For those of you new to my blog since June of last year, you can read it here: OLD HAG. I really hope you enjoy it and/or identify with it because I have to tell you that I’m happier in my 40s than I’ve ever been before and it’ll tell you exactly why.
As I don’t want to repeat what I said last year I’m going to list a few things that I’ve learned and a few things for which I am thankful.
Things for which I’m thankful:
I have a loving family who always makes me feel special
My husband kicks so much ass that it hurts my brain sometimes
I have wonderful blogging buddies that add so very much to my life
My 2nd toe is shorter than my big toe and that makes me very happy
I’ve added about 15 new teddy bears to the Sofa Teddy collection and I have fun with them all the time
Getting emails from people who’ve been helped by my sassy mouth–such a wonderful feeling
I’ve managed to stay a non-smoker for approximately 6 months, 13 days and 2 hours (not that I’m counting)
I’ve managed to only gain 8 pounds since I quit–really, that sucks, but it could have been 20, so I can’t complain
I’m healthier since meeting the hubby than I’ve ever been in my life and he loves me even if I’m covered in scars from head to toe
I still think that aging gracefully is a wonderful thing
Things I’ve learned:
I recently went back home for a visit (last week) and while I was there I saw two old friends who are so very dear to my heart. One I’ve known for 29 years. The other I’ve known for 22. Both of them have made such a great impact in my life–I wouldn’t be who I am today without either of them. One taught me what true friendship is. One taught me when to cut and run, how to heal and how to forgive. It was really quite emotional being back there, but I’m so thankful I went. Here’s what I’ve learned over the the last half of my life from knowing those two people:
Friendship doesn’t need to be constantly reminded of itself. True friends can go years without seeing one another and then fall back into place like only a day has passed in the meantime.
Friendship isn’t full of bullshit and fear. True friends love you enough to risk telling you when you are being a dumb ass and are loyal enough to hold your hand through the worst and best of times.
Bravery is a beautiful thing, even if it means facing something you worry will cause you great pain. There is something about just the facing of it that can give you such great relief.
Faithfulness and loyalty are the greatest gift you can give the one you love AND the greatest gift you can give yourself. Being able to look in the mirror in the morning and not shudder from disappointment in yourself is truly a blessing.
Separating your heart from your mind and saying, “Enough is enough” is a skill that I’m so very happy to have, even if it is a bitch to put into practice.
I have so much room in my heart for love that it astonishes me sometimes. Often I worry that I’m a little bit hard–things that make others cry often don’t really affect me. But I think that what it really is, is that I love those close to me so very deeply and completely that there isn’t a great deal of room left. That may sound bad, but I mean it in a good way. I love fully and with abandon. I don’t love with fear. I don’t love with regret. I love openly and I’m so very happy and thankful for that.
And finally, forgiveness is truly the most glorious of all human abilities. It may take 10 minutes or 20 years, but forgiving yourself for your own mistakes (be they intentional or not) and forgiving others who have harmed you (again, whether or not they intentionally harmed you) will not only make the world a bit brighter, but will reduce the ache of that pain at least down to a very tiny pin prick, if not remove it completely.
As you can see, these two old friends have helped me achieve the beautiful life I have now and I thank God every day that they not only came into my life, but that they stayed.
On an entirely different note: Did I go an entire post without using the word “fuck”? Holy crap!
Last but not least, here is a pic of my Mommy and me last week at the beach. I’m 5 days shy of being 43 in this pic and my mom is 74. We both embrace our age, though we also both still feel 22 (and often act it too!). I am most grateful that my mom is not only still around, but that she is for the most part happy and healthy. She is a true gift from God and I’m forever thankful to have her.
First and foremost, I hope all of you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving. While family can sometimes make us wanna go sit in the garage with the door closed and the car running, I hope that none of you have that feeling today. May all of your friends and family take their happy pills so that everyone has a delightful day.
I think this was 1979. Check out that wallpaper! Mmmm…yummies!
Now, on to my list of blessings for which I truly am grateful.
I am blessed to have the world’s most amazing mom. At almost 74 she is still peppy and fun and healthy and sweet. May she live another 50 years.
I am blessed to have a wonderful sister. We may have pulled each others hair more than once while growing up, but we’ve always been there for one another through the years and I’m so very thankful to have her as not only my sister, but as my friend.
I am blessed to have my aunt still with us even though she has been fighting stage 4 cancer for the last year. Her courage is simply amazing and God has blessed her with more time than we ever could have hoped for.
I am blessed to have married the most wonderful man on earth. He is kind every day. He shows his love for me every day. He is encouraging, supportive, thoughtful, has amazing biceps and a smile that lights the world.
I am blessed to have 2 awesome kitties (one of whom is licking my arm right now), 2 precious chickens and an old ass hamster that is somehow still amongst the living.
I am blessed to have survived many a physical challenge and am still around to annoy and pester people on a regular basis.
I am blessed to have been raised in a way that gives me peace every day of my life. Thank you, Mom, for helping me see how wonderful God is (I know–shocking coming from someone with a potty mouth like me!).
I am blessed to have been raised to be strong, independent, kind, smart-assed (Mom does NOT want to take credit for that last one!) and cheerful.
I am blessed to have friends that put up with me. I hibernate often and hate the phone more than chicken pox, and my true friends understand that my hibernation does not spring from a lack of love. I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
I am blessed that God gave me a brain with which to think, a voice with which to speak and fingers that can fly over a keyboard with only a few typos per minute.
I am blessed that I have a day job which allows me to help kids become better readers and understand math in a way that I never did. A little giving back is a good thing.
I am blessed to have a life that is more satisfying and wonderful and deliriously happy than I ever thought possible.
Beyond all of that, there are just a few other things for which I’m thankful.
I am thankful that I have cute toes and don’t have some giant piggy-that-stayed-home finger-length-toe that is an inch longer than my big toe.
I am thankful that I have a billion teddy bears that my hubby loves and makes sing and dance and talk (and hump sometimes–it’s gross but funny as hell).
I am thankful that I have almost no hair on my legs–man, shaving those suckers always sucked. Now it’s not really an issue. Whew!
I am thankful that my hubby lets me decorate the house. If I had to argue about what to buy every time I wanted to buy something, I’d pull my hair out and/or kill him with a hammer.
I am thankful that my books are doing so well (you guys have helped with that tremendously and I love you for it!!!).
I am thankful for all of our outdoor kitties that have adopted us. I love all of them: Extra cat, Little gray kitty, Vest kitty, Mittens kitty…
I am thankful that my friend Brenda introduced me to the “F” word when I was in 4th grade. I simply love that word, as you all well know!
Last but not least, I am thankful for all of my wonderful blogging buddies. You guys always bring me such joy and your comments and support and sweetness mean so much to me. Tons of love to all of you and may your lives be blessed every day and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season.
PS: For those of you who read my sweet potato blog, the foil container in front of the cans of soda contains the Salmonella turkey leg that just about killed us all. We just tried to cook a leg, not even a whole turkey, and about died. Oh, and we were, well…ummm…not of sound mind while cooking (as you can tell by my very screwed up looking face) so it’s no wonder food poisoning was also on the menu!
Yep, I’m a little “goofy” in this pic. Where are my eyes?? Shockingly, I used to be quite naughty.