As another birthday comes and goes, it is always time for a look backwards, as well as forwards.
And I believe I have tried to fight the good fight.
Not put on too much weight.
Keep active, in both body and mind.
Try to contribute to society, be involved and connected.
And as I look forward, I also find myself looking back.
Remembering, reminiscing, being nostalgic even.
Thinking about decisions I made, choices I chose, fences I mended, bridges I burned.
And I must say, I have no regrets.
I have always felt that you only regret what you don’t do.
I admit I do have some pangs about some decisions that I wish I had done differently, now knowing the outcome.
But overall, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Knowing that where we are in life today is the result of each and every decision and choice made up until this point. And I am ecstatic.
I count my blessings each and every day, and especially just before I go to sleep at night.
Some people count sheep, I count my blessings.
One of the great lessons I have learned along the way is that you can’t live another person’s life for them, and you can’t make their decisions for them.
They were born into this world, and it is for them to decide their path and choose what they want to do with that gift.
And no matter how much you try to coerce and influence and offer suggetions as to how you think things should be done, and what you think they should be doing or not doing, it will always fall on deaf ears.
Because people will and need to follow their own journey. Not what you want or wish for them.
Another lesson I learned along the way is forgiveness.
It was the great Oprah who said that forgiveness is about accepting something that cannot ever be changed. Amen to that.
That puts everything into perspective, doesn’t it?
The fact that holding a grudge for some perceived wrongdoing only hurts the holder of that grudge.
Accepting that, and moving on, is the only real thing to do.
Forgiveness is freeing, for the soul and the mind.
To relieve that burden, that constant hatred or disdain, is the only way.
Another thing I have learned along the way is to let go of expectations.
Expecting someone to do this or do that only sets everyone up for failure.
Because not everyone knows that you have that expectation.
And even if they did, they may or may not be ready, willing and able to fulfil it for you. And that can lead to a lot of unhappiness on the part of everyone.
Expectations are a tough thing to let go of, but again, freeing once you do. I guess all we can do is hope for the best.
Another lesson from the past and goal for the future is to try not to worry too much.
There is a saying, “Don’t trouble trouble, until trouble troubles you.”
And no truer words have been spoken.
Yes we can fret and fray and wring our hands in worry of what might be.
But what also might not be.
I say worrying hastens the onset of wrinkles.
We can’t have that.
They will be here soon enough on their own.
Another goal that I promise to wrestle with is to “Just go With It.”
Like the charming rom-com movie, it is easier said than done.
I am a person that likes routine and structure and planning and things going to plan, so I can look forward to things, anticipate them and enjoy them.
But every now and then life throws us an “Audible,” as my hubby likes to call it; a football term for something that is not planned, a red herring, a wrench, etc.
So, there is nothing to do but to just go with it.
Take it in stride.
Try to appreciate it, this sudden surprise thing, whatever it may be.
Go with the flow, looking forward.
And there is the saying too, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”
Whatever the Universe deems for us, we have no control over anyway.
We can only choose to accept it, or not, and move on.
Looking back, I can hear the words of ol’ Frank Sinatra.
“Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention…and I did it Myyyyyyyyyyyyy Wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”
Looking forward, who knows how much time any of us have left.
I know there will be painful times ahead, as aging parents, siblings and pets will go their own way.
And yet I know there will be great times too, perhaps some travel, and some fun and laughter.
I will continue to count the blessings in each and every day, from when the sun comes up, to the little gifts in each moment, be they big or small.
And continue to fight the good fight.