Chapter 2 - An Open Letter To Me

October 22 will be the day I celebrate 55 years of soaking up the sun and doing life on this planet.

As I looked back and celebrated the successes - but also shook my head at some of the actions that brought about some tough lessons learned - I began to journal for my daughters and (for now) granddaughters a list of... 

55 Things I'd Tell My Younger Me. 

Today, I'll continue with #16. If you want to see the previous post. You can see it HERE on my website's blog page. 

16. Words Matter. Choose words of life - words that lift up. You can say the same thing with words that affirm as you can with words that hurt. Yes, sometimes the truth may hurt, but it doesn't have to all the time. Brutal honesty is not a gift or talent you need to brag about. 

17. Choices Have Consequences. Both good and bad. Seeds you sow today WILL COME UP. A change in life or direction today does not keep the weeds that you planted last year from sprouting. 

18. There's no such thing as a STATIC RELATIONSHIP. Someone is always taking the relationship to a higher place or dragging it to a lower level. What are you doing in your relationships? 

19. When you walk in the room, you're either one of the roaches or your a light. If the negative talk, backbiting, gossiping, complaining, and cursing don't stop, you have your answer. 

20. Make Memories! The dollars that you make will come and go. The memories will last a lifetime. Diamond Rio didn't have a hit song titled One More Dollar. 

21. When you're at wits end with your kids, your spouse, your friends, your employees, your co-workers - those that matter the most to you - just love them. It's so easy to snap, yell, scream, run, hide when sometimes what they really need is someone that does the exact opposite. 

22. That last thing you NEED TO SAY in the heat of the argument...DON'T! Just walk away. More times than not, that "last thing" has nothing of value other than to make YOU feel good. Shut up. Walk away. 

23. Be Intentional. The seeds you sow in the lives and hearts of others doesn't just happen. Schedule time with your loved ones, pick the phone up, call your mom, dad, kids, friends. Say thank you. How are you doing? You matter to me. 

24. In the technologically-advanced world we live in today, follow these simple rules for communication. 

  • Good News - Text, email, or phone call. 
  • Provide information, transfer of data, give details that are static in nature - Text, email, or phone call 
  • Bad News - or information that can be perceived as bad news - PICK UP THE PHONE!!! DO NOT TEXT or EMAIL!! And for God's sake, NOT SOCIAL MEDIA! 

25. Learn to say 5 of the most powerful words in the English language - "I'm sorry. Please forgive me." Our tendency when confronted with something we've done wrong is to justify the actions - or as I call it Defend, Deflect & Justify. DON'T DO IT! Just own it. The offended person really doesn't care WHY you did what you did and all you should care about is that someone has been hurt - perceived or in reality - by your actions. 

26. Forgiveness is vital to your health and those that you love/care about. For growth to occur, you will need to learn to forgive AND forget. Don't hold onto yesterday's hurts. If you can't FORGET, then FORGIVE every time you remember. 

27. One act of stupidity does not define someone's life. Learn to give grace & look at the body of work of those needing that grace. We're all prone to stupidity. It may just be you that needs it tomorrow. 

28. Mom & dad are much wiser than you give them credit for. Listen to them. Ask questions - they love to talk and share! Tomorrow it could all be gone. 

29. 98% of all the answers in life are generic in nature and are found in God's word. Don't wait to act like you're studying for a final exam. Soak it up daily. Your life will be better because of it. When you're faced with those tough "what should I do" moments that will stare you down, the Word you've hidden in your heart will clearly speak an answer into your heart. The other 2% are still found in God's word, they just call for more discernment and wisdom on your part. Oh, and God's word says He'll give you that wisdom (James 1) - you just need to ask for it! 

30. The day you have children is the day that you consciously - or unconsciously - let go of two words "I want." That doesn't mean your dreams & goals are gone. Hardly! If anything, they probably have more clarity, meaning, and focus. It means that at least for the foreseeable future, in the pecking order of life, you're at best #3 in the process of deciding what your family wants and needs. 

The list will continue tomorrow with 31-45. 

As mentioned above, if you want to see the first 15, you can do so HERE on my website's blog page. 

Until tomorrow...