Yes, this year is nearly over. But I woke up this morning, looked at the old woman in the mirror and whispered “Happy birthday lady.” Somehow I have managed to make it to the age of 55. It seems like just yesterday I was 17. Apparently a lot of life happened between 17 and 55. I see it in the mirror, in the lines on my face. I feel it in my attitude. My personality is sort of like a roller coaster.

I wish I was more even tempered, but sadly I am not. I wish I could keep my opinion to myself, but sadly I can not. I wish I liked people in general, but sadly I do not. Even though I don’t like people in general, I find that I am a people pleaser. I guess I just don’t like confrontation. I’m sensitive to a change in tone when someone speaks to me.

But that’s not why I’m here today. I’m here today with the obligatory list of things I’ve learned in the last 55 years. I’ve reflected on these basic tenets and tweaked them into sort of list of New Year’s Resolutions. But mainly, things I need to remember or things I need to strive to be more aware of on my next trip around the sun.

  1. Be kind and thoughtful, but don’t be a doormat.

  2. Don’t be a gossip. If it isn’t kind or encouraging, zip your lip!

  3. Don’t put someone on the top of your list, when you aren’t even on theirs

  4. Return negativity with positivity

  5. When #4 doesn’t work, remove the cause of the negativity permanently.

  6. Rest your mind and body as needed. Your aren’t 20!

  7. Don’t be idle. Time is short and valuable. I’m 55, I have far less time than I thought

  8. Early to bed and early to rise is a good motto to live by

  9. Don’t be silent! Speak for others when they can’t speak for themselves

  10. I’m too old to be in a clique. I can only be myself.

I may need to come back to this list from time to time in the next year. After looking back over the list, some of them seem contradictory. Cutting someone out of your circle may not seem “kind”. But time is too short to allow others to bring you down.

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