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Lessons from 61 rotations around the sun

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

As I celebrate and give thanks for seeing daylight at the beginning or end of 61st year of living (depending on who you ask), I bask in the glow of life and cherish the memories of my friends and family who left this planet before me. I reflect on the things I have learned in this very short time and look forward to making the most of what’s left. My autumn some would say. Feels more like spring to me!

REAL LOVE IS LIBERATING!
I learned that love is freeing. It’s accepting. It is immeasurable. It is the most powerful force and at the same time your weakest link. Real love is a choice. It isn’t just a feeling. Love can make you laugh and cry. Sometimes simultaneously. It can make you climb mountains and swim through shark-infested waters. It’s the purest element in the world and the only thing that conquers hate, heals emotional pain and makes us feel safe. Love is the ultimate gift you can give and receive.
What day is tomorrow? There is no such day!
Do it now. Today! When you think of someone call them. When you find the sale - buy it! I've lost too many friends to tomorrow - their tomorrow never came. So I'll love you today and show you today. I'll make another attempt at living my best life today.
I have no time for BS. There was a time when I would impatiently listen to people talk nonsense and pretend I didn’t hear. Now I really just have no time for it. Life is too short and if I don't stop you in your tracks today and be real with you today, there wont be a tomorrow to do it.
Family is everything! Real friendship is precious!
Family is worth every moment shared, every penny spent , every hour in front of a hot stove preparing a meal. And family may not be the folks with whom you share blood - family can develop along the way.

Don’t FIND time to spend with friends. Time is not lost. We each have 24 hours in a day - the same 24 hours no matter where you live. Plan time for friends. Friends and family are more important than any business meeting, job interview or money you can make and yet you plan for those. In the end family and friends are all you’ll have. I try to treat my friendships with respect and care. If you are a friend I have not made you feel special lately - I apologize. Know now that I appreciate you. In my defense I do have a lot of genuine friends and my neglect is not on purpose.

Gratitude is a superpower.
The realization that I was born into a loving, caring, beautifully flawed family; that I can always call on my sisters, the strongest, most gracious set of women I know. I can call any time for anything. They are honestly always there. That is so amazing to me; that my children, also strong gracious women, have forgiven me my failures and shower me daily with overwhleming love and acceptance; that my friends are genuine; that the man I married loves and adore me with all my foibles, craziness and greatness.

I am grateful that I get to live in my own version of paradise steps away from the Pacific Ocean despite a lifetime of mistakes, missteps and bad choices that should have taken me out; that I can watch the sunrise on this my 61st rotation around the sun. I am grateful for every banana, plantain, corn, avocado, dry coconut and pumpkin my neighbors pass over the fence almost daily.

I’m grateful for every asthmatic breath I struggle to breathe sometimes. For every painful muscle spasm, brain fog and energy crisis living with Fibromyalgia brings. These challenges remind me that I am still alive and can weather any storm. Grateful for every day I wake up without pain. You wonder why I smile so much and power through it all? It’s gratitude that keeps me smiling - not joy. Gratitude brings me joy.

Life is a journey. Not a destination. Accept it as such.
There will be beautiful scenery along the way and some potholes too deep to see where they end. You have to learn to bob and weave, rally and dally! The good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the joys of new life and the grief of death - they are all just a part of life. Not bad luck, or obeah - simply life. The sooner you learn this lesson the easier it will be for you to rejoice in the good times and roll with the punches of the bad times.

GOD IS REAL
The creator in all forms. In the spirit we commune with through prayer. In the power of the ocean with its never ending rush to shore. In the sweetness of each papaya I pluck from my tree. In the smile of every child. In the miracles of healing I personally received when I should have been pronounced dead at Broward General Hospital a couple decades ago. The creator is real. You don't have to believe something for it to be real and I'm not here to convince you - God is God enough to do that.

Selah!
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God is never late, He is always on time! I am in London with my mother and reading this has provided yet another needed shift in my perspective, on things “family” If I never told you, let me tell you, me making your aquaintance is not happenstance, your being here is a blessing for many and I am sure you feel it and know it by now. Your reflections, your nuggets of wisdom, the sharing of your journey, heck, just your approach to life and the business of adulting, has been a source of inspiration and encouragement to me, for far longer than you could imagine. You are the real deal and did I say, I am happy mi know…

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Andrew Forsythe
Andrew Forsythe
Sep 09, 2023

Blessed love Juds, continue being the special person you are! Andrew

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Beautiful. Blessed earth strong. Continue to live a purpose driven life. Respect

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