Half a century. That's how old I am. (At least for another week.)
How the hell did this happen?
I remember myself at six, at ten, at thirteen, at twenty-one. It's all right there in my head, like only a sliver of time has passed. I remember myself at age 22, when I first met the man who would become my husband two years later. I remember giving birth to my daughter at age 28 (which means she's now 22!) and going through delivery a second time for my son at age 34. It's all so clear. I remember all their firsts: steps, words, first day at school.
I remember specific days and nights, and it doesn't seem like I've survived more than fifty years of them. But, apparently, I have. Which means, I'm now at an age where I should be able to give sage advice to the younger generations. So what have I learned by reaching this milestone? Aside from spelling and how to solve math problems. What life lessons can I share with my kids (and anyone else who seeks my wisdom)?
Pull up a chair and listen up, my babies. Here are some of the most important things I've learned in my half century on this ride:
"Family" is made up of those who love you, who forgive your faults, who only want what's best for you, and who don't denigrate or diminish you so they can feel better about themselves. Blood has nothing to do with family; love is all that matters.
Dare to follow your dreams. The greatest tragedy is not if you try and fail; it's not trying at all.
Happily Ever After takes a lot of consideration, fighting, compromise, and stubbornness. But it can be achieved with hard work and it is soooo worth it.
Do what you love and love what you do. Happiness will follow.
Never trust someone who has no sense of humor. Laugh a lot. Out loud.
Life's too short. Give love freely. Surround yourself with others who do the same. Avoid those who are petty or make you feel small.
Above all: love, laugh, live.
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