Since when did the year 1959 seem so far away? The calendar does not lie. Another year has come and gone, while the number attached to my age has moved up by one. My sixty-first year on the planet has been like none before. Government restrictions, brought about by a virus, have made life more challenging and different than it has ever been for so many of us. Self-quarantines, stay-at-home orders, business closures, facial coverings, social distancing, waiting in line to enter stores, loss of income, and so many other challenges during 2020 have affected my interpretation of the passage of time. As I look back, with nine plus months of restrictions so far, it seems that this year on the planet has lasted much more than a mere 365 days. Yet once again the calendar does not lie and on the 19th of this month I will be just one year older. With that fact in mind, I realize I am much closer to the exit than the entry of my time in mortality. A time of reflection. A time to ponder what to do with my future. A time to appreciate what I have been given. A time to look forward, strengthened by what lies in the rearview mirror.
I don’t really remember a birthday party held in my honor ever taking place…and I am perfectly fine with that. I’m okay with attending a party periodically, when it is permitted by the government, amongst family and loved ones, but never one in my honor. I have always felt comfortable in the shadows, never wanting to be in the lime light. My memory is filled with celebrations of the past for my birthday being with my beloved family…with whom I am most comfortable.
Birthdays for me have evolved from my youthful anticipation of birthday cake and a present or two, to a time to reflect and take inventory of what’s inside while looking toward how I can contribute to the happiness of others. With that in mind, I offer up some random thoughts of what I have learned since December 19, 1959.
*What you seek you will find. If you look for bad, you will find it. If you look for good, you will find it.
*Don’t spend too much time with trivial pursuits. Sometimes we can spend too much of our time involved with trivial things, while experiences with loved ones pass us by. The trivial will always be there, the truly precious will not. Children grow older and move away. That trivial pursuit will still be there once they have gone.
*Pursue your passion.
*Learn from the past. Live in the present. Prepare for the future.
*Take care of you.
*Don’t hesitate to say “I love you”.
*The only way to love is unconditionally.
*Be honest with yourself and others.
*Work hard…it doesn’t guarantee success, but it sure gives you a better chance.
*When time of need arises, time of preparation has passed.
*It is better to be over-prepared, than underprepared.
*Success is not awarded, it is earned.
*Prepare meals with leftovers in mind.
*Put the toilet seat down when you’re done.
*Open the door for someone.
*Be patiently demanding.
*Serve others…quietly. Service to others does not need to be announced.
*Act on the impression to do good.
*Give the good gift.
*The greatest gift is time.
*Take the time to truly listen.
*Always be willing to learn.
*There is not just one way of doing things.
*Be open to new ideas.
*Don’t get stuck in the past.
*Keep your priorities straight.
*Spend time with those you hold dear.
*Share with others.
*Share the load…it’s more effective that way and you’ll all be strengthened.
*Take time for yourself.
*Listen to the voice within.
*It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
*In life sometimes you have to pull and sometimes you have to push. Either way the journey is worth the effort.
*With driving it’s better to be safe than correct.
*Do it! Do it right! Do it now! Do it again!
*Family is first…and it can run deeper than blood lines.
*Spend time in the service of others…you’ll like where you find yourself.
*Life isn’t perfect and it isn’t meant to be…but it’s a ride worth experiencing.
*Strength comes through trials.
*Politeness goes much further than rudeness.
*If it’s truly important, you can find time for it.
*Always choose the right.
*Wherever you go, return with honor.
*You should never take more than you give.
*It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.
*Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
*Mistakes will be made…learn from them.
*Faith without works is dead.
So much life I have been blessed with and so many people I have to enjoy it with. The way I see it, when I cease to learn I will cease to exist. Here’s to more lessons ahead.
Besides, the more time I spend on the planet, the more time I have to further develop my…VIEW FROM THE SIDELINE…