happy birthday

My Birthday – A Gift for You

Today is my birthday and it marks the beginning of my 60th year here on earth. Some people think their 60th year starts on their 60th birthday, but think about it: Your first year didn’t begin when you turned one. So today, on my 59th birthday, I begin my sixth decade of life.

People might think someone with 60 years under their belt must have some wisdom. I’m not sure about that, but what I know I do have is 60 years of experience. Whether or not a person gains wisdom from their experience is not a matter of time; it’s a matter of the quality of experiences and that person’s inclination toward learning.

I know people—at times, I’ve been this person—who simply live through experiences without spending time to reflect and discover lessons. We have all encountered people who never seem to learn and keep making the same mistakes.

This year, I plan to become more introspective. It’s not that I haven’t been up to this point, but I’d like to deliberately spend time reflecting on my experiences and cull out the wisdom that can be gleaned. I’d like to begin by reflecting on the last year of my life. It was quite eventful.

  1. Despite aging, my eyesight is improving every year. This year, I was able to get purple contact lenses, something I’ve wanted since I first learned of them but was unable to get because of my astigmatism.
  2. This is an inalienable truth I continue to be reminded of: Grandchildren are the best thing in the world!
  3. Preparing yourself for your eventual death, an event you know is going to happen, just makes good sense.
  4. Sometimes the best friends you have are not the ones that look the most like you.
  5. There is only one race—the human race. People are the same in all my travels. They love, they hurt, they have dreams and accomplish goals.
  6. A loving, loyal, honest girlfriend is something I highly value and thankfully, I have many.
  7. I learned my 79-year-old mother has quite a sense of adventure. Who knew?
  8. Constancy is not something to be counted on, unless you are counting on the constancy of change.
  9. While most people are looking forward to retirement, I’m hoping to never retire. I love the work I do.
  10. Sometimes what you first perceive as a life preserver turns out to be an anchor, and what you originally saw as an anchor is actually a life preserver. Funny how that happens.
  11. Laughter is great medicine, so are healthy relationships.
  12. Being in good relationship with yourself is better than any other relationship because you are your own constant companion. You can’t say that about anyone else in the world.
  13. When you have wronged someone, apologize and do what you can to make restitution.
  14. When you have been falsely accused, know it says much more about the accuser than it does you, and stay your course to be the person you want to be.
  15. When you put someone on a pedestal, the only place they can go is down.
  16. Evil does exist and it can’t be fought with more evil. Love is the only worthy adversary for evil.
  17. Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with. You might as well accept what she doles out or relocate because there is no fighting or bargaining with her.
  18. Meeting with like-minded people is nourishment for the soul.
  19. Being still is the pathway to God.
  20. It’s during challenge and controversy when you learn who your true friends are.
  21. Grandchildren are the reward for the things all parents go through raising their own children.
  22. When you invest in your relationships, your relationships will invest in you.
  23. Money is not as important as experiences.
  24. When we stop expecting our parents to be perfect, we can see they are just regular people with flaws and strengths like everyone else and are worthy of love and forgiveness.
  25. No one can stop your dreams from coming to fruition except you. Never give up.

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