This is my birthday week and I find myself being introspective about my life and the lessons I have learned along the way. It has taken me years to learn some of them. Some of them were learned through painful experiences. All of them are important. I am sharing these lessons with you today in the hope of you learning them sooner than I did.
1. Don’t wish your life away!
I couldn’t wait to be thirteen. My Mom said, “Don’t wish your life away.” Now, all these quick years later I understand the wisdom in that statement. Time goes fast!
2. I love Brussels sprouts!
I hated Brussels sprouts for over 50 years. The truth is I had never tried one. When I did, I fell in love and have been making up for lost time ever since. You can’t hate what you haven’t tried and you can’t judge what you haven’t lived. Let that statement simmer for a minute.
3. Don’t tell anyone you are on a diet!
If you need to make a life change like losing weight or changing jobs you may need a support group or career coach, but don’t tell anyone else. People will scrutinize every pound you lose (and gain), every job you apply for, and every rejection letter you receive. If they don’t know, when you have setbacks and disappointments, they won’t magnify your defeat. When you have good news to share let them celebrate the victory with you.
4. Know when to say NO and when to say YES!
After years of saying “Yes” to every request for my energy and time, I suffered a few stress-induced illnesses. I learned that I couldn’t do it all and I wasn’t Wonder Woman. I learned how to say, “No” when I needed to and “Yes” to myself.
5. Not everyone likes me!
What is not to like about me? I was the people-pleasing cocker spaniel that when I got kicked wanted to jump up and lick the face of the kicker to prove that I was sweet, kind, and deserving of love. The reality is – not everyone likes cocker spaniels. I learned to spend my time liking and loving the ones who do. Don’t waste your time trying to prove yourself to anyone.
6. Do What You Love!
Don’t waste a precious moment doing work you hate. Do what brings you joy. If you can’t do it full-time, do it as a hobby, but do what you love!
7. Know when to risk and know when to let go!
I owned Apple stock when it was $22 a share and sold it at $24. Big mistake! This is an example of doing this wrong. Knowing when to hold something and when to let it go is an intuitive skill that grows with listening to your inner voice when it tells you to run down the street after them yelling, “I love you!” or to turn and walk away as the sun sets and the credits roll.
8. Take care of yourself!
Being healthy matters. Take care of the body that carries your soul. Think about your health when you’re 28- don’t wait until you are 88.
9. Be quiet and listen.
Sit alone and in silence. Listen to your heart. Listen to the silence. You will be amazed at what you hear!
10. We are all one phone call away from our knees.
When the phone rings and the message of loss is delivered, you will be on your knees. With the aid of love and grace, we will stand back up stronger than before. Once this hard lesson has been learned your heart will expand with the love required to support others when they fall.
11. Learn to accept and adapt to change!
The happiest, healthiest people are the ones who can accept and adapt to change. The good and the bad.
12. How you define age is how you define your outlook on life.
Is age the number on your birthday cake? Are you old when your children grow up and leave the house? Did you feel old when you became a grandparent? Aging does bring quirky pains and irritating limitations that don’t seem quite fair. But it also brings lessons and wisdom. The ability to look forward with hope and optimism is the outlook I want in life – from whatever age I’m standing in now.
13. Be grateful and love your life- NO MATTER WHAT!
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Pennie's Life Lesson
Learn YOUR own lessons well. Happy Living.
Love and Blessings, Pennie
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