Monday, December 26, 2011

And That's a Wrap Folks

I wonder when one finally makes it to ninety years old, if you know everything. Ninety years of living should be all the time you need. As long as we are here on this earth, I think we should be learning something. No matter our age, circumstance or fortune.

So as I was reminiscing on the year we are about to leave behind, I began to think about all the things I learned in 2011. And although I don't consider myself a person hard of learning, I have to admit, I came to some pretty eye opening realizations about myself.

I've learned:

1.  I cannot stop my children's hearts from being broken, no matter how hard I try.

2.  The success you have with the struggles you face in life, all depend on your attitude and heart being in the right place. I learned that from Patti Duffy and Penny Riley. Two of the most positive and strong women I know.

3.  Tragedy doesn't always happen to other people. Sometimes it destroys each and every side of the apartment your son lives in, five hours away, and never touches a hair on his body.

4.  My parents hit 70 and 71 years old this year. More and more I know I need to cherish every moment I am blessed to experience.

5.  My sixteen year old son reasons and thinks things through like a wise old man. And all jokes aside, he really has been here before.

6.  Family is the most important part of your life, but even family can become a disease that you must learn you cannot fix, treat, or cure. Just love.

7.  You only have one body. Turn a blind eye to your health if you want to, it will catch up with you, and sometimes, take you over.

8.  If you work really hard, and fight the big, bad monster as long as you can, you will survive and be able to enjoy the last half of the career that you love.

9.  The older you get, the more people there are who will need your prayers.

10. Everybody has dysfunction. A drunk uncle, a mean aunt, a crazy mother in law, and a low life brother. You are never alone in your troubles, yours may just be the only ones you know about.

11. People may never change their personal views about gay/heterosexuals, but step by step , slowly but surely, I have shown you they should not be prejudged by your beliefs, but by your personal knowledge.

12. I will base my own judgement and choices for a Hero, much more carefully and reservedly in the future. Joe Paterno and his team of non-fit associates taught me that lesson. No man is too big to fall.

13. All good things do not come to those who wait. But good people will always be better for the effort.

14. Never turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to what your children will or will not do. I have personally watched family's crumble from the realization that their children, really are, like most children. They are curious, they are growing, and they can succumb to pressure. All we can do is continue to pay attention and praise their strength and individuality and pray, they believe in themselves enough to listen. And be prepared to be there for them if they are not.

15. As my youngest child has hit his prime teenage years, I have watched and relived the angst of being a teenage girl or boy who is not part of the status quot. They are not a size 6 cheerleader, or a muscled football quarterback, but they are none less worthy and I try and tell one and all that I come in contact with, that they DO matter, and they ARE beautiful, and they ARE just as important.

16. I've had to call on God and our relationship a lot more than I ever have before. Thank goodness he understands me better than anyone else in the world so even my shorthand prayers are never hard to hear. 

17. And finally, that if I shut my mouth and close my eyes, I can listen with unbiased thoughts. And I will cherish the day, when I have learned to completely stop judging by what I see so that I make better decisions based on facts, not prejudice. With my eyes wide open. 

I'm sure I've learned a lot more than all of that, but those are the high points. And quite frankly,  more than I should still have to be learning at 48 years old. But I would rather my mind and my heart be open to change for the good, rather than stuck in the ways of my past. I'm looking forward to year 2012, to meeting new people who can teach me new things. With every new person I am fortunate enough to meet, there is opportunity within myself for improvement. All for the greater good.

Happy New Year to one and all. May you be happy with what you have, find whatever it is you're still looking for, and be satisfied either way it turns out. Love everybody you can as much as you know how, in as many ways as you can demonstrate. Apologize when the words out of your mouth are colder and harder than you meant, and back it up with a hug. Instead of writing a list of ten things you want to change, pick one, and make it happen. Work on number two next year. The goal is accomplished completion, not predestined disappointment. Good luck to you all. See you on the other side..the new side....the fresh side...of 2012.


  1. When you stop learning, you stop living. You merely exist like a bird in a cage. Ever wonder why know-it-alls are so miserable? I applaud your continued education! And aren't teenagers great teachers??

  2. sons have taught me more than I think I ever learned at home growing up...truly.