September 27, 2014
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! As my birthday month draws to a close, I feel more alive than ever. I am thankful that I am (altogether now) Highly Blessed and Divinely Favored. God has blessed me with much more than I have ever asked for or wanted. What a coup to make it to the half century mark. I will take wisdom over youth any day.
And speaking of wisdom, I have a list to finish. Yesterday, I posted the beginning of the Fifty Things I’ve Learned during my lifetime. Today, I am going to finish that list. Here, dear Readers, are the last 25 things I’ve learned through the years and how they have shaped me into the person I am today.
26. It is always best to show forgiveness and compassion toward an enemy or someone who has hurt you. I am merciful, even though it has, at times, come back to haunt me.
27. Unpredictable changes in mood often bring unpredictable changes in whether or not they stay. When I am moody, which is less now that before, people find it difficult to get close to me. Perhaps it is my exit strategy? Something to think about.
28. Take care and teach the next generation because they take care of and teach you. One of my strongest personality traits is that I am nurturing. People, animals, and plants thrive while under my care.
29. Take “The Road Less Traveled.” It is my nature to take the one less traveled by and to be a nonconformist. It has given me a lifetime of rewards.
30. Be tolerant of others and their ideas. I’ve never been afraid of ‘different’ thanks to my being open-minded. It cultivates acceptance.
31. See the glass as half-full. Always hated this saying until recently. Now, I am a true optimist. No one is more surprised than I.
32. Find your purpose and live it. For me, purpose is strongly linked to what I am passionate about. I live life with a passion that few have ever seen.
33. Live and act in such a way as to bring about peace. I am peace-loving. You may say I’m a dreamer…
34. “Victoria Regina, follow her lead.” One of my mentor teachers, Mrs. Smithson, would often tell me this. Queen Victoria was known as Victoria Regina. Regina is a feminine Latin name meaning ‘Queen”. Mrs. Smithson was telling me to possess queen-like qualities. I think my children would agree that I am benevolent.
35. Respect. I am respectful. I respect my Maker and His prophecies. And I respect Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants.
36. “Victoria Regina, follow her lead.” I have learned to act refined when necessary. Notice I wrote, “when necessary.” It’s a trait I need to incorporate more into my daily life.
37. Follow God’s rules. I try and I try and I always fall short. I am a sinner. Enough said.
38. Be heartfelt in your dealing with people. I am soulful by nature and by choice. I am sincere and emotional when needed.
39. Be honest. I am truthful, for the most part. Although I have been known to lie, it is not a habit I have ever owned.
40. Follow God’s rules. I don’t always. Temptress. That is all.
41. Never let ’em see you sweat. I am unflinching in the face of danger and in the face of my enemies.
42. Keep your life in balance. Given that the scales of justice represent Libra, this is the most ironic of all my traits. I am often unbalanced. I have managed to even out the scale considerably since my youth. Still have a way to go.
43. Overcome adversity. I have overcome more than some, less than others. I will leave this life victorious in my endeavors.
44. Think before you speak. Too many times I have ignored this sage advice. I have a venomous tongue that will surely lose me more than my friends if I do not heed this one.
45. Be book smart and street-smart. I used to be just one, now I’m both. I am indeed worldly.
46. Wisdom comes with age. Not always, but if you learn your lessons, it is the best you can hope for. I am wise through the grace of God and all the crosses I have had to bear.
47. Follow God’s rules. I don’t always. X-Rated. That is all.
48. No one can hear you if you scream. This has always been a tough one for me. I am a yeller. I have learned to control my rising anger better than in my youth. I only wish I had tempered my yelling as I was raising my children.
49. You are only as old as you feel. Surrounding myself with my students keeps me young-at-heart. It has been my saving grace these past five years. I will not get old before I die. Carpe diem!
50. Be enthusiastic in all you do. I am zealous in my pursuit of happiness, sometimes to the chagrin of others.
There is my list, dear Readers. I am far from perfect. But you know what? I like me, I really like me. And I haven’t always been able to say that. I have come a long way in my 50 years. However, to quote Robert Frost:
The woods are lovely, dark, and, deep.
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.