Anne Lamott recently posted in advance of her birthday "every single thing" she knew.
I haven't lived as long as she has, and I'm sure I don't know as much as she does. But in keeping with my previous years of posting poems on my birthday, I thought I'd mix it up and write down some things I know. In no particular order. . .
1. When I find myself outside at night, I look up, count a few stars, and let myself feel wonderfully small.
2. I believe in the magic of hugs.
3. Happiness can come quietly, but it can come.
4. I'm not sure if friendship means more to me than anyone else, I just know that I've been blessed with caring friends that have made all the difference in my life.
5. I haven't given up expecting the best possible outcome. For life, for everything.
6. Neither the young or old stay that way for very long. I've learned (the hard way) to slow down and spend time with both in my life.
7. (Mini-rant) People need to stop buying murder--in movies, in TV, in books, in video games, and on and on. In some literature, we can learn from it. In most entertainment, we become desensitized to it. And I think we are beyond desensitized. The national appetite is growing unchecked, unbridled, and what will it take to fill it? What will it take to stop it? Can't we remember our humanity that we are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters?
8. I start making progress when I pray for the ability to forgive as much as I pray to be forgiven.
9. Every now and then I get the sense that marriage is even more grand and sacred than I can imagine.
10. (Mini-rant #2) What's the deal with stilettos? Just say no.
11. The soul is healed by being with children. (Okay Dostoevsky said this, not me, but I believe it.) Let me add here there may be curve on this one. As in: first child in your arms=healing, then all the hectic years=who knows what is happening to your heart, then the last child comes along and likes to give hugs and play "I spy"=healing again.
12. Social media: well I use it, so I can't exactly bash it but I am still a fan of eye contact, hand holding, and hugs, see #2.
13. Prayer and scriptures. They work.
14. Writing is thinking and thinking is living. So Writing=Living.
15. Kindness is the unassuming quality that changes lives and hearts in the economy of a smile, a soft answer, an unexpected visitor, a withheld "I told you so."
16. Read. Read for pleasure, for learning, for research, for adventure, for curiosity. But seriously, read.
17. Most of the people that have been examples to me--created in me a desire to do and be better--weren't trying for that at all.
18. Life is holding on and letting go, happiness is knowing when the right time is for each.
19. When all else fails, take a walk or take a bath or take a trip, as the situation allows.
Previous Birthday Poem Posts