17 November 2016

10 Reflections on my 58th Birthday

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It's my 58th birthday today, and I am thinking about my life and all the lessons I have learned that have helped me grow into the person I am today.




1.  There is no such thing as fair.

Everyone gets handed things in life that aren't fair.  My brother passed away when he was three.  I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disease in 1982, lupus in 1996, and breast cancer in 2009. This isn't a pity party.  Each of us our dealt our own hand.  It is what we do with the cards that matters.

2.  Worrying solves nothing.

Worrying is such a time waster.  There are so many things you can do in the same amount of time as worrying, and in the end, you will have a painting, a knitted blanket, or a blog post.  Worrying never solved a problem, made your bank account flush, or brought your spouse home any earlier.

3.  Cats are a little bit of heaven.

Yes, I have two dogs that I love dearly.  But when it comes to out-and-out love, my cats have always been the ones to show it the best.  Heidi, Bustopher and Tugger, I miss you.

4.  Being nice costs nothing.

I don't have to go anywhere, or buy anything to be nice.  I can wave, smile, pen a note, send an email, or make a call.  I can choose the words I say.  I can choose to say nothing. When I chose to be mean, I feel small all day long.  I'd much rather do something kind, say something kind and feel good about it.

5.  Never burn any bridges.

You never know when you might need someone's help.  As a classroom teacher I have had former students take care of me at a hospital, wait on me at a restaurant, drive me to the airport and hire me for a job.  It is important to me that people know that I value their contributions to my life and I try to tell them as much as I can.

6.  Diets suck.

Ok, so this is a new learning for me, even though I have been on diets for 40 years and have lost probably 300 pounds, I always gain it back.  I am figuring it out, although so slowly that it may not ever come to pass.  A healthy lifestyle is where its at.  I am going to have to fake it until I make it or I might not ever make it.

7.  It is what it is.

I had a big disappointment centered around my family this year. My family has never disappointed me before and I did NOT know how to handle something like this.  I moped.  I cried.  I cursed.  Did the situation change? Not one little bit.  I cannot change people, how they feel, what they believe is important or how they behave.  What is important that I love them for who they are, not for who I thought they were or wanted them to be.

8.  Good friends are where it's at.

I have good friends.  I have been so lucky in this regard.  I am not always a great friend, letting long periods of time go inbetween calls or texts. But my friends hang on, knowing how I am and loving me all the same.  I had a scary episode last year with a cancer diagnosis of one of my friends.  It was during this time that I discovered how much I loved her.  Now we tell each other often.  And we meet as much as we can, even though there is now 100 miles between us.

9.  Good neighbors are a must in life.

Our life is too short to have bad neighbors.  My husband and I found our current neighborhood four years ago and sometimes feel overwhelmed at how blessed we were.  We found a neighborhood of people who think like us (mostly), love their homes, party together, feed each other, and look out for one another.  It is such a beautiful thing. I had this growing up but didn't value it like I do now.

10.  Finding joy in everyday living makes living joyful.

I constantly have to find joy where I can.  My blog is an outlet of joy for me.  When I share recipes, or experiences or family events, or Christmas, that is me finding my joy.  I know that I can experience physical pain when I am unhappy or sad. I try to avoid such feelings as much as possible. I've learned that I have to do it for myself.  I can't ask or rely on others to provide my joy, because it is always disappointing.  I'm still learning this one.  It's hard, isn't it?

And a bonus one:  You don't always have to be right.  I think that says it all.

So as I approach my 59th year of life, my 40th high school reunion, my 40th wedding anniversary and my 8th year of being cancer-free, I want to take these lessons I have learned and get a better grade.  I am challenging myself to refine these lessons even more.  I'm looking forward to what changes might be in store.



Happy 58th birthday, Terri.  

24 comments :

  1. This is a lovely reflective post - thank you for sharing and a VERY happy birthday to you!!!

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  2. I love this!! Maybe partly because I'm 58 too, but mostly because I can relate to almost every point! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  3. Happy Birthday! This is a beautiful post, filled with amazing wisdom!

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  4. I love the Worry solves nothing one. It is so true and I have to remind myself of that daily!

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  5. I love the one that diets suck because they totally do all of them, I've never found one I love!

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  6. Great thoughts! I hope you remain cancer- and worry-free!

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  7. This is all so true! It took me awhile in life to truly implement the "worrying solves nothing" When you finally get to the point where you accept that, and allow yourself to take positive actions things get so much easier! Love your list, very inspiring :)

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  8. Cats are amazing. Happy birthday! My kitty is the little light of my life and a serious snuggler. I love it!!! He's such a precious baby. :)

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  9. Congratulations on celebrating 8 years cancer free! The lessons you must have picked up from that journey alone are worth gold. I agree with all of the above and #7 is my life motto.

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  10. Happy birthday!!! I am into my 50s as well and can relate to most of these reflections. That "diet thing"...I finally learned to find the healthiest plan I can live with and stick to it. It's working! When I do jump off the wagon, I usually pay for it (by feeling physically ill), which reminds me of why I am doing what I'm doing and motivates me to get back on.

    I need to do better in the friendship department. I'm better at online friendships than maintaining irl relationships with close friends. Not a good thing.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Happy Birthday, to you!
    Congratulations on being cancer free for 8 years! I lost my mom to cancer when I was 16, and know how that journey goes. - Jeanine

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  12. I love all of these because they are all so true. Especially the one about good neighbors. We are blessed in the same way. I can never imagine moving because we are like family. Happy Birthday! Wishing you a wonderful 59th year!

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  13. This is a great list of lessons on your birthday! I hope you had a wonderful day, you deserve it! xo

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  14. This is an amazing list. I always am a firm believer on never burning bridges you never know when you need to cross over once day!

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  15. You are so right! I've been embroiled in a worrying sesh and it isn't doing me one bit of good. On to the next!

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  16. First of all, happy birthday!! And I fully agree with the one about neighbors...but I have yet to find that neighborhood!

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  17. Girl I am with you on diets. I have gained and lost over 300+ pounds over the years. I am realizing it takes small steps in changing how I eat to a healthy lifestyle.

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  18. Happy birthday! I hope that you enjoyed your very special day. You are absolutely right, worrying never helps anything at all and it only makes you feel worse.

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  19. Happy Birthday!!!! And congrats on being cancer free for 8 years! What great reflections!

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  20. Wendy Polisi6:47 AM

    These are great list on your birthday! Happy Birthday and I'm sure you had fun.

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  21. What a list!!! I realized too that worring does absolutely nothing!!! I always try to find a positive in every situation these days.... better than worrying about the things I cannot change

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  22. Happy belated birthday to you! Not always being right is hard for me. :) Congratulations on being cancer free!

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  23. Good friends are definitely where it's at. I've wasted so much time on people who wouldn't cross a puddle for me.

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  24. I am 58 also, and I find everyone of these to be so true! #7 speaks volumes to me, but I can totally relate to every single point you made. Such a great post!
    Thank you, Terri!

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