Monday, November 30, 2009

Birthday Bash: What I Know for Sure

I've been on this planet for 50 years now. Depressing, yes. Now, let's move on.

Fifty years. That's a long time to live and learn, to experience and grow.

What do I have to show for it? What have I learned?

Now that's a topic for a blog post! I could fill an entire book—an entire BOOK SHELF!—with that. But it's amazing how after 50 years, there are only a few things that have really stuck with me, that I can say I know for sure.

Here are some of the things I know for sure:

  • There is a God in heaven, and He loves me.
    I used to be afraid of God; I felt like He was waiting for me to mess up so He could zap me with some punishment. But over the years, I've learned that He is the kindest, most generous being that I could ever imagine. I am overwhelmed with the blessings He has sent my way and the comfort He always gives. God is absolutely involved in my life. I talk to Him every day and He talks back. That is the most prized blessing of all.

  • Family comes first—always.
    I have a daughter who calls me and her first words are almost always, "Whatcha' doing?" And my answer is always, "Nothing." One time she commented that I'm always doing nothing. Well, honestly, I'm always doing something, but "nothing" is shorthand for "nothing that is more important than you and what you need right now." I love spending time with these people that God has put in my life—DH, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, all the way out to extended aunts, uncles, and 7th cousins, 42 times removed. I would rather spend time with my family than anyone else in the world.

  • Friends can be like family.
    I have some dear, dear friends that are as close as sisters to me. When I draw my family tree, they are right there, tied to my heart just as securely as those who are tied to me by blood and bone.

  • Honesty is the best policy.
    Honesty and integrity are the two character traits I value most. I work very hard to be an honest person. I expect honesty from the people around me. Everything else can be worked out.

  • Nice matters.
    I have this on a plaque on my office wall. It's been there for years. It reminds me to consider things from the other person's point of view. To think about how they might feel about what I'm about to say or do. I've learned that I can be honest and nice at the same time.

  • Dancing is important.
    There are plenty of things in life that will take you down—health, finances, disasters, relationships. But in among all the hardships are these gleaming nuggets of joy and laughter. Seek them out. Relish them. Cherish them. I love the quote attributed to Vivian Greene:

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    I believe that.

Wow! This post took a turn for the different. I thought I was going to blog about books today. Oh well.

Today's Prize (and currently playing on my iPod):
A legal copy of I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack from iTunes.

To enter to win, leave a comment any time before midnight on Saturday, December 5, 2009, telling me something that you know for sure.


Ed said...

You appear to be someone who would enjoy my recently published book titled "The Value of Values". Here is a synopsis. Thanks, Ed Gagnon

The Value of Values

An individual’s values are established in childhood and serve as filters when determining right from wrong throughout the person’s life. In today’s society, the process of establishing values within children is given little concern. People place greater emphasis on day to day activities and personal ambitions, than they do on the establishment of values within their children. By default, parents are teaching their children that values such as integrity, respect for life, courage of conviction, a purposeful life and generosity, are secondary to making a living.

In truth, there is nothing preventing us from being true to good and meaningful values, nor is anything preventing us from teaching our values to our children. It is a matter of priorities; a matter of choice.

In the “The Value of Values” you will learn why a transition to a more values-conscious society is important. You will learn exactly what is needed from each individual and the activities that will sustain the drive. “The Value of Values” is a must read for every parent that is concerned about our society and the challenges our children will be facing.

We have three possible choices:
1) Do nothing different than that which we have been doing. Complacently accept things as they are and will be.
2) Hope that someone else will make the needed changes within our society, despite the fact it has yet to be done, and no one displays the integrity needed to influence an entire society.
3) Accept our personal responsibility to our children. Accept that real change is not passed down from leaders, but rather, it is driven up from the people. Accept the fact that we each have within us the ability and incentive to make things different for our children and grand children.

The choice we make today will determine the society of tomorrow.

Sandra said...

One thing I know for sure:
You are my best friend and I can always count on you.

Nichole Giles said...

I love this whole post. I agree with you about family and nice especially.

One thing I know for sure: How we treat other people will make a profound impact on the way other people treat us.

Thanks for all the wonderful reminders. I needed them today.


PS I'm linking your contest on my blog.

David J. West said...

Happy B-Day Karlene, but you could cross off #7 on your list for your NEW MOON review.

Just kidding I luv ya.

Vivian Greene said...

One thing I know for sure is "All that is real is seen with the heart"

I'm glad you like my quote "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to's about learning to dance in the rain."

I began a blog a few weeks ago. Visit at

What a great idea for the contest, and one of my favorite songs!

Melanie Goldmund said...

One thing I know for sure is that I don't know enough, about anything or anybody.

In fact, if the span of our lifetime here on earth depends on how much time we need to learn those things that we need to learn, then I am looking at a long life -- a verrrry long life indeed.