I cried when I turned thirty-five… all day. I thought about where my life was compared to where I had thought it would be by that age and I was sorely disappointed. After all, I thought my life was at least half over.
Right now that seems incredibly silly. I know southern ladies are not supposed to tell their real age, but since I’ve never been one to try to impress other people with lies I rejoice in having reached my sixty-second birthday this week.
At this point my life still isn’t where I thought it would be, but I am far too blessed to wallow in the dreams that haven’t come true — yet. I am firmly convinced that my latter days will be more blessed than my former days.
The great thing about being this age is that I’ve stopped feeling like I have to impress anyone. I just am what I am. Take me or leave me. Love me or don’t. Be my friend or walk away. I’ve learned a few things over the years and one of the most important ones is to be true to myself and my personal faith in God. If trying to please God with my life is my guiding light, then other people can come and go in my life and I will not fall apart. I love people in general, try to believe the best in them, try to bless them, but I can’t force anyone to do that for me in return.
Here are some of the most important things I’ve embraced in sixty-two years.
Praying in advance when God can and will direct our paths is much better than making a mess and begging Him to clean it up afterwards.
I’ve learned to love the people who love me back and invest my time and energy in them instead of trying to win over the ones who don’t. Spend more time with parents, children, family and true friends than with strangers who will be forgotten in a year or two.
When depression comes knocking and the temptation is to look at all the things that are absent from my life, I make a mental list of the blessings I do have, start thanking God for those blessings, and depression can’t stick around.
Be still long enough to read good books, listen to good music, take long hot showers, and take time to be alone with myself and listen. Sometimes my heart speaks to me and sometimes God speaks to my heart in those quiet moments.
It is more important to be honest with God and myself than anyone else.
Learn something new every day and don’t’ be afraid to try new things.
Don’t let fear rule the decisions I make. People who do great things and accomplish much in this life are not the ones who let every single day be ruled by fear.
Meet new people. When a good door of opportunity opens, walk through it and let God enlarge my borders.
Forgive but don’t forget important lessons learned. Forgiveness is the best gift we give ourselves if we want to be free from past hurts.
Learn to make the most and do the best with what I’ve got until more comes. There’s no sense worrying about what I don’t have and can’t get. Pray instead of worry.
Bless people whenever possible. Speak blessings, be a blessing.
I am a work in progress. God isn’t through with me yet. He still has a plan for my life and a purpose. Together we are writing this chapter in my life’s story and I believe it will be full of good things, blessings, adventures, and opportunities.