Becoming the best version of yourself

Lesson #45

“Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Whether you believe in a higher being or power, or not, life should be viewed as a gift.

You only have to be present at the birth of a new baby to understand the preciousness of each new life – it’s a beginning.

My life post divorce has been a gift.  When I started the journey, I would not have been able to say that.  I thought of it as a punishment and wondered what in the world I had done so awful that this was the outcome?

I have found a new voice in my head, and met many new and wonderfully strong women along the way.  I have found a voice through this blog, and a way to share feelings and receive validation of my own.

I’ve taken so many steps backward, but so many more forward – every day is progress, every day is a new beginning to be a better person.

Thank you for being my journey “gift” on the 45 Life Lessons.  I’m not going away, you’ll just not see me in your inbox every morning.   I look forward to exploring more of life’s gifts this year and even if they’re not tied up, all pretty and perfect, with a big frilly bow – I still look forward to receiving them.

May your journey be peaceful and full of love and adventure!  Blessings!


Lesson #44


My first thought with this word, or concept, was as it pertains to traffic and operating a motor vehicle.   I’m thinking I remember that we’re to yield to the right, or you yield to the car already in the intersection or a traffic circle, or the pedestrian in the crosswalk.  Slowing down to yield could save a life, or at the very least avoid a heavy repair bill.  But people don’t.

My second thought with this word was regarding certain political speeches where they “yield” the floor, but that doesn’t equate to agreeing to the other side’s point of view.   It’s politeness in politics.  (is that an oxymoron?)  But in most situations, people don’t.

My third thought was how it pertains to an argument or a fight.  To yield is, in essence, to give in or give up.  In our society, we’re built on competition and thrive on winning.  To yield would mean to lose – and that’s never looked upon favorably.  I don’t know many people who care to yield to a fight, once they’re in it.

In the equestrian world, there’s such a thing as a leg yield.  It’s simple, it’s just gently pressing against the side of your horse with the inside of your leg to get them to move over.  Once they do, you stop pressing.  They’ve done what you wanted, you reward them by taking the pressure off.

Maybe as this relates to a Life Lesson, it just means to take a step back.  Don’t be so unbending in your opinions.  Don’t be so blinded by your own that you can’t see the other side.  Maybe if you do, the pressure will stop?



Lesson #43

“If you don’t ask, you don’t get.”

Well, strictly speaking, I suppose that’s true.  Although I note it’s not saying that if you do ask you WILL get, right?

This is kind of like the lottery officials telling you that if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win.

A simple truth but on a broader scale, I don’t really know how this works.

I’ve been out of the workplace a long time; I hear it said all the time that you should ask for promotions and salary boosts.  That would be hard for me, I’m one of those that always hopes to be recognized and rewarded because of merit – I’ve earned it.  I shouldn’t have to ask for it.

The world is a busy place though, and sometimes you are not going to get noticed, or helped if you don’t call attention to your needs, your wants, your desires.

Next time I feel really strongly about something I want, maybe I’ll take this approach?  It will need to be reasonable however, because I’m thinking that asking for something like a winning football season next Fall might be too much to hope for.

Baby steps . . .

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Lesson #42

“Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.”

I’ve recently signed up to take a class about meditation.  Everyone I know that “does it”, swears by it.  I know they will tell me to focus on my breath.  I’ve tried before, without much success.

This time could be different!  But there is a reason when things happen that you hear people “sigh” – it’s taking a cleansing breath to settle what’s troubling you.

My mind is rarely calm, but I’m willing to try.  Let’s just hope I don’t hyperventilate, and the racket you hear isn’t me passing out!!

SIGH . . . . .

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Lesson #41

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.”

I will if you will!

Seriously, as I write this I’m sitting in my bathrobe still, with both dogs asleep on my feet.

How easy is it for us to “cancel”, to not show up, to live the day in our workout clothes (whether we actually work out or not)?   Too easy for me.   I need to quit asking myself the question, “Do I really have to?”

Yes I do!

