Today is my birthday. And even though I am now well within the realm of progressive lens and absurd water retention and aches and hairs and wrinkles in places I didn’t know existed, I have learned a few interesting lessons over the last few (no I will not give an exact number) decades.
1.Tomorrow will get better. You may have the suckiest of all sucky days and believe in the depths of your being that the dark cloud that has taken up a perceived permanent residence over the top of your head will be with you until the day you die but you will be wrong. The dark cloud will dissipate eventually… all you need is patience…. and ice-cream (see #8).
2.Yes, family is in fact everything. They may drive you to drink, holidays may resemble the beach at Normandy on D-day, and you may often envy orphans but they are your people, your history, your present and your future. They are part of your “story”.
3.Sour cream and onion potato chips taste really, really good but they cause huge intestinal issues that are anything but ladylike.
4.You have to be your own best friend. You have to like yourself enough to spend time alone with yourself and not feel as if you’re missing out, or not accomplishing anything or “should” be doing something better with your time. Feeling comfortable and at peace in your own company is an amazing feeling.
5.Try to enjoy, maybe even relish a vegetative state without guilt. Call lying on your bed and watching an entire season of “Lost” your way of meditating. Escaping from the reality of the day’s stress is just as important as breathing.
6.There is no room, not even a smidge, nary a niggle, for negative people in your life. You can have the emotional strength of a saint and they can still suck all the light and goodness out of your day. They need to be booted to the curb.
7.Vehicles can get written off, items can be stolen, basements can be ruined by flood, but all of these can be replaced. I used to stress over rock chips in my windshield and dents in my fender until a drunk driver hit me. Now I know, right down to my bones, that material possessions are truly irrelevant when placed in the company of love and kindness.
8.Ice cream helps. Everything, all the time. Self-pity, heartache, work stress…all eased by the consumption of good quality ice-cream preferably eaten out of the carton itself. I call bullshit on anyone who claims indifference towards ice-cream.
9.Travel is never a waste of time or money. Life is all about stories. What better opportunity is there to create new stories then when you literally transplant yourself someplace new!
10.The answers to all of life’s important questions will eventually reveal themselves…in their own time. What we have to do is have patience and the good sense to recognize them when they finally do.
And last, for now because my aging body is aching to sit in a warm bath then wrapped in flannel and put to bed….
#11. There are plenty more “life lessons” to be learned. You just have to have the humility and openness to receive them and accept them as gifts from God or the universe or whatever your faith.