To celebrate having reached the grand old age of 75, I would like to share some of my life’s lessons.
‘Being with you is like opening a can of springtime,’ is what my late husband often told me,’ and you can imagine how that made me feel.
I visited my 88-year-old mother with my five-year-old granddaughter, then, the three of us popped in to see one of my mother’s dear friends who recently celebrated her 96th birthday. My granddaughter sat very quietly while studying my mother’s friend. After a while, she climbed onto my knee and whispered; ‘That lady is very, very old. Can I ask her a question?’ ‘Sure you can,’ I replied. She approached my mother’s friend slowly then asked; “I want to know, I mean, did you start from one?”
Over the years, I discovered that crying with someone is far more healing than crying alone.
I learned that life isn’t fair but it can be good, so enjoy every moment you can.
I learned that it was a good idea to pay off my credit card every month and save for retirement starting from my very first paycheck.
I learned the hard way that I simply had to make peace with my past to stop it from screwing up my future.
I learned that it’s okay to let my children and grandchildren see me cry.
Unfortunately, I discovered that resistance to chocolate was futile.
I learned not to compare my life with that of others as I could not possibly know what their life’s journey was all about.
It’s a good idea to remember that your job will not take care of you when you are ill; family and friends will do that.
If a relationship has to be kept secret, get out of it now.
When you are feeling anxious, take a deep breath.
I learned to get rid of everything that was not useful.
I learned that it is never too late to be happy.
When it comes to going after what I love in life, I learned that it was a good idea not to take no for an answer.
I tended to keep my good things for when I had guests but have since learned to light the beautiful silver candles, use the good sheets and wear my best clothes, even when alone.
When I tried on a bathing suit, one of my granddaughters exclaimed in horror; “Grandma, are you going to let people see you in a B A T H I N G S U I T?” “Yes,’ I said and continued folding a beach towel to put into my beach bag. All the while she watched in horror.
I learned that I was in charge of my happiness and not anybody else.
I have become a bit eccentric instead of waiting until I am 90 to do so unusual things like ride a motorcycle.
I’ve learned to frame every disaster with ; ‘Will this really matter so much in five year’s time?’
I now try to forgive whenever I can.
I learned that it’s none of my business what others think of me. I can only do my best.
Yes, I now believe in miracles as they do occur occasionally.
I would like to share this with all young mothers. Your children only get one childhood so make the most of it. Spend as much time with them as you can, hug them and tell them as often as you can how much you love them.
Envy is a waste of time. I have learned to accept what I have and not yearn for the things I don’t really need.
No matter how you feel on any particular day, GET UP, DRESS UP AND SHOW UP! It works, you know.
Life isn’t always tied with a bow but life is still a wonderful gift.
What truly matters to me is that I am loved.
I want to share my late husband’s favorite prayer with you all:-
Please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.