you really need them. And when you really need them is when you will find out who those people are. I used to hear people say that life is short and that you never know when someone you love won’t be there. Until you have actually experienced this you won’t truly appreciate the moments with the people you love and care about. But I am here to tell you that life is short and you never know when someone you love won’t be there. Enjoy every moment and opportunity!!
Find Gratitude: I haven’t always been grateful for the things in my life. Especially the struggles. But in my 50 years of living, I have learned that seeking to find gratitude in all experiences whether good or bad can truly bring you joy and peace. I look back at all my struggles and hardships and realize that it is because of each of those experiences that I am the woman I am today. Those moments that I had to fight through to survive made me strong. The hard thing is to find gratitude during the struggles. I’m understanding that all experiences are there for me to learn and grow. So I strive to find gratitude in the hard times.
Forgive : I think this one thing is probably the most important lesson I have learned in my 50 years! I used to think that if I forgave the person who had wronged me that I was condoning what they had done. That is the furthest thing from the truth! For me, in my experiences, the forgiveness was what finally brought me peace. I had to forgive in order to find peace. It was actually hurting me to hold onto the anger, hurt & resentment. Holding onto these feelings causes sickness, pain & unrest in our bodies and in our souls. By learning to forgive I have been able to heal many ailments in my body. How do you know when you have truly forgiven someone? In my experience, it is when you can finally look at that person and be grateful for what they taught you and for the experience. Forgive yourself!! No, seriously… Forgive yourself!! We are here to stumble, fall down, and make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just learn from it all.
I am truly grateful for all the people in my life who have shaped me into the person I am today. Family, friends, co-workers, enemies, random strangers. They have all been in my life for a reason. But to MY core people, I want to say a huge THANK YOU!! Without you I am nothing. You are everything to me.