However, now that it is here it is really not a big deal.
The world didn’t end, my body didn’t fall totally apart. The number itself is just that a number and it sure as hell beats the alternative – dead. So I have had a great day so far, by going for a 3.5 mile hike over at Messalonskee Stream Trail, with Mary and Bennie. Relaxing around the house and writing this post.
I have also been humbled by the number of happy birthday wishes from everyone today.
Someone asked me – What are the biggest things that have I learned in the last 55 years?
1. Don’t dwell on the past
- fondly recall the memories
- learn from our mistakes
- or be totally miserable about things that are over and done and can’t be changed
I have many great memories that I want to recall (one of the reasons why we take so many pictures), to help jog my memory about the good and bad times.
Unfortunately, because I am human I have made a lot of mistakes in my life, done things I am not all that proud of and hurt people as a result of things I have said or done, but I have learned from those mistakes and don’t plan to repeat them.
The one thing I cannot and will not do is live in the past, it is over and can not be changed, so I have to move on and be the best person I can be today. That means letting go of those mistakes I have made, looking forward to living the best that I can, but mostly enjoying the moment I am in as much as I can.
2. Be Happy
There is always that little voice inside of us, saying all the negative stuff and critical things that it knows about our self and there are far too many people who are so unhappy with their lives, that it seems their goal in life is to make others unhappy.
When you learn to have more self-confidence and that you don’t need negative people around you, suddenly things don’t always seem so difficult.
When we are younger, we all have these dreams of who we want to be and what we want to do. You remember, how we were going to change the world for it to be a better place! The idealism of our youth.
Often in the reality of our lives, we don’t achieve those dreams and we look upon our life as a failure, just because we didn’t achieve those dreams or change the world.
Sorry that to me is a bunch of bullshit.
Okay, I didn’t become an astronaut, professional basketball player, become obscenely wealthy, invent the next great whatever or earn an Olympic Medal in a running event – does this mean my life was a failure?
Of course not!
I have a modest, but fulfilling life doing things today, that I could only have dreamed of not so long ago, but it is much different than I would have thought it would be 10, 20, or 30 years ago.
It does mean that I have accepted a more realistic version of how my life has turned out, based on the choices I have made and have become happy with who I am now.
I may not be able to change the world, but I can work on a little piece of it and make a small difference to that piece.
3. Be Healthy
After several years of yo-yo weight gain/loss, inconsistently consistent workouts, stressful jobs that took a piece of my heart and soul to perform at the level I expect of myself, all exacted a pretty terrible toll on my health that culminated in last year’s very unhealthy version of me.
Weighing around 200 pounds last summer and all the assorted ailments that come along with being obese, made me decide to take charge of my own health.
This was something that I needed to do – instead of relying on others to suggest, recommend or “order” what I needed to do, what pills to take or how they expected me to look/feel/be, in order to be their version of healthy.
Once that decision was made it was a lot easier to decide to make healthier choices:
- You are what you eat – can’t say it any other way
- Getting my ass off the couch and get moving more – a lot more
- Who I want to be a part of my life – get rid of the negativity
- Live more simply – decided what do I really need to be happy and healthy in today’s world
As a result of my conscious decisions to make lifestyle changes, my physical and mental health are now better at 55 than they have ever been in my life and that to me is a major part of being happy.
The reality is that
I have learned after 55 years on this planet that there are no secrets or shortcuts to living a happy and healthy life. The truth is that it does take time, effort and knowing that you are responsible for your life, happiness and perspective – no one else, just that person looking back at you in the mirror.
Responsibility and Choices
Living is all about making choices in life and then taking responsibility for the choices we have made.
After all, my life – is my life, not someone else’s and I make the decisions about my life, based on the choices I have available to me, to do or not do things in my life, no one else.
I am thankful that I have a fantastic family, friends and opportunities to improve myself professionally. I am comfortable with who I have become and don’t rely upon the opinions of others to validate who I am.
Yes I have a good life and thank you everyone who has been a part of it to this point.
It took a long time to get to this point – 55 years as a matter of fact .