44 Things I Learned
What does the number 44 mean to You? Anything? On March 25th, i turned 44. Or as my kids remind me: 6 years from the big 5-0. Oh No?!…NO! save the Happy Birthdays, PLEASE!:)…i don’t celebrate the day of my birth. You’re thinking?…What’s up with that?? Yeah, this chick…ummm excuse me, “mature” woman is strange. (Please check out at the bottom of this post for more on birthdays.)
Here’s what’s up: i’m THRILLED to be alive. Life is a sacred gift. THANKFUL to my parents. Each breath, each day, each “bd” is an undeserved kindness. However, it won’t be until after i take my last breath will anyone truly/accurately know what the label/description my parents gave me: Joan Winifred…means: My name, my personality, my life’s course, my life’s work. Will my pattern of living/life demonstrate love, compassion, wisdom, justice?? The label “Winifred” means “peaceful friend”…is that what i will prove to be?? Depending on my choices and depending on what my friends think (IF i have any by then). The label “Joan” which is a Hebrew name means (according to stuff i’ve read) God is gracious or Yahweh is merciful or gift from God. Joan is sometimes considered the female version of the name John. What is your name? What does it mean? Do you like your name?
Growing up had nicknames: “ugly” and “joanie boney–skinny like a stick of macaroni”-lol aka “boney” for short..laughing out loud as i write this:)…not upset by this at all…NOT condoning name-calling, etc…it was in fun among those who i knew loved me that would tease me i.e. relatives, etc…i think it’s kinda healthy to be able to laugh at yourself! These nicknames were NOT used maliciously…well, not by everyone, who used them…and figured (as a kid) IF i was truly that hideous/repulsive looking people probably would feel bad for me & nobody would have the guts to tell me straight to my face…or atleast, i hoped!:) (Actually, “boney” became an odd term of affection…still used.) Though, i understand all too well that people use “skinny” like they do fat. And i’ve definitely been an object of hatred/persecuted by some for a lot of reasons…including my size/outer appearance/belief system. (i’ve learned the meaning of the word “different” and what it means to be treated differently/strangely because your different/strange. Maybe, that’s partly why i’m so into compassion.) Did you grow up being treated differently? Do you like or use nicknames?
My parents instilled healthy (not inflated or deflated) esteem in me & emphasized the “inner” person and personality/positive qualities more than outer….good thing, huh?…From my experience, if you’re different or different looking…an extreme of sorts: too many freckles, too skinny, too anything…others can’t help but notice…and may be comment. It kinda draws unwanted attention! Personally, i’m not into outer appearances, i’m into inner stuff. i hate being judged by looks, physique, superficial stuff, social status, freckles. For the record, not all skinny girls have eating disorders nor aspire to walk the runway nor obsess with looking healthy/good nor counting calories. And we do eat!:) Cannot tell you how many times i’ve been asked/accused of having an eating disorder throughout my life (even now) or have been among people who are always trying to feed me or fatten me up…lol:) (i eat when/if i’m hungry. i don’t live to eat…i eat to live.) Just like there are stereotypes and/or prejudices against many people/things…you can include skinny and fat in that as well. Discussed this issue with another so-called “skinny” person and she has mentioned not-so-nice treatment: people thinking/commenting something is wrong with her cause of her size. As well as people pushing food on her constantly. Have you been treated not-so-nicely because of being either skinny or not?
Just cause a man is a muscle man…doesn’t make him inwardly strong. Just because a woman is thin…doesn’t make her inwardly weak. SORRY! to ramble…learned these past 44 years that some nicknames are really terms of affection and don’t judge ANY book/(person)…by its size, cover or title/name i.e. the “so-called” good, the bad, the ugly -or the skinny lol:)
44 things (or may be more) learned about myself and other stuff in random order:
1. Life has its ebbs and flows. Highs and lows and learn to surf the “temporary” wave without hurting yourself or anyone else.
