24 Things I Learned in 24 Years
By Bernadette A. Moyer
It was 24 years ago today that my husband and I bought our house where we raised three children. I can’t believe that either one of us ever thought we would still be here today and embracing our start to our 25th year together, here in the house we purchased together in 1992.
All I can think about is what did I learn? What did it take 24 years for me to learn? Where I was then and where am I today? Most of us can’t/won’t think ahead to the next 24 years but we can look back and see where we are and where we have come to. We write our own story not in just how we live it but also by how we choose to remember it.
“Joy comes to us in the ordinary moments. We risk missing out when we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary.” – Brene’ Brown
So what did I learn in 24 years?
1) Most things in life are not life and death, what you are feeling today probably won’t even matter to you next week or next year or perhaps even the next day.
2) Everything changes. Everything. Be open and willing to embrace all that comes to you for nothing is all good or all bad. Enjoy the process.
3) My stable home of 24 years would allow me to take risks. By having a strong foundation I could try this and try that and have the experience without the full throttle commitment.
4) Stability is cool it is not boring. I used to think that EVERYTHING had to change for life to be exciting. I learned I could grow and change and do so from the same house.
5) A house is not a home. In our home are all the love and the joy and all the variety of experiences. It is the family and it is the memories. It is the sharing of space.
6) In 24 years I learned that I could love and raise twin children, a son and a daughter, who I loved as any mother would and yet they were not my biological children.
7) I learned that deep down inside I have an inner strength and peace that withstands all outside noise.
8) I learned I don’t need to be out there or the center of attention, I can shine right here, right now and all on my own. Shine.
9) I learned to be a good neighbor and say “hi” and chat but keep a respectable distance. This is where I live we don’t have to be best friends but we do need to have mutual respect.
10) That an older house and one lived in for 24 years will require repair and updates just like I do and so do my relationships. Everything needs care and to be taken care of or it falters and dies.
11) I learned that I could fight with my husband a real knock down drag out fight but at the end of the day we have each other’s backs. Period. We are in this together.
12) “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” That was something my grandmother used to say meaning there is value in staying put and growing roots.
13) Stability shows strength and it also shows character.
14) That there truly is a time and a season for everything under the heavens.
15) Focus and priorities change. Kids enter our lives and kids leave our lives.
16) That my career choices were all meaningful but I am so much more than any one job or career choice.
17) To build on what we have and to appreciate all that we already have in our home and in our hearts.
18) There is nothing material that is worth my integrity and my peace of mind. I don’t have to have the “latest and greatest.”
19) Be careful who you trust. Today’s friend could very well be tomorrow’s enemy. Trust yourself!
20) If you don’t love it, get rid of it. Don’t weigh yourself down with things, objects, people, relationships that don’t enhance your life. Take the garbage out.
21) No one knows for sure. None of us knows what tomorrow brings and even if there will be a tomorrow, so do your best. Always do your best.
22) If you can’t fix it, it is probably not yours to fix.
23) Be happy! Choose happiness and joy because it is a choice.
24) If the direction you are headed toward is no longer working be brave and turn yourself around. There is no prize for continuing down the wrong path. Always be willing to learn.
Today I celebrate the many things I learned while living in my same home with my same husband for all these 24 years. The overriding feeling I have is joy and gratitude … what more could I ask …
(And as I clicked that last letter in writing this the sun shines in through my office windows … blessed)
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