Yes folks, today is my 43rd birthday. Forty three years of living and learning and boy, have I learned a lot! Why is it that, once you get to this age, you wish that you knew most of this stuff when you were younger? It wasn't like I was incapable of learning it. I am sure my parents and grandparents trid to teach me many of these life lessons but, being young and knowing everything already, I didn't listen. Hubby says it's because in order for a lesson to be really learned, it needs to come with a little bit of suffering (or a whole lot, depending on how stubborn you are). He may be on to something. All the really good lessons I have learned have come to me through some kind of trial.
DON'T FOOLISHLY SPEND YOUR MONEY
This gem was learned over ten years ago when we almost lost everything we had worked so hard for. It has taken us all these years to start seeing the end of that VERY long tunnel. Lesson learned? We don't need STUFF! No vacation or grown up toy will ever satisfy us the way being debt free does. (or will do once we actually get there!)
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
Ahh yes, learn to keep my mouth shut. This is one I still struggle with today. I like to have the last word. My father used to tell me that the only time he ever thought about strangling me was when I wouldn't let something go. Of course, he never had a problem with me standing up for what I believed, it was all those other stupid things I would blurt out that showed just how ignorant I really was, like arguing that adults have it made and can do whatever they want and they are just being mean to their kids by making them do chores. I was an only child so lots of chores fell on me. Little did I know that mom and dad were teaching me how to live on my own. Yes, the good Lord is driving this point home with me on a daily basis for He gave me a son that is soooooo like me. I have never apologized to my parents as much as I have since he began talking.
NOBODY OWES ME ANYTHING
This is one that I did learn pretty early (thankfully). I see so many young people walking around with a huge chip on their shoulder because they are under the mistaken impression that they are owed something by the world. This one really gets under my skin because I have 2 step daughters that have all of a sudden begun thinking that we didn't do enough for them and that, even though they are full grown adults, we should still be supporting them. They don't think they should have to work because they have kids. Umm, hello, I had kids and worked. You gotta do what you gotta do and quit bellyaching about it! The twins are definitely being raised to know that they have to pull their weight and then some for the rest of their life.
EAT YOUR VEGETABLES AND GET OFF THE COUCH
Don't laugh. This is a very important lesson that way too many people don't know. I was an incredibly picky eater growing up. My parents never really pushed me to try new things and if I didn't want to eat something, I didn't. That set me up for one of the biggest obstacles that I have had to overcome in my adult life. Well, that I am currently overcoming. This world is changing and I don't think it is for the better. I think, in the next few years, our way of life will be changed drastically. There won't be any room for fussy eating so I better get used to eating (and liking) everything that I can grow myself and that hubby can shoot. Again, sweet Jesus blessed me with a son that used to be every bit as picky as me. "Used to be" because I am no where near as patient as my parents were with me and little man has to try whatever is on his plate and not eating veggies is non negotiable. He is MUCH better nowadays as he is almost 13 and consumes EVERYTHING in the house!
As for the exercise part, well that is still a work in progress. I DON'T sit in front of the tv at all, but I could move more. I am working on it while trying to get the youngin's involved.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS WORK ON MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
This was rarely talked about when I was growing up. I was raised Catholic (I'm now a Methodist) and my family went to church but I never really had a relationship with God. Sure, I believed in Him, knew about Jesus and what He did for me but we just never really talked about it. It was only last year that I read the entire Bible from cover to cover. Only a few years since I even CONSULTED a bible. Now, that is very sad to me. Hubs and I have made sure to really involve the kids in our relationship with God. We pray together every day, we try to do daily bible reading (I really need to improve this because it falls to the wayside more often than not) and we talk about God every single day. I want the kids to feel their relationship with the Lord is second nature, something they naturally work on every single day.
There are so many other life lessons that I have learned but those are the ones that have been the most important so far.
Before I leave, I have a cute little comment from a friend of mine. Last year, on her 42nd birthday, her mother called her and asked what she thought of being middle aged. My friend laughed and told her mom she was no where near middle aged yet. Her mom responded with this, "Honey, do you honestly think you'll live much past 84? You're middle aged, dear." Gotta love moms!!!!