So, I turned 45 the other day. That’s middle age, right? Once you are over the hill you just pick up speed, right?
Hey, I have no qualms about getting older. Plus I really don't want to live past 90. As I’ve said before, my mom once told me her 40’s were one of the best decades of her life and I thought she was crazy. But I can say that so far, it has been the best decade for me.
I don’t mean the best in terms of “all good things have happened”. Certainly not. But definitely the best as far as how much I’ve grown (middle age spread aside), what I’ve learned and what I realize I have left to learn.
It’s hard to describe, really, so maybe I’ll just list some things that I’ve come to realize now that I’m officially halfway through my 40’s. Such as:
1. I’ve never been an optimist, but I’ve gradually embraced this whole concept by renaming it as “Plan B”, as in “always have one.”
2. The high road may be harder, but like exercise, in the end it feels soooo good.
3. Sometimes it’s not what you say; it’s how you say it. This is true in work, with kids, family and friends. As they say in the restaurant business, “It’s all in the presentation.”
4. One of the best things to do when you are knee deep in your own troubles is to reach out to someone with their own. In the end, you’ll both feel blessed.
5. Although technology is grand, make sure your kids know how to write a thank-you note, make a phone call or spell without using abbreviations. And don’t feel bad about taking their electronic devices during dinner or when they go to bed.
6. Those that check out your groceries, take your money at the drive-thru and wait on you in restaurants are people, too. Treat them well.
7. Even if you rarely get angry, what you say when you are can have devastating repercussions. You don’t always have to vocalize what’s in your head.
8. I have less than 48 months before my child is in college.
9. People have capacities and they’re all different. Don’t expect someone to “meet you in the middle” – it may not be their middle.
10. No matter how crappy your day is, there’s always something to be thankful for.
11. Writing IS my thing.
12. Facebook is a great way to stay in touch, but nothing beats a phone call or a face-to-face visit.
13. You can punish your kids, but never withhold love and affection. They're usually "over it" waaaaay before you are anyway.
14. Cherish your parents because they truly love you more than anyone else in the entire world, no matter how bad of a teenager you were.
15. Sometimes, the right decision is the hardest decision you will ever have to make.
16. Strong may be the new skinny, but I still have to eat half as much and exercise twice as long to ward off the pitfalls of the middle-aged metabolism shutdown.
17. You’re not always right. But you’re not always wrong, either. The trick is to recognize when each of those occur.
18. Try to do something that challenges either your mind or your body every day. Every once in awhile, do something that scares you.
19. Love isn’t complicated; however, sometimes the logistics are.
20. God has a Plan. God has a Plan. God has a Plan.