Here I am on the eve of starting a new year of life.  I used to say that I was born to be older.  I was never one who was bothered to approach or celebrate “milestone birthdays.”  I thought it was great to turn 21, 30, 40, and even 50 was good.  Now that I am well into the 50’s I find myself not anticipating “older” as much as I used to.  

Don’t get me wrong, I do not have a wish to stop aging.  I am grateful for every day I wake up and have breath and strength to function.  In honor of this milestone I reach tomorrow, here are 5 1/2 lessons I’ve learned (or am still learning) in life:

1)  I am prone to say yes too often, and take on more than I realistically can accomplish and still stay sane.  “No” is an appropriate answer at times.  In fact, saying yes to something automatically means I am saying no to something else.  So I need to choose wisely.

2)  There really is pleasure in the “simple things” of life.  I found myself today just enjoying watching the birds play in our front yard and bushes.  Other sources of joy – changing color of leaves, the sound of rain, crashing waves, the smell of fresh cut grass, the variegated color of the mum sitting on my table and more . . . 

3)  It’s ok to ask for help.  That’s a significant part of healthy self care.  

4)   I am one blessed woman – to be part of my family of birth and my family by marriage, to do work that is in line with my passions, to have friends, to own a home that meets our needs, and most of all to be infinitely loved by God and to experience His love through my “Jr Shepherd” Jerry!

5)  Traveling adds a richness to life.  Meeting and seeing people from other communities and cultures (both in the US and around the world) brings a broader perspective and appreciation to life.  

5 1/2)  “Grace is a wonderful concept; I really hope it catches on some day.”  This is 5 1/2 for two reasons – it’s not my quote – it is one of Jerry’s.  And this is a lesson I surely have not fully learned yet but am a work in progress.  

So there you have it – certainly not all the lessons I’ve learned, or need to learn – but the ones I am thinking of tonight.  Would love to hear some of your life lessons!