As children, many of us are taught the importance of honesty and trust, always. I learned from a very young age the importance of trust and how easily it can be lost. And, even as a child, it was obviously clear that once trust is lost, getting it back can be impossible. Trust and honesty are two traits that go hand in hand for me and many others. Without one, there can’t be the other, at least where I stand. As children, we grow up trusting that the adults in the family will take care of us and protect us from harm.
Life, that precious gift that so many have yet to appreciate. Personally speaking, for the first 11 and a half years of my being, I took it for granted. Although I had attended the funerals of several relatives, all had been much older than me. So, I quickly developed the idea that only older people were dying. It sounds naive, but I didn’t really know any better and never asked any of my elders. Then, shortly after my 11th birthday, and a few months before my 12th birthday, reality hit me twice when two well loved young people in my family passed away five months apart. The first was the death of one of my favorite female cousins, who was just 16 when she passed. This was devastating to me because I looked up to her as more like a big sister. And to this day, her death remains a mystery to me because I don’t understand what happened to her. At least five months after losing her, while still trying to learn to cope with her loss, my oldest, and only maternal, brother lost his life while to safe another. This was truly devastating for the entire family, especially so soon after losing another young family member. And as our family began to deal such great losses, I heard an elderly family member say, “It’s sad. But that’s life, one day you’re here. Next day you could be gone.”
Have you ever been speaking to someone and they assume that you’re aware of who or whatever that person is talking about? I have many, many times. Each time I’m thinking, what are you talking about? Whether the information is important or just friendly conversation, I sometimes sit and wonder why it’s so difficult for people to communicate with each other. So many times throughout my life, I’ve heard people use the phrase “There’s an art to communication” and didn’t quite understand what that meant. But, over time, I’ve learned exactly what that means. Or, I know what that means for me. Communication between individuals is not as easy as some people may think. In so many ways, there is an art to communication, especially when it involves speaking to a person about a delicate or personal situation that involves him or her. It’s important to choose the right words and phrases when addressing anyone, because there is always the possibility of words being taken out of context. Still, sometimes people choose to keep their thoughts and opinions to themselves to avoid misunderstandings. This solution is not really helpful because if a person needs to know something about themselves that could be helpful, there has to be a way to tell them.
It never fails, in my case, that whenever I have a positive train of thought, something or someone tries to hit me with negativity of some form. Whether it’s a story of something negative a friend or family member has recently experienced, and that person just needs to vent. Or, something that I was hoping for, maybe even expecting to happen, doesn’t go the way I had planned. It’s like I’ve always heard from my elders, the devil always finds a way to rear his ugly head when you’re feeling good about something. As I get older, I know that concept is true from personal experiences and from hearing about the experiences of others feeling as I do. It's all a part of this priceless gift called life.
If there is one thing I’ve realized in my old age, it’s that patience in any given situation is not easy. Everything is about timing for me. I tend to think that it may be because, subconsciously, I feel like time is something no one really has to simply waste. And, the quicker I can get something done, the closer I’ll be to reaching my goal, satisfying my appetite, and quenching my thirst. I view time as a priceless commodity that should be used wisely by everyone. I’ve learned through simple observation and from personal experience that when it’s time for life to end for an individual, it ends, simple as that.
Determination is a feeling that I find difficult to hold on to when life’s unexpected circumstances arises that brings stress. Oftentimes, I wonder if those circumstances are put in my path to derail me from reaching goals. As I become older, I feel that the things I want to accomplish and goals I want to reach are on an urgent schedule because I’m now a few years past the half century age. However, in many cases, I’ve noticed how people 50+ are really enjoying life, doing things that brings them peace and some form of joy.