Monday, April 24, 2017

Almost 62 in 62 Years

My 62nd birthday is this week and I thought it would be interesting to see if I could come up with 62 things I've learned throughout my life.  I didn't quite make it but I think I got a good smattering of how my life has been affected by the things I've been able to list.

1. I realize that life is better with a cat...or a dog.

2. I learned that peonies can be harmful to kitties who love to chew on plants. I had seen several bunches of beautiful peonies at Trader Joe's so I brought some home to enjoy. Missy spotted them on the counter, jumped up and nibbled the leaves. She was a very sick kitty for a few days.

3. I've learned that sometimes you can't dig yourself out of a hole by yourself.  You may need to have help from a therapist. There is nothing wrong with that!

4. The sun will come up in the morning.  By having faith in that I've leaned that when things appear rough, when you're in the middle of hard trials or sadness, with time you'll find that things have become less hard or that your sadness will also lessen. Just as the sun comes up after the darkness of night in time you'll be able to feel joy and peace once more.

5. Speaking of sun protect your face from the affects of the sun.  As much as the sun is wonderful it can be too much for the delicate skin on your face.  You rarely think of the sun doing damage while you're driving your car it is taking its toll on the areas of your face not protected by the front visor or coming through the side window.  Don't ask me how I now know that.

6. I've learned you aren't alone.  Somehow there is always someone placed in your life to help or lessen your load.  It may even be a stranger who offers a kind word or a smile, but they are there; angels sent just for you.

7. I learned how to make porcelain dolls.  That was over 30 years ago.  That skill is now lost.

8. I've learned that using moisturizer early in your life (early 20's) has its rewards.  Your skin will thank you for it when you're older.

9. I've learned that by focusing on the good things brings more good things to view.   Even when days are rough there is at least one good thing you can find, if you just look.  For instance, sitting in the E.R with My Mann the little blessing was the large chuck of time I had to read.  Large chunks of time to enjoy this simple pleasure is unheard of in my usual life.

10. I realize that I enjoy reading by the fire on a winter evening. It is refreshing to my soul.

11. I'm learning to trust in the Lord. This is really hard for control freaks like me.

12. I learned I get a little sad about going to bed on a good hair day.  I just know that when I wake up my curly hair has had a party all night long and has a mind of its own for the next day.

13. I'm still learning to take advantage of every experience that comes my way.  You never know how it will affect your life through the years.  How would I have known that learning to use the 10-key calculator by touch while working in my high school student store would benefit me in my job 30 years later?

14. I never wanted to be called a grandma. In my mind, that meant you were old, but I've learned that I should face facts. I AM getting old. Maybe, I don't mind being called grammy after all by my little Mann.

15. I learned that naps are good. Don't be afraid to take a quick little nap to give you a lift during the day.  The trick is to figure out what "quick" means for you.  I just wish my schedule allowed for them.

16. I learned that if you feel like you're going through Hell just keep walking.

17. I've discovered and learned my style in clothing (classic with a bit of girly-girl) and make-up (lots of moisture and make it simple).  Also, along this line, I've learned what colors make me look my best. For clothing, its the jewel tones and as much as I love yellow, for heaven's sake keep it away from my face. Knowing these things I find it a lot easier to shop.  I don't have to even think about the olive greens, oranges, yellows.  Even gray and brown can be passed by easily. 

18. I learned that there is a golden hour and it can be magical.

19. I've learned that curiosity never really killed the cat.  Curiosity only makes your life way more interesting than you could have imagined.

20. I've learned that you don't need a lot to be happy. For more than half my life it seems like life was about accumulating things. Much later I learned things just don't matter. In fact, things, if they aren't used or loved, have a tendency to cause stress and hinder joy. I wish this was something I learned earlier.

21. I learned to not let others define who I am. I am a daughter of our Heavenly Father who loves me and I love Him.

22. I learned at my mother's side that being out in the garden or yard breathes life back into one's soul. It's even better if you are doing something to tend that piece of land. I think Heavenly Father knew that we would do well to have this benefit in our lives and that is part of the reason He has us tilling and eating by the sweat of our face. 

23. I've recently learned that Garth Brooks is a pretty wise and humble human being. The more I listen to his new channel on Sirius the more I admire him.

