Well, here it is, birthday number 52. It’s a wonderfully warm day in Charlotte, quite in contrast to what it was last week, when we had about 8 inches of snow on the ground!
This particular birthday is not necessarily a milestone, like 50, or something. I’ve learned so much in my life and wouldn’t trade any of my experiences at all. As far as I’m concerned, I have a perfect life, just as it should be, complete with challenges, struggles, disappointments, successes, happiness, sadness, etc, the whole range of experiences and emotions.
I’ve learned to laugh easily, forgive quickly, appreciate that EVERYTHING is temporary, both so-called good times and bad. I’ve also learned to not apply a label those times so quickly because there’s always something to learn and those ‘bad’ times are sometimes very good times. Knowing that everything is temporary helps me to get through those times that I may initially label as ‘bad’ and to appreciate those times, fully, that I deem as good.
I’ve learned not to hold onto much of anything, trying to resist change. Even with my blog, there have been times that I just have so much to say, other times, such as the last year or two, where I’ve not had much to say. These times pass.
The last year has been fantastic. I marvel, at times, at how I’m learning Spanish; still, at other times, I am discouraged when I think that I _should_ be learning it faster. For the most part, I’ve purged the word “should” from my vocabulary in reference to myself or anyone else. I’ve learned to temper my expectations of how I might expect others to act. They act as they act and I’m left with acceptance of that behavior or not. It’s lifted a huge weight off of my shoulder.
Being a gregarious person (Thanks for writing that word on my report card, Mrs. Kewly, my second grade teacher), I’ve met a number of interesting people and have plans to travel to other countries to meet them, in person, and speak in Spanish. I’ve pushed myself to overcome a number of fears, including actually speaking in Spanish to native speakers. What I feared, now I look forward to on an almost daily basis, via Skype. It’s been fun.
This year, I plan to visit Mexico again, Guatemala, and perhaps Peru, or Argentina, or Honduras thrown in. We will see. Another thing that I’ve learned is to make plans and laugh as they change, following the flow of the river, appreciating the view along the way!