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things I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older…

What I’m Learning About Myself as I Get Older

1. I’m happiest at home. I love to travel. I especially love to visit my children in their homes that are scattered as far as Orlando, Washington, DC and Los Angeles. I have been fortunate to have experienced the exotic locals of Australia, Bermuda, Singapore, Paris, London, Rome, Florence and Venice.  I’ve been to the Grand Canyon, the Canadian Rockies, the St Louis Arch, the Statue of Liberty, the Hearst Castle and hundreds of national and state parks across the United States. There are only 3 states I haven’t been to – Nebraska, North Dakota and Oregon. I don’t think I’ll make it to all three in one trip. But on every one of those journeys I’ve always been ready to go home.

2. I need time to myself. I’m not one of those people who are the life of the party, the center of attention or the star of the show. I’d be terribly uncomfortable in any of those roles. I prefer quieter times with a few friends at a time or the company of my husband and our two dogs. I need to be around people, but I need the solitude of my own thoughts just as much.

3. I prefer ordinary days. I get excited about Christmas and still love to dress up for Halloween. I am moved to tears every Holy Week and in awe of the miracle of Easter, but I thrive on the everyday surprises that unfold in the regular days of my life – the phone conversations that can only take place between old friends who really know one another, the thrill of finishing little projects around the house or making gifts for loved ones or the simple joy of creating a beautiful and delicious meal and having someone with whom to enjoy it.

4. I don’t count my blessings enough. All the things I’ve talked about so far are blessings that I cannot ever deserve. I try to tell the people in my life that I love them, but I’m not sure if my actions speak the same message. I’m entirely too critical of others and selfish with what I consistently think of as “my time.” I complain about little things too often and am too often so consumed with finishing tasks that I forget to enjoy the sheer beauty of a job well-done. I’m too goal-oriented and neglect the pleasure of the process. It’s in the journey that we grow, not just in the reaching of the destination.

5. I have a good life. I’m usually so busy trying to improve myself, to learn more, to accomplish more, to make myself more worthy in the eyes of God that I gloss over the fact that things are wonderful just the way they are. I could always be a better version of myself, but that will never change completely. Only in the next world will I have an opportunity to actually attain the perfection to which I aspire.

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