Today I turned 56 years old. We’re also celebrating our 36th wedding annivesary. I used not to celebrate my birthday becasue I believed that birthday celebrations were just for children. Then open heart surgery happened. I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve (2 leaflets instead of 3) that was only found when I was in my thirties after many dizzy spells I put down to the stress of work and having 2 children, one on the autism spectrum and a husband struggling with depression and unable at that time to support me emotionally.
After my surgery, and a long recovery, I realized that every day day I wake up is worth celebrating. I’ve kinda always been a glass half full grl anyway so that’s not a huge stretch for me. But this year, 56, is officially the same age as my dad was when lung cancer took his life. My mum, bless her soul was only 54 when she lost the love of her life. I try to imagine what she must have gone through, losing him so unexpectedly, he was diagnosed and 10 days later he died before they could even begin to treat him. My mum died 8 years later at the age of 62. My determination is to outlive both of them and so, every day I’m still here is a gift.
So with that said, I thought I would share my 5 biggest life lessons so far.
1. Life is what you make it. You can’t always have everything you want, but you can love everything you already have.
2. People are not always what they seem. If you want to realy know someone, look at what they do, NOT what they say.
3. We are ALL struggling to get through life in the best way we know how. Not everyone had the benefit of a nutrturing family. Have compassion even if you don’t understand.
4. You don’t have to set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. I heard this the other day and it really hit home. Listen to your inner wisdom and when it says, “enough”, trust it.
5. You can “help” too much. This one courtesy of my then, 14 year old, and very wise daughter. She clearly came with an innate wisdom all of her own.
I tell you all this, not to get your sympathy, but to inspire you to live every moment to the fullest.
What are your top 5 life lessons so far? Drop a comment below and let’s compare notes.