Monday, June 11, 2012

Life Lessons for my children and grandchildren

This was originally written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. I've added to a commented on her lessons.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month. (or better yet, don't have any!)

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. (or agree to not argue about it any longer)

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
(I don't agree with this one personally. It is OK to fear God and love God. Remember time is needed to see the BIG picture that God sees in your life.)

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
(And all the rest of them too.)

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 
(Chocolate is a vegetable, eat up.) (Amen)
11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. 
(Be open and honest with your spouse and/or parents, it'll be better in the long run)

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
(Unless it is when you are watching a chick flic, then it is just sissy.)

13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey
is all about
.  (AMEN!  Remember that plank in your own eye before dealing with the spec in your brother's eye.)

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it
. (AMEN!  Don't ruin your marriage thinking you can get away with a secret relationship. 1 it is a sin, 2 it is stupid, 3 grass is green on both sides of the fence, 4 our prayer is for no divorce in our family for 200 years.  That should encompass you and your children and their children.)  (We've even unfriended old "flames" on facebook & joined accounts ~ accountablility is key in a relationship ~ don't blow it!)
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God
never blinks.
(We have all lived this.  Remember it.)

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
(And slows you down to think.)

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is
up to you and no one else.
(You've all had a happy childhood, now onto adulthood.)

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for
an answer. 
(Again, not fully committed to this.  I will agree that this is good if we are talking about your career or artistic creation.)

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't
save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
(This one is cool.  I plan to use the special soap in every guest bath I use from now on.)

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
(This could be a moto for a mission trip. It goes with "BE FLEXIBLE".)

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
(Love your spouse!)

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
(But you need to share it with your parents.)

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?

27. Always choose life.
(AMEN! Preach it!) (Its not a choice ~ its a baby!)
28. Forgive everyone everything.
(This is so hard to do, but so necessary. See #3 and #8)

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
(How I wish I could be free of this in my life!)

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
(Been there, done that!)

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.
(You will know this when you see your children born.  I did.)

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. 
(This will be covered in another blog on Calvinism.)

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
(No one is promised a tomorrow.)

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
(Too close to home.)

37. Your children get only one childhood. 
(Let your children be children ~ don't sign up for every activity, every sport, or have every minute scheduled ~ make playdoh cookies, read books, watch the clouds blow by ~ visit their grandparents often!)

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
(Faith, Hope, and Love; the greatest of these is Love.)

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 
(all of creation screams the Miracles of God)

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up. 
(so true!)

44. Yield.
(See #16)

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

(I am adding to the list.)

46. Get up and go to church. Your best friend is there.

47. Read your Bible every time you can.  This is how God has chosen to speak to you.

48. Talk to your parents at least every week.  One of these days you won't be able to any longer.

49. Visit your grandparents.  Make them a part of your life now.  Imagine your children knowing and talking about your great-grandparents.

50. I you plan to spend more than $300, ALWAYS sleep on it.  ALWAYS get your spouse on board with your plan.  You don't want any financial fiascoes because you did not communicate.  It doesn't hurt to say a prayer about it either before you pull the trigger.  (That advise came from Wallace and has helped me alot.)

51. Do the right thing even if it is going to take 3 memos to get it approved afterwards.

52. Facebook is not a substitute for reality.

53. Old love interests don't need to be a part of your facebook friends after you are married.  No good comes from it.

54. Dating is not a good thing for your sons and daughters.  Courtship works.

55. Coffee is good.  Cigarettes are bad.  Alcohol should always be consumed in moderation.

56. Life is tough.  It is tougher if you are stupid.  Ask God for wisdom and knowledge.

57. Always keep a roll of ducttape and electrical tape handy.

58. Know where your hammer and screwdrivers are.  This is more important as your sons age.

59. A leaky faucet costs you money. Fix your problems without procrastination.

60. Spell check is needed when you communicate in writing.

61. Always wear gloves when you cut hot peppers.

62. When you have questions about your own salvation, read 1 John.  There are several tests in the text that will let you know.

63. Do your best, and caulk the rest.

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