Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My Best Advice...So Far: Part One

In less than six months, I will be 45 years old. As a rule, I’m not one to get all freaked out about age milestones. I’ve known people that will purposefully ensure some other major life event occurs at one of these milestones in order to distract them from reaching it. I’m not judging them; I just ain’t one of ‘em! Ok, so I DID quit my job and run off to Italy for six weeks about this time five years ago, but, it was NOT because 40 was looming. It’s a heck of a lot easier to say “40” in Italian than “39”, let me assure you!
I ended up passing my 40th birthday with a group of wonderful girlfriends later that year when I was back in California. It was a very special night out (although I rarely see any of them now; life moves on to its different stages for all of us).
So, in general, I tend to subscribe to the philosophy that birthdays should be embraced and celebrated; after all, it means one more year that you’ve “made it”; you’re still alive to see another year approach. Not that I always am pleased about the physical changes such years bring; who is? But, like just about anything else, if you’re smart enough, you adjust so that they don’t torture you, but, rather, you can enjoy the positive things about getting older.
Although I know enough to know I don’t know everything, I’ve certainly picked up on some things over the years. Many of these lessons have come from the proverbial school of hard knocks; some are bits of wisdom and advice I’ve been granted by family and friends. So, for you, my readers, this is what I’ve got to share with y’all.

Feel Your Emotions
“You have to have emptiness before it can be filled. You have to exhale before you can inhale.” (Tom Yeomans)
This is probably obvious, but, believe me; sometimes we don’t let ourselves REALLY feel what is going on in us, around us, to those we love. Yeah, it can hurt, but, the “good” stuff sure can bring some damn profound joy.

Hold Onto Those You Love…But Let Go Of Those Who Won’t Hold Back
“And remember my sentimental friend. A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” (from the movie The Wizard of Oz)
This was a tough one for me to learn but, there really are some people in our lives that, for whatever reason, choose not to be in our lives any longer. Imagine that. I’m not saying forget them, but, let them go. Focus your love and gratitude on those that are still there.

Laugh At Yourself…Never Lose Your Sense of Humor
"Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is." (Francis Bacon)
This one is REALLY important. A sound, hearty, tears to your eyes laugh can work wonders. Even better if you can laugh at yourself and hold onto that sense of humor. Plus, no one likes to be around someone who constantly feels sorry for themselves and takes themselves (and everything else) way too seriously.

Don’t Apologize For Who You Are
“If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.” (Anonymous)
Don’t get this confused with apologizing for something you’ve DONE. Of course, we all screw up from time to time; hurt people, do a bad thing. When this occurs, you must suck up and take responsibility for you actions. What I mean here is; at this point in your life, you are who you are. You’ve done some great things, you’ve done some stupid things, but, chances are, you’ve tried to do the right things most of the time. Have confidence in yourself.

Always Find Something To Challenge Yourself With
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” (Will Rogers)
This is probably up there in the “duh” category, but, as soon as you stop growing, you die.

Travel To Other Countries
“The voyage of discovery lies not in finding new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)
I personally believe that an individual can never really know themselves until they are put into situations that are completely foreign to them. Not only that, but, how can one emphasize with others who struggle in our own country for being foreign-born if they don’t ever see it from that perspective? There are so many lessons to learn from being in and functioning in a different country from one’s own.
Mrs. B


Mr. B said...

Not too surprised that you managed to find an appropriate quote from the Wizard of Oz.

I agree with all of your advice, which I guess isn't too surprising, is it? When's part two being published?

Mrs. B said...

Yeah...I love a good quote.
Not sure when I'll post the next bit of advice. Other than you, no one seemed terribly interested in my advice :-)