birthdays

One More Trip Around the Sun

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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Christmas Means Family Time

December has always been an awesome time of the year for me.  Its like it begins with Thanksgiving, followed by my sister’s birthday on the 7th, all the hustle and bustle leading up to Christmastime, the gathering of family on Christmas Day, then my birthday, and finally New Year’s Eve, thinking about all the year has brought to us and New Year’s Day, looking forward to the New Year and all that it might hold for us.

But I also know that this is a hard time of the year for a lot of people.  A lot of people I know have been through a very hard year.  They’ve lost jobs, they’ve suffered through ill health, and some people have lost family members this year.  So as I count my own blessings, I think about friends that may not be in the same frame of mind that I am.

A year ago a few people I knew I had lost their jobs or were struggling with the knowledge that their own job may not last too much longer.  But this year more and more people I know have lost their jobs.  They may be struggling this year trying to provide a Christmas for their family.

But I would like to take a moment and remind you that Christmas is more than just things.  Yes if you have small, school-age children in your home, I can see the necessity of providing some sort of present.  After all the Santa part of Christmas really is for children.  But as for adults or teen age children I think its important to remember that people are what matters most. Families and friends, and relationships.

In our family the youngest is 19 and Santa has been long gone for awhile.  In the past we have drawn names or had a Chinese Christmas party.  But this year we decided to fore go the gift exchange and just spend the day enjoying each others companionship.  We are fortunate that all of us have jobs, a roof over our head, and are generally in pretty good health.  But more importantly we have each other.  We can depend on each other.  We are there for each other.

So as Christmas day approaches and maybe you are wishing you could provide a little “more” for you family, just remember that Christmas really is about family.  If you have someone that loves you, all they really need is your time and attention.