24. I learned I love English horseback riding. Dressage and Hunt Seat work was teamwork with yourself and the horse. It was an amazing feeling to ride as one.

25. I learned that my son exceeds in the virtue of patience. I think he has the patience of Job.

26. I realize that my daughter would be a better mother than I have ever been. She is so much better at nurturing, showing love, and serving others than I have ever been. She teaches me so much.

27. I learned that my photography tends to focus on nature, sky, weather, seas, and architecture.

28. I learned that it is best to NOT purchase or bring anything into the house that I won't use frequently or really, really love.

29. I learned that I enjoy traveling and experiencing new sights.

29. Connected to the above I also learned that although I enjoy traveling I am a timid traveler. Not quite brave enough to do it on my own. I guess you can say I have learned my limits.

30. I've learned, finally, to be at ease with my curly hair after fighting with it for all but the last 3 year of my life.

31. I realize that I can tell instantly what clothing styles will look OK on my pear shaped body. This makes shopping for clothes fairly easy.

32. I've learned that I am more or less a creature of habit.

33. I've learned that the proverb "a stitch in time saves nine" is so true. The sooner you make a repair the less hassle or trouble it is than procrastinating the repair for

34. I have learned that I am loved and greatly blessed by my Father in Heaven.

35. I have learned how to care for orchids and get them to bloom year after year.

36. I learned how to hand quilt and machine quilt.

37. I learned how to applique.

38. I am continually learning that I have a choice. I choose how I let circumstances affect me. No one or nothing can make me do or feel a certain way. It is me who lets those things affect me. Long ago when I read this quote from Viktor E. Frankl I realized how true this is. He saw proof from his experience in the concentration camp "that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

39. I'm learning to be grateful.

40. I learned how to sew my own clothing. That's how I got new clothes as a teenager, but I don't do it now because it is less expensive to purchase them. Fabric and time are too costly now to make it worthwhile.

41. I learned that I don't care for milk chocolate. Give the dark!

42. I've learned how to navigate my way around technology even though I didn't grow up with it.

43. I realize how true the following quote from Mary Jean Irion is "Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless your before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare an perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so." I remember in my younger days wishing my life away always looking towards the future. I'm glad I learned this lesson fairly early. I'm am learning to enjoy each day and each moment.

44. I learned that if I'm feeling irritable, sad, forlorn, and un-motivated, all at the same time, for no apparent reasons I need to evaluate whether or not I've had enough sunshine. Lack of sun equals depression for me.

45. I've learned the truth of being non-judgmental and I'm working diligently at it. Although, I still find it difficult during my work commute.

46. I've learned about and done some art journaling.

47. I'm learning how to f'arapu, ami, and afata to name just a few Tahitian and hula dance steps as well as well as some of the Polynesian language.

48. I learned that the sea has a calming influence for me. The ebb and flow calms my soul and puts balance back into my life.

49. I've learned that we all want to be recognized. It does a body good to say "Hi" or smile to whoever crosses our path.

50. I've learned that what you do for, or do to someone will one day come around back to you.

51. I've learned how to tole paint back in the day when that was a popular thing to do.

52. I've learned that it is best to not eat anything after 8PM. But, darn it, sometimes I just gotta. 

53. I've learned that I am a lizard. I love it when the weather is hot. I am NOT a happy camper when the weather turns cold.

54. I've learned that I would rather have the gift of time with loved ones than anything else.

55. I've recently learned from a friend that manages avocado orchards that avocado trees don't like their roots sitting overnight in water. The trees "sleep" at night so there is no good in watering the trees in the evening. FYI: I don't like to sleep with my feet sitting in water either.

56. Last but not least I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.


  1. Well you almost made it to 62 things, and all of them are well thought out! There was an article in Bella Grace this past month similar. IT was listing the "birthday number" of things that you wanted to do in the next year ahead. I had 69 things that I wanted to do in the 69th year, and am already on my way to doing them. Have to be fast on accomplishments at this age. LOL! Lovely post and keep on learning!!

    1. Jeanne,
      That's amazing. Are you going to share your list once you've accomplish them? I love Bella Grace. Somehow I missed that issue.