Many of my aging friends are making list of the things they/ve learned in life. So, I thought I would give this effort a try. After all, having reached age 73, I should have formed some conclusions about what matters in this life. So, here goes.
1. Love is the most important thing. By this, I mean real love, unconditional love, not lust, not ownership, not romance.
The best thing you can do for anyone you love is let them go. Don’t try to micromanage their life. Don’t even offer a suggestion unless they indicate they would like to know what you think. Give them the freedom to learn from their own mistakes. I made a huge step forward when I realized that most of the time, I did not have an answer. I am not God.
I’ve been able to practice this notion a lot with my kids and grandkids. David is another matter. I always boss him around. However, he knows I am doing it for his own good.
2. Fairy godmothers are real. Several times since David and I married, we had a ‘windfall’ that allowed us to do something special. Usually, it was take a trip overseas. One time, a godmother in Idaho David never knew existed died and left him several thousand dollars. We blew it on a trip to Europe.
3. Live in the present moment. Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note. You hear this expression a lot, and its so true. Its difficult to do sometimes, especially for a planner like me. However, I enjoy planning, so in my ‘being in the moment’ moments, I plan. I also take time to appreciate my garden, but I am planning my 2016 look.
4. Everything wears out. Yesterday, the plumber finished his 3 days of repair work on the 40-year old copper pipes under our house that were leaking (why we need a sump pump), and presented us with a $4,000 bill. David tapped his savings to pay the bill. Thank goodness, we had put aside 10% of what we earned all those years ago when we were both working. I thought I might spend it on travel, or even leave something to my kids, but fate had other ideas. Given we have been experiencing $1,000 per quarter water bills, we should recoup the money in a year. To celebrate, we are watering the lawn this morning.
5. Water is very important, second only to love. Seth the horticulturalist from Merrifield I’ve worked with the past few years, came by this morning to assess our yard and discuss the work I will have his team do after Thanksgiving when everything is dormant. He looked at the front lawn and suggested we water it.
6. Everyone loves politics. Although many will deny they pay attention to politics, everyone does.
Last night (around 11 PM) I had to shoo the plumber out the front door. He wanted to discuss the ‘water wars’ out west and the Rebel flag.
This morning, Seth looked at my bumper sticker from 2008 and says “Are you supporting Hillary this year?” I told him, “David worked in her campaign last time, but we ended up voting for McCain. I don’t know what I am going to do. “I’m keeping my options open,” we agreed.
When I saw my Dermatologist last week, she told me she had found two melanomas on her blonde, blue-eyed, retired from the Navy, husband. “The sun in those places they served was brutal,” she said.
“Like John McCain” I said. “Did you know he was a prisoner in Vietnam, but was given amnesty and could have come home early, but did not? Yes, I responded, McCain is wonderful and “Trump is an idiot.”
7. Exercise won’t help you lose weight. The hard truth is that eating less will help you lose weight.
8. Dog is a human’s best friend. Dogs are often better than humans.
9. Two or more dogs is good. I don’t understand why you would have one dog if you can have more.
10. You will never know why you exist. We Americans live on an exceptional planet and in an exceptional country. Be grateful. When I see a photo of someone, say a Syrian Christian refugee struggling to stay alive in a hostile place, I am grateful. I’m happy was fortunate enough to be born in the West, and in best country in the world. Our Republic is wonderful. God Bless America.
Me with my first dog, Patsy, Texas 1944