Happy Birthday To Me, Happy Birthday…

My birthday, one of my favorite days of the year, is fast approaching and since we’re supposed to get wiser as we get older, I thought it important to share some of the wisdom I’ve gained over the past 12 months/65.96 years.  I learned some wonderful new lessons, but I’ve also realized the value of the old tried and true ones, so here’s what I know:

Pandemics change everything. I now know I can stay in the house for days and never go outside except to check the mail. Before the pandemic, I loved to shop, and I was good at it. I could browse for hours, have lunch, and go home without buying a thing. Now, since I work from home and we’ve been doing church online, I think about all the clothes hanging in my closet untouched, and instead of shopping, I watch reruns of The Lone Ranger.

Every day is a gift, and we need to embrace and appreciate it for its rarity. Every time I turn around,  it’s Friday, or it’s autumn, or I’m another year older it seems. Whoever said time flies when you’re having fun needs to be reminded that time marches on, whether we have fun or not. Every day is an opportunity to touch someone, to make a difference, to matter, to live into God’s great plan. Good intentions are just that—good, and the plans you’re making for your golden years? Do them today, in case tomorrow doesn’t come.

Grandbabies are absolutely wonderful, but they grow up quickly. We have four grandchildren, and they are GRAND. I look at the little ones—young women now 14 and 15, and the big ones, now 25 and 30, and remember how we loved Chuck E. Cheese, weekend  visits, birthdays—all the hugs and love. I thank God for blessing us with them and I still say if you don’t have grandchildren of your own, borrow them because every child deserves a grand parent. And, if you hold your mouth right, you get great grands.

Listening carefully is almost as important as breathing. Having someone offer undivided and uninterrupted attention and support is life-giving, and if they can read between the lines and hear what wasn’t said, keep them close forever.

Refuse to live with regret and treasure once-in-a-lifetime moments. I try to live my life without regret and to not miss milestone anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions. I’m not always successful but the lesson today is to be all the places you really want to be, say what needs saying, mend what needs mending, and do what needs doing now because when you’re dead, you can’t take back hurtful words, offer forgiveness, or mend broken hearts, no matter how much you’d like to.

Finally, a good giggle beats more pills any day. I believe laughter may save my life. Please take your medicine as prescribed but sometimes we need a funny story, the happy laughter of children, and the friend whose laugh makes us laugh to remind us that tomorrow will be a better day and the sun’s going to shine again.

I decided long ago that I wouldn’t let other folks ruin my day or rain on my parade. That is still my daily goal. Sad and bad times come and there’s not much you can do about them so when joy comes along, snatch that lil rascal up and hold on for dear life. My friends, like choosing the road less traveled, it will make all the difference. Be blessed on my birthday and yours…

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.

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