Sixty-three and Counting
It’s hard to believe, but in a matter of days I am going to be sixty-three. Did I read that right? Yep, like or lump it, I was born in 1960; therefore, I will indeed be sixty-three. Funny, I feel about forty-five. That said, I thought I’d take a moment to share with you the wisdom I’ve accrued over the past sixty-three years. Don’t worry, this won’t take long…
- While it appears to be an epiphany of the twenty-first century, it has always been a fact: Almost everything will work if you simply unplug it for a few minutes—that includes you.
- Everyone has problems. Even if their social media boasts of pure glee and boundless success in everything they touch or do. Trust me, they are just like everyone else. Try not to compare your life, relationships, or experiences to their whimsical social media existence. However, my mother always told me: if you can’t think of anything nice to say (or in this case, post) please don’t say anything at all. With that in mind, if you’re dead-set to call someone a nasty name on social media, make sure you can spell the nasty word before posting it. Thank you.
- Writing: Being a writer is hard. I know, it looks really easy. I mean, c’mon, we sit at a desk, hot coffee within reach, and we make up stories. Seriously, other than the blood dripping from our forehead from pounding it on the desk, while coffee spills all over, heck yeah, it’s easy. All of that noted, if you want to be a writer, you’ve got to be fearless. You’ve got to write what you want to write, and how you want to write it. I’ve seen lists on social media of words that shouldn’t be used in a manuscript. I’ve seen these list and they are very long. By the way, ‘very’ is one of those words we are discouraged to use. Interestingly enough, the F-word is not included on such lists. Hmmm.
- Wednesday and pneumonia are spelled incorrectly. Just sayin’.
- Family: Family is tough and sometimes you have to let go, bite your tongue, let them make their mistakes, and there’s a lot, I mean, a lot of waiting for some to come around, and there’s a lot, and I mean, lots and lots of forgiveness involved. I read somewhere that Earth is Forgiveness School, and you might as well start at the dinner table. At least you’ll be wearing comfortable pants. We must keep all of this in mind when we’re at large family gatherings and suddenly have the urge to run, in the opposite direction, hands clenched in hair, while screaming.
- You cannot fix anyone who is broken. You cannot force them to become sober, nor can you force someone to get out of a toxic relationship. Both parties have to want out of the brokenness, and that’s that.
- Dieting: Sorry, can’t help you. We all struggle on that front, and I’m always somewhere in the middle.
- Exercise: Yes. You should. No. You do not, let me say that again, you do not have to go to a gym, spend bunches of money, get sore, and be miserable because you don’t, and never will, look like the pretty blond on the third treadmill down from the treadmill you’re using. C’mon, she’s under thirty. Forget that. Go take a walk. Breathe. Breathing is very important. (There’s that word that shouldn’t be used again. Sorry) Walk away your stress. And if you have a dog, take him/her with you. They love an outdoor adventure.
- Jewelry: Wear it. Don’t wait for a “special occasion.” You’re alive. That makes today a special occasion. Recently, my oldest daughter called me and said, I wore one of my favorite rhinestone necklaces to work today. I remembered what you said: I bought it, I like it, and I’m gonna wear it. You were so right, Mom. I loved it! Wow. She really does listen to what I say. Sometimes.
- Politics: Good Lord in the morning! And that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Yep, I truly am a wise woman.
- Faith: When we lose faith, we lose ourselves. Whether you’re a Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or otherwise if you’ve lost your faith, reconcile with it. Without faith there is no hope, there is no comfort, and there is no guidance to provide the strength required to get you through troubling times. I don’t know how I would survive without my faith.
- Smile: Yes, that’s right, smile. I make it a habit to smile at strangers. I always have. Fact is that your smile may be the only smile they receive for the day. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I get a smile in return. However, there are those who scowl back at me, and I find myself wondering, what weight are they carrying that the corners of their lips are much too heavy to lift. Nonetheless, they’ve received at least one pleasant encounter for the day, even if they are unaware or unaccepting of it.
I used to be afraid of getting older or maybe I was afraid of getting old, but I’m finding that as I age, there are things I’ve simply let go of. Here’s the thing: I don’t have extraordinary wisdom. I only have what experiences life has offered me, and it is what you do with those experiences, and how you allow them to shape you as a person that matters.
Live well, my friends.
For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters.
Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister.
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