today I am 51!

I am 51 years young today. It was a Simple Saturday Birthday. What do I mean by that? Keep reading.

51 years is a long time to be alive. I have learned so much from this life I have lived. So, what have I learned?

1- I can be happy without having a ton of stuff or money. They say money can buy you happiness. It really is not true. Happiness is not an amount of money, it is a place in your heart where you are content and at peace. I grew up poor, and if I die poor I will be OK with that. Being poor is not easy, but it can teach some of the most blessed life lessons like appreciating everything you have.

2- I don’t need people to make me happy. I love people, and people are an addition to the beauty of life. My son got married last week, and today I helped him move into his new home. I should be sad. But, I am not. I feel blessed for the wonderful young man he has grown to be and for his new life. The people in my life surplus my life, but needing them is not so healthy of a way to be, especially if it were to make me dependent on them.

3- I can do anything I want, as long as I have the will. I am sure you have experienced naysayers in your life. They give you all the reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t do something. These people most likely may not be looking out for your best interest but rather for their own. If you want to do something bad enough, and it isn’t illegal, work towards doing it, even if it takes years to accomplish.

4- I don’t have to be thin, to be fit and beautiful. I think this is so important for all people to learn and not when you are 51.

5- I get more pleasure in life from being kind to animals and people through volunteering than even I imagined.

6- People can’t ruin my faith even when they try.

7- Work is awesome, but so over rated. Free time to do other things besides work is so important to having a joyous life. I have been a nurse for 33 years and while it is a job I have always loved, it is stressful, time consuming and can suck the life right out of you.

8- I can’t get back time I have wasted. I am a huge believer in not wasting time, but that doesn’t mean I have not squandered some things such as relationships, see number 7.

9- Being healthy encompasses so much more than what western medicine would have me believe. I am a whole person, not a diagnosis, a statistic or a bunch of numbers on a chart. I, and so do you, deserve to be treated as a whole person with complex issues, needs, desires and goals. I no longer accept doctors, physicians assistants or nurse practitioners who do not understand this. It took many years, a lot where I suffered in pain from being sick from something that never got diagnosed and no education to help me through it. Some of it was my stubbornness but some of it was the way the Health Care system works in this country. Say what you will about this system, and I am not being political, but this is a fact, insurance companies are not out to help you be healthier, maybe some, but rather to increase their profits. In the eyes of Health Care you are a diagnosis and how much that diagnosis can cost insurance companies, and reimburse doctors. Everyone needs to learn to advocate for themselves.

10- Last but not least I have learned that love, forgiveness, patience, failure, and perseverance are the things that will get you through life. They make you stronger, and teach you along the way. Remember it is through failing that you will grow. That is a hard lesson to learn, especially as a parent. Letting kids make their own mistakes, within reason of course, helps them to grow and become stronger. It is no different for whatever season of life I am in.


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