2. Be content with what you have and don’t complain over your lot in life. LIFE is PRIVILEGE. For some context: Partners in Wellness: RESOLVE To Never Give Up
3. Life is work. Work is life. APPRECIATE WORK! Put forth your best effort in your work!:)
4. Say what you mean. Mean what you say aka “Let your Yes mean Yes and Your No, no!” For some context see: 1313
5. LOVE and its expression(s) is the greatest gift!
6. There is a “True” Designer/Creator/Yahweh of this Beautiful Planet/Universe just like there are “false” gods (i.e. money, belly, so-called saints and/or celebrities.) People make whatever they want their god or object of worship including themselves. If i’m in AWE of Breathing-Fragile-Life/Nature…our entire planet and universe/organization…why not be in Awe of the Designer/Organizer?? Humility/Logic tells me IF i can acknowledge so-called lower life forms are in existence i.e. bugs, worms aka life with other skill sets different than man and quality of life different than man…on the other end of the spectrum why not acknowledge so-called higher life forms with superior skill sets different than man and quality of life different than man i.e. Divine/Creator?? For context see: Significant Sky–Insignificant i
7. Hunger exists: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. For context see: Mmm, mmm GOOD–a Cup of Comfort Soup!
8. Eat in moderation and don’t over-consume…Don’t take what is NOT yours. Choose your food…physical/spiritual VERY carefully.
9. Less is really more…more time, more energy, more freedom. More freedom more responsibility.
10. Laugh at yourself. Laugh with others.
11. i cannot read minds nor should i judge people’s actions.
12. Look and see the Positives. For context:Migraine Monday? Manic Monday? or MARVELOUS Monday?
13. On the surface, what appears negative could be positive and what may initially appear positive could be negative.
14. Investigate everything. Don’t be a blind believer. Be an AWAKE accepter. Take time to build a weather/fire-resistant belief system based on evidence and truth. For context see: Go to the…Source!
16. The Bible/Ancient writings are practical and applicable for modern living.
17. Selfish man/woman ruin this beautiful planet. For context see: The Ecosystems of Breathing-Fragile-Life
19. i am very fragile and do need others and i don’t like to admit it. i am not infallible nor indestructible. i am mortal….for now -lol:) For context see: I Need You: Accepting and Giving “HELP!” as a Caregiver and Partner
20. i am stubborn in my opinions and at times/less than willing to admit/think…i’m a know it all with some things.
21. i don’t like to delegate much. i rather do it all myself so, it gets done right….my description of right.
22. i hate injustice and avoidable suffering based on stupid/poor choices. For some context see: Wildlife Wellness: Harmony between Species
23. i talk too much. For context: Read every post i’ve ever written including this one!- lol:) One Key to Happier Communication
24. i worry too much. For context: Read every post i’ve ever written!
25. i make a lot of lame/goofy jokes that only i find funny. (If you follow my writing, you are well-aware of this already.)
26. i’m not a people pleaser.
27. i talk back….too much.
28. i balk certain authority as well as popular opinion. i’m politically neutral. Every form of government employed by man through the centuries down to the present…epic failure when it comes to bringing compassion to everyone/All Breathing-Fragile-Life on the planet. (Reality is: Even when somebody “good” or “well-intentioned” is in power, they either die or get assassinated.) Why?? should i give my support/power aka vote over to some man/government…that could or would eventually abuse power and most likely kill someone/something. No matter how well-intentioned, qualified or likable personality…power tends to corrupt and often does. i strive to be a good citizen, i.e. pay my taxes and respect the laws of land in which i live. Personally, i don’t want any blood on my hands if i can help it…i stay out of politics by not supporting candidates who often say/do one thing out of office and then quite another thing in office. For context see: Sovereignty Soup: A World Kitchen Sprinkling Seeds… No Excuses – Empathy Needed
30. LOVE green and blue and purple is nice, too reminds me of lilacs…and red/orange. i would describe yellow as happy.
31. i’m emotionally too sensitive, but try hard to let logic rule.
32. Will NEVER call a priest: “father” nor will ever be a Catholic and will NEVER enter a confessional. i will NEVER be a Protestant either. Neither would i support any group/organization/business and/or religion that supports War or any abuse of Breathing-Fragile-life or is destroying lives and/or our beautiful planet. In this instance..i mean it when i say never! (May write further on this topic, but for some context see: Sprinkling Seeds… What’s Holding Your mind? What’s Holding Your heart?
33. i respect others’ choices though may not agree or understand them fully. For context see: Boyle, Sagan: Scientific and Spiritual “Understanding” of Life Interdependency Part 3
34. LOVE poetry & poets!..hope to be 1 someday…Sparkling Spectacle
35. Listen to what you don’t want to hear. For context see: Compassion Conversation 1
36. True friends tell you what you need to hear and not what you want to hear.
35. Eat your words and swallow your pride. Humility and modesty will get you where you need/should go. Learning to eat humble pie takes time.
