Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lessons of a Lifetime

Gerry Batte Russell 2011

Yesterday I stumbled upon something from a Facebook friend. While on the hunt for something else, Ms. Russell discovered a list she’d written on her 70th birthday, things she wanted to pass along that she’d learned from life. It was such a beautiful list that I asked for her permission in sharing it with all of you.

Had it not been for the Internet and Knowing (The Blog) I would not even be blessed to have Ms. Russell in my life.  She is an amazing individual full of beauty, love and life who celebrates the precious moments of everyday life, who enjoys her family and cherishes her friendships.  She has a servants heart and is well known and admired for the same in her home of McKinney, Texas.  Wearing her heart upon her sleeve, she tells it like it is and isn't concerned with what others think or believe.  Kindness and respect of others exudes from her.  In many, many ways she reminds me of my Grandmother Irene who passed away in 1999.  I look forward to traveling in the next couple of years and taking advantage of the opportunity to meet her radiant energy in person.   I hope you enjoy her insight as much as I did.

70 Things I’ve learned in 70 Years
By Gerry Batte Russell

1. Never be employed by someone you don’t consider a friend.
2. Hug and kiss your hubby or wife every night before you fall asleep.
3. Cherish every moment you have with your children.
4. Know that your children will likely grow up doing what they see you doing.
5. Don’t ever expect to change anyone.
6. Give love and support when someone needs you.
7. Worship from your heart.
8. Protect your earth.
9. Fight for understanding and acceptance, not control.
10. Eat foods good for you.
11. If you ever start exercising – don’t stop.
12. Find time to get enough sleep.
13. Follow your bliss.
14. Read books you love.
15. Use the “love” word a lot.
16. Give unexpected hugs.
17. Feel privileged if children enjoy being with you.
18. Know that you can do it – just be sure that you want it.
19. Always have your camera nearby – capture the moment.
20. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion, you can make a difference.
21. Truly believe when one door shuts, another opens.
22. Treat everyone like you would want them to treat your mother.
23. Don’t race to judgment.
24. Laugh a lot.
25. When you say, “I love you,” be sure you mean it.
26. Take a walk in the park and be sure you have your camera.
27. Know every moment of every day can be meaningful.
28. Look for mentors and learn from them.
29. Embrace kind gestures and savor the moments.
30. Reduce exposure to the negative influences in your life.
31. Always take the high road.
32. Look for challenges.
33. Give of yourself and your resources for truly worthy causes.
34. Know that your vote does count and “politics do matter.”
35. Hug your pet at least three times a day.
36. Get a pet if it is possible – you’ll be a better person for having one.
37. Fight any kind of abuse of human kind or animals.
38. Do something to support your country.
39. Volunteer in your community and/or child’s school.
40. Tell your children they are smart, loved and cherished.
41. Only look back for the lessons you’ve learned.
42. Let go of what you can’t change.
43. Find out who you are – learn your family history.
44. Be an asset – not a liability.
45. Develop your talents.
46. Plant a garden.
47. Have a birdfeeder and keep it full of seeds.
48. Appreciate Winter for its power and stark beauty.
49. Appreciate Spring for the re-awakening of nature.
50. Appreciate Summer for the endless energy it exudes from the sun.
51. Appreciate Fall for the beauty of color and the cooling of temperatures.
52. Run while you can still run.
53. Learn that gray hair can be as beautiful as blond and it is natural.
54. Children see and hear much more than you know.
55. You can miss so much by racing through life.
56. Take time to smell the roses and enjoy the sunsets.
57. Texas is the best place in the world to live.
58. Plant seeds in mud puddles.
59. The “thou shalt not’s” are pretty well established – shouldn’t challenge.
60. Over-indulgence in anything is usually not the best thing to do.
61. Play to win.
62. If you can run a mile – work for running two.
63. Don’t forget a little chocolate or a little wine can be good for you.
64. Love your babies with all you heart and be sure they know it.
65. Always respect the opinion of others.
66. Never feel like you know everything.
67. Love the “love of your life” by showing that love always.
68. Love your Mom and Dad knowing that you may not always have them.
69. Appreciate your homeland.
70. Don’t ever think that you know it all.

Gerry Batte Russell 2012

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis less the list and images which are shared with permission.
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Difficult Choices: Finding Peace in Insanity

It is said that life is what happens when we are busy making plans.  Yes, it does.  How different the winds of life has blown since my last post about a lost classmate and new friend.  September 2012 was a month of change and an opportunity to take clarity to the next level.  The month wherein all that's been a part of me up until this point of the journey was questioned, tested and in the end, deeply appreciated.

I found myself amidst another round of using my voice, of tough love and of letting go and trusting.  The great thing about all of the above is that the more you do these things, the faster you reclaim your peace and understanding of your path here.  I found myself having to make a choice I never wanted to make.  I didn't even have time to "process" it.  I just had to act and act quickly.  Without getting into details, lets just say it sucked and was incredibly difficult to do, yet it had to be done.  As days turned into weeks after this choice, affirmation came that it was indeed the correct thing to do as well as the best thing to do for all involved.  I've never felt more peaceful.  This time of my life reminds me of when I had another difficult choice to make, a time three years ago.  After that choice also came this same peacefulness. I have learned that we aren't to question these things, that we are simply supposed to take the lessons and the love forward.

That's the beauty of life, when we step out into what we know is right no matter the pain or consequences of the same, we find a peace that passes all understanding when we do the right thing, the thing that honors our being.  When we stand up, we claim victory and void ourselves of any chance of being victimized.  Lastly, when we hold others accountable for their actions, we not only reinforce our worth, we're teaching the other person a valuable lesson about it as well.

Copyright ©2012 Nita Clewis
All rights reserved.  For personal use only.  Commercial use without permission is not allowed.  Sharing with friends and family is warmly welcomed.