Saturday, November 29, 2008

Laundry List for Life

Written By Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.
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 rolls over to 90 in August, so here goes:

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

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

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

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11 Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

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.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

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

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

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

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time.

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

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

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

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.

44. Yield.

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

Okay now I have to admitte I love all of these, but have one that just really touches my heart, and it would be: #37 because I have 4 beautiful, healthy kids. They grow up so fast and we sometimes forget to take in every moment that we have with them. When they ask me to do something for them or with them and I am just not in the mood I rememer the story that my best friend shared with me that her mother had shared with her about her 4 year old brother who had never ask this of his mom before that night.
One night while Rusty was preparing for bed he ask his mom if she would stay and rock him to sleep, his mom told him, "Not tonight". The next day he was killed and along with all the grief of loosing a child came the thought of not spending the time to grant him his one last wish, which was to be cuddled and rocked to sleep by his mommy. She still to this day questions why he ask that of her on that nigh, did he know something, was God giveing her that last moment to spend alone with him, to love him and see him drift off to sleep in her arms. She has regretted no taking the time to swaddle him one last time and may live with it for the rest of her days. I do not want to regret anything with my children. Yes, there are over a hundred times that I have question my decsion or wished I would have handled it a different way, but I always try to remember this story and stop long enough to listen and love.

We are not promised tomorrow and today is almost over.

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