Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fifty First Year Wisdom

It's my birthday Eve.  My last night of my fifty first year.  It's been a difficult and challenging one I'm ready to leave behind.  I learned some stuff though.  About life.  About myself.  I've made many friends.  I've let some go.  This is some of what I learned.

Don't add the salt to the big pot of water you are boiling for the pasta until after the water starts to boil.  The salt makes the water denser and takes longer to boil.


You could be rich, or beautiful, or smart, but if you don't have good health, you ain't got nothin.  Take good good care of you.  Get your annual physical.  Get your mammogram.  Exercise your body.  Eat lots of whole healthy foods.  Do everything you can to keep stress at a minimum.


If you are a woman, know your girls, your boobs.  Know how they look and feel and hang.  If you notice any changes at all, see your doctor.  Don't hesitate.


Despite some who say breast self exams are obsolete, I believe they are important having discovered my own cancer.


Educate yourself on the symptoms of breast cancer.  It's not always a lump.  Sometimes it is a slight change in appearance.  Sometimes it is a very itchy breast.


Take a multivitamin, Omega 3 AND don't forget the Vitamin D3.  Many people diagnosed with cancer have low levels of Vitamin D.


Stop banging and crying at the door that is closed.  It was not meant for you.  Head for the door that is open.

Spend as much time in nature as you can.  Walk in nature.  Sit in nature.  Schedule time quiet in nature.  Your soul needs this. 


Do what you love.  No more excuses.  Stop procrastinating.  Start today.


Show up for your life.  Show up for the people you love.  Sometimes this is just a quiet presence, or a bouquet cut from your garden, or a there, there now, when they cry.


Invest in and take charge of your own happiness.  Every day.  Start by knowing what makes you happy, and letting go of what makes you unhappy.  No one can do this for you.  Teach this to your children. 


Let go of what you've been holding on to that no longer works for you, whether it be things or relationships or bad habits or negative thinking.  Be willing to work on what is important to you.

Make your space your haven.  Surround yourself with beautiful things.  Get rid of what you don't love or need or use.  "The good is for today."  [Thank you Wagonwife Designs]


Exercise your body.  Walk.  Stretch.  Sweat.  Dance.  Your body and your mind will reward you and your health.


Get out of your head.  Get present and awake and deliberate in your life.


Journal.  Write down your thoughts and worries, doodles and stories, write a love letter to yourself.  Getting it out of your brain and onto the page will help quiet your mind and clear the space for your creativity.

Ask for help.  Let people help you when you need help.  Help someone who needs your help.

Don't hold back or put off saying things like "I love you.  You are important to me.  You can always count on me.  I'm sorry.  Thank you.  I forgive you."

Feelings are weather.  Get quiet.  Most of what you feel you don't need to act on.

Don't save hollandaise or lobster or chocolate for special occasions.  Don't save the good china for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Drink your orange juice out of a champagne flute and let your kids toast their Martinelli's out of a wine glass.  Do all this often.

Be the person you'd like your kids to be, and that is how to teach them.  Be the person your dog thinks you are.

You could be rich or beautiful or smart, but if you can't poop, you ain't got nothin.

Get off the computer, get off your phone.  Spend time with the people you love, who make you laugh, who inspire you, who validate you, who add value to your life.  If it hurts or bewilders or confuses, withholds or is frequently absent, let it go to give space to what nurtures you, inspires you and loves you.

Write more letters.  Handwritten.  Sent in the mail.  Don't just send thank you notes for things.  Send them when you feel thankful for something someone has done, like your doctor, or a nurse, or a teacher, or a friend.

Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.  Know when to shut up.

Sometimes great change and progress and growth requires chaos and suffering.  Sometimes your heart has to crack wide open for a seed of something new to grow.  Sometimes confusion is the path.

Pray.  Prayers are not for wishing or making deals with God.  Prayers are a conversation, a dialogue, so your heart can be opened to love, and you can learn to embrace things are they are.

Start where you are.  You are on the path.  Keep going.

Life is one lesson after another after another, and it's not so much what happens to us, it's our reply.  Let your reply be joyful, loving, grateful, kind, open and funny.

Things are not as important as relationships.  Money is not as important as gratefulness.  Success is not measured by a bank account or fame.  Success is every time you get knocked down, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and commit to trying again.

Enlightenment is not doing the same old thing over and over again expecting a different result.  The universe will continue to send you what you need to learn until you learn it.

I believe in Angels, furry ones too.

Cancer sucks.

You are allowed.  To grieve, to whine, to be angry.  Don't spend too much time there though.  You'll miss out on the good stuff happening all around you.

In case of emergency, break the glass, and drop an F bomb.

Let your laughter keep your tears company.

Bad happens. Good is on its way.

If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, do your homework and find yourself the best oncologist, general surgeon, and plastic surgeon you can, and who you feel connected to.  Receive your care close to home.  Contact the American Cancer Society, they have many programs to help you.  Surround yourself with your Sisters who have walked this path.  They will be your greatest resource and comfort.

Be yourself.

Fear is no match for Love.

Love.  Love.  Love.

4 comments:

masonmft said...

Happy Birthday. Many thanks and the letter is in my head begging to be let out. Mind like a steel trap has its downfalls.
Love You

Anonymous said...

Dear Sweet Lady ~

Happy, Happy Birthday! Enjoy and be happy, for you are loved more than you could ever know.

Hugs and Kisses xoxox

Julie said...

Happy Birthday Chicklet, I'm sorry
you are going through so much this
last year. You are a very special
woman and I hope your recovery is
not too unbearable. The light is
shining is at the end of your tunnel and you are so close so be
strong. I love you and miss you.
yulie

Wagonwife Designs said...

Happy Birthday dear friend!!!!
May the next year bring you peace, joy,fulfillment, and love. Your writing always makes me think, cry, grieve, smile,and laugh. I feel so blessed to read it each day.

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