Our mothers got up, dressed up and showed up.

OK – off to shower . . .

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Lesson #40

“The best is yet to come.”

It is what keeps me going!  I’m just curious enough to believe it, and want to see it!  : -)


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Lesson #39

“Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.”

I’ve been there, and sometimes I’m still there.  I believe it’s human nature that sometimes we look around and are envious of other’s possessions and/or achievements.

To have what they have, would I be willing to trade my life for their’s though?  No.

I’m blessed beyond compare, I have more than I ever thought I would.  It may not be the path I thought I would take, but I have satisfaction and gratitude for my life.

I like who I am, I’m a darned nice person.  Sometimes I fall prey to the “If only I had  the same _____  that so-and-so has . . . ”   Occasionally I feel sad for some of the things I’m most passionate about that I’ve had to walk away from for budgetary reasons.  Watching others still get to do it because they are married and can afford it.  Honestly, it stings.

But to make a list of my “haves” and my “have nots” – clearly I “have” and need to learn today’s lesson is part of the process of making myself whole again.  I promise to try to be more grateful and less envious, and know it’s part of a bigger plan.


Lesson #38

“Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.”

This can be figurative or literal.  I offer this as both.

Cleaning out our closets, cupboards, drawers, shelves, garages, cars – what a great feeling.  Taking it to those resale shops is repurposing; keeping it out of the trash and landfills – recycling something that you no longer want, need or use but someone else might want, need or use.

That’s my literal take on today’s life lesson.

My figurative take is that if there are thoughts or emotions swirling around in your brain that are not beautiful or joyful – GET RID OF THEM!!

They are bad, they are evil, they threaten your happiness and your inner peace.   They pull you down when what you should be doing is climbing up.

It’s like the junk mail in your computer’s inbox – hit the delete button because if it’s not useful, beautiful or joyful – you don’t need it, promise!

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Lesson #37

“Don’t audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.”

As I’ve said before, you don’t get a “do over” – this is it!

Your life isn’t something you should watch from the sidelines – you should be involved in it!

Every day you wake up is a new chance to make changes if you’re not happy about the direction your life is taking.

It doesn’t happen over night, it takes time, hard work and fortitude.  You may have to do things you don’t like to get to where you want to be.  The reward will be worth it.

I didn’t want my divorce, I didn’t want to be single at this age with the possibility of a future alone.  No one really wants to go through the challenges of life.

Now that I look back, I understand what the plan was.  I know why I’m here and I feel renewed purpose.  Yes there will be times on this blog that I’ll be upset and complain and whine and you’ll think I’ve taken steps backwards.  It’s just part of the journey; like making a wrong turn and the lady who lives in the dashboard of your car inside your GPS starts telling you where to make a legal U-turn!

Be the scriptwriter, the director and the lead actor in your life – no more sitting on the sidelines.


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Lesson #36

“If we threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.”

I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t cover it specifically again BUT I will take advantage of your attention to say that maybe we look at today’s lesson as a start of showing more empathy toward those with the problems we wouldn’t trade ours for?

Note I don’t say sympathy, because you can feel sorry for someone all day long and it does nothing to help alleviate the problems, or pain they’re going through.

I’m suggesting here that we all implore and show a little “empathy” to those people in our lives who are suffering.  Even, dare I say, that we start by showing more empathy toward total strangers?

Empathy is defined:

: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this

In other words, you don’t have to have gone through it, to understand it.  I’m the first to admit that there are times I seem to scoff at what other’s are whining about and wonder why on earth they can’t get through it and past it.  But till you’ve walked a mile in their shoes . . .

We seem to show less and less empathy these days as we bustle about in our busy lives.  One random act of kindness has been shown to multiply ten fold – and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time out of your busy day.

Open a door, offer a smile, carry a bag, say please and thank you, offer to run an errand, bake some cookies, give a listening ear, be kind with your words, give a hug, volunteer your time, be a point of light.

Be the best version of yourself – be AWESOME!!

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