so, what have you learned?

2010, the end of another decade..... what have you learned? will it help you in the coming years? or will you bog yourself down, once again, in the trivial?

i was born in 1962, an auspicious year. the world was changing-fast. and at the beginning of this decade, 17 july 2000, i choose to die.

1962 the year of the cuban missile crisis, with resulting embargo on imports from cuba, the u.n. passes a resolution condemning south africa's racist apartheid policies and the u.s. air force was investigating lasers to intercept missiles.

james meredith enrolled at ole miss. marily monroe was found dead, east german border guards shot peter fechter and left him to die on the berlin wall. k-mart, wal-mart opened their first stores, and the first u.s. rocket, ranger iv, lands on the moon.

the beatles record their first single, love me do, johnny carson debuts as the host of the tonight show, and the beverly hillbillies was on the telly .. with 90% of u.s. households owning a television set. the oral polio vaccine was given to millions of children, and the first use of silicon breast implants were used by houston surgeons .....

inventions were changing the world, the first telestar communication satellite was launched by the u.s.a... venus probe, the mariner 2, was the first planetary probe, and l.e.d. was being used for displays.

DJIA closed at 652... average income was $5,556, while a factory worker, with 3 dependents, was averaging a take home pay of $94.87/week. a new house averaged $12K, a car $3K, with eggs 32c/dozen and gas 28c/gallon.

and while all of that data is interesting, enlightening, and even amusing ....

what have i learned?

quite a bit, but not enough.... i've learned that the pursuit of happiness is exhausting... contentment is more fulfilling... true love is NOT the fluttery feeling in your stomach or your heart in your throat thinking of that certain someone .... it is standing firm in a commitment, it is being tolerant when you want to scream ... love is knowing that sometimes you give more ... and sometimes you take more .... and it's okay.

i've learned, i don't have to pursue perfection ... in mind nor body ... (my knees really wish i had learned that before becoming an aerobics instructor or running the bleachers for "fun", my shoulders wished i had learned that before pushing myself to climb a rope using only my arms) i just have to pursue improvement ... in small increments or huge bounds ... depending on my mood --- and sometimes -- improvement is going backwards ... improvement is remembering what it is to see wonder in this universe ... to look at life with fresh eyes, to see the mundane as a miracle ...that waking up each day -- is all that is required of me ... (learned that on 18 july 2000 but was unable to appreciate it until 2005 ... when i knew i had beaten my oxycontin addiction ... when i knew i was breathing because i wanted to, not because i promised tom i would)

i've learned that it doesn't matter if it's a small "white lie" or a big-ass-freakin' whopper of a lie, it's still a lie and will haunt me, sooner or later. i've learned that truth is easier to remember than a bunch of lies.... that an excuse is a human's way of explaining a fuck-up (learned this from my dogs, they never make excuses but show proper shame when reprimanded correctly) ... that if i live my life without excuses i seldom have to make an apology because i've thought thru my actions before i commit to the deed.

i've also learned that giving up is okay ... i cannot climb every mountain ... nor do i care to ... a bucket-list is a piece of crap, not worth the time to write it out... if you have to write down things you want to do before you die ... you've never lived to begin with so quit wasting time on what you want to do. for life really is too short ... i've learned that death is a Blessing, a Release., nothing to fear.

i've learned what i do in this plane of existence is worthwhile ... it is relevant, if for no other reason than for those i leave behind when i move on to the next level of existence.... and there is another place ... this i know ... i closed my eyes that day ... with the most wonderful peace i've ever felt, knowing i had made my peace with life, knowing that what i did was not wrong... knowing i was going to a better place ... a place of no pain, no sorrow ... and to be quite honest ... i was pissed when i woke up in the hospital ... pissed at the pain, pissed at the medical staff, pissed at my family, pissed at being brought back to this life... but that was a lesson that i needed to learn ... that there is more than what i see, that there is more to this existence than succeeding ... that living cannot be quantified (which blew my "logical" mind) i learned there is MORE.

i've learned that grandchildren are THE greatest gift from my Creator ... i see in them my past, the past of my loved ones, and i see the future ... despite what the naysayers and "end of time" people are saying ... the future is bright, as bright as the eyes of these precious children.

i've learned, there is so much more to learn ... life would be so boring if you and i thought alike ... that people are different for a reason, that we all can't agree, though each one of us may see the same event -- we each see our own truth ... but i can be tolerant -- just because you're wrong doesn't mean i can't be generous.

i've learned i can always find a reason to smile.. even if it's a smile because i'm breathing ...

day'umn i've been wordy today ... and it's not even 08:00... must get more coffee ...

happy new year ... may it be all you need to be content ... and may you find a reason to smile every day.