By Ann Baron
What would I tell my younger self now that I am nearing the mature age of 60?
Life does not turn out how you planned it. Stop planning and stop being disappointed when life does not go as planned. There are many dips and turns in the road of life. When I was growing up, I always thought I wanted to be a teacher. Then I was a teacher and I hated it. Actually, I loved the creative elements of teaching, but not all the politics and side issues.
Be brave and take that leap into the unknown. The best surprises were when I went ahead and jumped into something I knew nothing about and actually loved. For instance, I applied for a job at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and had no background in that type of work because I had worked in the insurance industry for 20 years. What did I know of the chamber world? But it worked out and I absolutely loved being there for small businesses and helping with business development.
When life crushes you, there is still only YOU! You are still the important part of your life. You are not your job title, fancy house, income or even friends. The internal, gutsy core of you is who you are and it’s always there. You may feel like you have “disappeared” or want to die, but the essence of what you are about is still there and has been all along.
Failure is not the end. I have failed many times in my life, with finances, marriage and career. At that time, my life seemed a total and doomed failure. How could the honor roll and smart student fail so miserably? Real life was that scraping myself up from the bottom and going out to another day. Realizing life goes on, and you either have to pull yourself up or be stuck in eternal depression. I chose to pull myself up.
Choose your mate wisely. The first time I married was terrible. I married a narcissistic and bi-polar man who abused me. After several years, I had enough. After many years as a single person, I met a wonderful man who is now my husband, Mike. He is nothing like what I thought I wanted, but someone I cherish and love dearly. Mike has integrity, grit, kindness and is funny as hell.
Surround yourself with strong, confident and encouraging friends. Sometimes women find someone who clings to them or is downright mean. You don’t need those type of friends. You will in time ferret out the true and loyal friends who want the best for you and support you through your adventures. Again, choose friends wisely.
Most of all, value and appreciate each day, which is a gift from God.