36. Don’t have all the answers. Always ask questions and learn something. Love learning!
37. People don’t care what i know. They care IF i care and show them that. I do CARE, too much. Unrequited love stinks…BIG time. Love is not a fear. Perfected love throws fear outside.
38. All Beautiful-Breathing-Fragile-Life has a lesson to teach me. My Hubby and Kids have taught me soooo much for which i’m THANKFUL and humbled! i LOVE all my mentors…blessed.
39. Music is language…wish i was fluent. For context see: Managing Ups & Downs with Music
40. More happiness in giving then in receiving. Be generous always.
41. Live/think outside boxes and conformity….don’t fear man or woman! Fear of man leads to death and disappointment. For Context see: What do You Think? How do You Exist? Are You Superstitious?
42. When don’t know what to do..BE KIND! For context see: Partners in Wellness: Appreciated, Part 2: Relief and Understanding
43. Always show love and reject hate and violence.
THANKS for reading my ramblings, etc.!:) Here’s some stuff for you to consider about birthdays:
“It is of interest to note that the most important day in the religion called Satanism is one’s birthday. Why? Because Satanists hold that each individual is a god if he chooses to view himself as one. Thus, to celebrate one’s own birthday is to celebrate the birth of a god. Of course, most people do not take such an extreme, egotistical view. Nevertheless, the book The Lore of Birthdays states: “Other holidays lift the heart, but birthdays warm the ego.” ~Holy Days and Satanists
Choosing not to warm ego…again this year -lol:) Please Check out these interesting tidbits:
Le livre des religions (The Book of Religions), an encyclopedia widely distributed in France, calls this custom a ritual and lists it among “secular rites.” Although considered to be a harmless secular custom today, birthday celebrations are actually rooted in paganism.
The Encyclopedia Americana (1991 edition) states: “The ancient world of Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Persia celebrated the birthdays of gods, kings, and nobles.” Authors Ralph and Adelin Linton reveal the underlying reason for this. In their book The Lore of Birthdays, they write: “Mesopotamia and Egypt, the cradles of civilization, were also the first lands in which men remembered and honoured their birthdays. The keeping of birthday records was important in ancient times principally because a birth date was essential for the casting of a horoscope.”
‘Birthday parties began years ago in Europe. People believed in good and evil spirits, sometimes called good and evil fairies. Everyone was afraid of these spirits, that they would cause harm to the birthday celebrant, and so he was surrounded by friends and relatives whose good wishes, and very presence, would protect him against the unknown dangers that the birthday held. Giving gifts brought even greater protection. Eating together provided a further safeguard and helped to bring the blessings of the good spirits. So the birthday party was originally intended to make a person safe from evil and to insure a good year to come.’
“The reason [for using candles] goes back to the early Greeks and Romans who thought that tapers or candles had magical qualities. They would offer prayers and make wishes to be carried up to the gods by the flames of candles. The gods would then send down their blessings and perhaps answer the prayers.” — Birthday Parties Around the World, 1967.
Questions for Consideration:
- Do you warm/grow your ego?
- Do your patterns and traditions/celebrations warm/cultivate egos?
- What is the difference between honor and undue honor?
- Would you try a “cool” ego exercise and not celebrate your birthday?!
- On your birthday, could you serve or do something nice for someone other than yourself?
- Can you start a new daily pattern of expressing love/compassion for all Breathing-Fragile-Life throughout the year instead of lumping all your efforts to one day?
- Is it emotionally/mentally, etc. healthy to elevate a person on a pedestal for 1 day and then knock them off the rest of the year?
- Do birthday celebrations go over-board and encourage arrogance, over-consumption, over-eating, over-drinking?
Wishing YOU, my Readers: PEACE, LONGEVITY & enJOY each breath and each day!:)
photo-forty-four available at Shutterstock
photo-lilacs-in-a-glass-vase available at Shutterstock
photo-the-phrase-live-learn-love-photographed-using-vintage-letterpress-type available at Shutterstock
Winifred, J. (2013). 44 Things I Learned. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 6, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/wellness/2013/05/44-things-i-learned/