What I Have Learned to Value Most

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Time teaches us many things. I’ve learned that every season of life has new lessons to teach me. You never know it all and you’re never too old to learn new ones. I’ve learned lessons from my kids and my grandkids but the most important lessons I’ve learned have been from my folks.

  1. People Matter More than Things

Things are temporary — people are forever. Even the friends we no longer see on a regular basis have enriched our lives and made us better. Nice homes and cars are just that — nice, but they can’t comfort you when you’re broken and laugh with you when you’re happy. Things often just take up space and there will come a time to get rid of a lot of it. Friends and family you just don’t throw out with the bath water. And who could live a happy life without hugs and kisses? Affection is as necessary as air, water and food.

  1. Knowing Who I Came From is Important

Have you ever noticed how people who begin to study their family trees are usually older folks? When we’re younger, we think the older family members will always be there to tell us all those silly family stories and who our great-great granny and granddad were. Who cares where the first family member to come to America was from? Somewhere around the age of 50, after we lost a few of those dear souls, we begin to take stock in those who’ve come before. We begin to look at all the sacrifices they made that have trickled down to our own lives. We find out that some of our ancestors were really interesting. In my case, I learned Sequoia is one of my ancestors.

  1. Being Thankful is Truly the Key to Happiness

Getting older for me means I spend a lot more time being thankful for what I have rather than thinking about wanting something more. Small things bring just as much, if not more, joy than big things in life. Crawling into a warm bed especially when I’ve just changed the sheets is a real joy. Having real cream in my coffee each morning is better than expensive coffee from a specialty house. Can you believe they only serve half & half? Just being able to pay the bills each month brings me satisfaction. And I can honestly say I don’t care if I ever get a fancy car. I love my old pickup truck and it’s paid for.

  1. It’s More Important to Be a Good Listener than a Good Talker

Who really cares what someone has to say if they never really listen to you? Now that I’m close to 60 I have learned to slow down, look people in the eye and let them tell me what they want me to know. When I do this, I’m usually amazed at what I learn. Many times the most important information is said with their eyes and found between the sighs.

  1. Pretty and Thin are Good but Kind is Better

Whoever it was who wrote “don’t judge a book by its cover” I’m sure was an older person. Clothes and fancy hairdos can’t hold a candle to good character. I’d rather have conversations with homeless persons who have compassion and kindness in their hearts than rich persons who are more concerned about what they have and where they’re going.

  1. Home is a Haven Where I Like to Be

When I was younger, I just loved to go. It really didn’t matter where, I just liked going. Now I like home. It’s not fancy and could really use a good cleaning most of the time, but it’s where I can be me. I can wear what I want. Fix what I want to eat. Enjoy my animals and never have to flatter anyone. It’s where I watch the sunrise and set. It’s comfort at its best. Home is a really good thing.

  1. Faith is the Most Important Thing

This world is never going to be perfect and no matter how good our lives are, trouble is just around the corner. I’ve learned I need God and a belief that someday I’ll be in a better place. I want my children and grandchildren to have faith so they’ll never face anything alone. I’ve never known two happier people than my parents. They live their faith each and every day. Even in their 80s, they’re not afraid of the future. They know who they are and who they belong to. It is enough.

(This article was reviewed since it originally published in September, 2016.)

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