What I have learned in forty years

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These past few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster as I embark on this milestone birthday. I am not used to looking back like this. But for whatever reason, this particular birthday is taking it’s toll. So many years of laughing, loving, working, crying, playing…… So, I thought that a great way to capture my first forty years would be to write a list (oh how I love lists) of all the things that I have learned and share it with you.
I have learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But, people will never forget how you made them feel.
I have learned that it is always best to press the break pedal while sneezing and reversing out of a single car garage.
I have learned that compassion brings people together
I have learned that as Jeanne Beker says “confidence is the best accessory”.
I have learned to dream big and believe in myself. I am learning to not be so hard on myself and that taking risks is the only way to achieve greatness
I have learned that the greatest lessons that I can teach my boys are to act with kindness and integrity
I have learned that the greatest thing my boys have taught me is the importance of chasing dreams
I have learned to never play football outside in the dead of winter (broken, dislocated fingers are almost a guarantee)
I have learned to always keep an open mind and more importantly an open heart
I have learned to always get things in writing. Unfortunately you can’t always take people for their word .

I will never understand why Colonel is spelt that way.

I have learned to treasure my friendships. My friends have inspired me, looked out for me and supported me and each one of them holds a special place in my heart
I have learned that laughter is the best medicine. Laughing releases a mountain of tension. It is a quick way to feel happy. It is contagious. Thank you to the three clowns that I live with for making me laugh each and every day.

I have learned that jealousy is neither subtle or kind. It is a waste of energy. Wishing to live in someone else’s shoes is not the solution. You never know where they have been or where they are going.
I have learned to say no. Thank goodness for email. It is so much easier to say no in writing than it is in person. Learning to focus on healthy boundaries makes life easier and much more enjoyable.
I have learned that being an adult can be fun when you are acting like a child. Thank you Andreas and Dimitri for bringing the child out in me. Thank you Bricie for inspiring my free spirit. You are one in a million.
I have learned that bad things do happen to good people and that sometimes you have to sink down to the depths of your own personal misery before you can soar. And that time heals all wounds…..regardless of how you feel right now. Thank you Mike for always being in my corner
I have learned that if you don’t ask, you will never know.
I have learned that by focusing on the negative, we carry around thinking patterns that no longer serve us or our dreams. Gotta rid yourself of those pesty negative thoughts
I have learned that the greatest opportunity we have in life is the process of discovering what we love to do and then dedicating our life accordingly. Thank you George for supporting me and encouraging me to fly
I have learned that a smile is one of the few contagious things you should spread
I have learned to stop trying to impress people by trying to be someone that I am not because in the end, you will end up losing yourself
I have learned that everyone has skeletons and personal demons they fight. You can’t let them stop you from being successful (thank you for teaching me that Diane). I have learned that our past influences who we are but that we are responsible for who we become
I am beginning to understand that even if I live to be 150 years old, that life will still be too short. What is most important is what you do with the time that you have
I have learned to forgive. Too much energy is wasted holding grudges
We can always change our perspective, but can’t necessarily change the situation. If you want something to happen you have to make it happen yourself. You can just wait and hope. As Yoda says “Don’t try. Do”
I have learned that true success has less to do with measuring up to an objective standard and more to do with working toward a larger ideal and a better world. You don’t have to live how others expect you to and how you define your “real job” is up to you.
I have learned about the power of music. It is mood lifting. It is comforting. It is energizing. Thank you Andrew for showing me the way. You are an inspiration
And finally I have learned that I am only human. I will make mistakes along the way. I am not perfect. Nor, do I aspire to be perfect. As I tell my sons, “perfect is boring”. Who wants to be perfect? We are meant to stand out. We are meant to be unique. We are not meant to blend into the crowd.
Here’s looking towards the next chapter of my life. There’s still so much to do…..

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