It's not my birthday, but...

The tiny flicker of the flame on the end of a birthday candle usually signifies the time to make a wish and blow out the candles that sit atop a birthday cake, but this time the celebration is not for my birthday.

My birthday is in January and it is June.

Let me think of how best to tell you all this information…

(tapping fingers on the top of the computer mouse)

Numbered bullet points are a great way to get across a bunch of unrelated pieces of information in an organized and efficient manner. I think that’s how I will do it today.

The Reasons I’m Celebrating

  1. The weather cooled off a bit today after all the rain from the past few days and it turned out to be a beautiful day.
  1. The weight loss is going great. If you want to lose weight and have an abundance of energy, you should really talk to me. My mother can really tell I’ve lost weight. I know I have because I’m having a hard time keeping my jeans up. Maybe I should just be a gangsta and wear them down around my knees so everyone can see my underwear. On second thought, uh, no, I don’t think so.
  1. I’ve been getting all kinds of things organized in my life that I either never organized or had let go to the wayside during my unemployment.
  1. I guess I really shouldn’t refer to it entirely as my unemployment since I have been working for myself and will continue to do so even though Monday is my first day at a job outside my home. Yeah, you read that right! I won’t be wearing my pajamas all day because I am now officially employed!!!! I will still be doing my own businesses on the side, but forty hours of my week will be working for someone else.

Obviously, there’s cause for celebration.

While we’re celebrating I want to share with you some things that I learned while I’ve been unemployed. Actually, they are life changing lessons for me.

Great Life Lessons

  1. You can only control yourself. You can’t control other people or circumstances. You can control your thoughts, your actions, your choices, your reactions, but you can’t control anything or anyone else.
  1. Live in today. I no longer plan out every day and detail for the next fifty years. Yes, I was that bad. You must live today only. Yesterday’s mistakes have been made, so regret them, stop doing them, ask for forgiveness, and live the life you have in today. Tomorrow isn’t here yet. Don’t pine away today and miss all the opportunity in it by dwelling on dreams of tomorrow. Make plans and set goals, but come back to today and live it fully.
  1. There is a God, a Higher Power. He doesn’t forget anyone even when it may feel that way. You are never completely alone. That leads to my next point.
  1. Life is tough. All the tough things in life make you stronger so that you can progress to the next level of happiness. Everyone suffers with something and goes through something. No one is exempt. Life wouldn’t be as tough if people were more compassionate, more loving and less selfish.
  1. Miracles happen. Unexplained things happen, so whether you call them miracles or not, they occur daily. If you pay attention to that small voice in your head, you could be a part of making a miracle take place.
  1. People can change. The operative word is “can” because unless someone makes the choice to change, the change will not occur. You can’t make someone change. Refer back to Lesson #1.
  1. Love can conquer. I already knew this lesson, but over the last 1 year 8 months, I have seen love actively make a difference in many lives. Love is so beautiful. Love can do so much. Love can heal a broken heart. Love can forge the miles. Love can comfort the sick. Love can give hope to the depressed. Love can open the eyes of the weak. Love can help give hope. Love is a miracle in itself.

Even if I were to lose this job next week, I will never be bitter about the time I have been unemployed. Miracles happened that would not otherwise have happened if I had been working full time at my old job. I was available to be a part of the life altering changes and saw the miracles take place.

My eyes and heart have been opened to the sweetness that love, persistence, forgiveness, determination, unselfishness, and compassion can bring to life.

To all those people who buoyed me up and gave me hope when I was depressed, sad and feeling hopeless, let me extend to you a heartfelt thank you.

To all those people who offered me money or shared their time and talents, let me say thank you so much for your generosity.

To all those people who listened to me cry and complain, thank you for comforting me.

To all those people who loved me even when I was unlovable, thank you so much.

I’m happily celebrating my new job and the miracles over the last almost two years. Most of all, I’m celebrating that I finally humbled myself to let go of all the control, open my eyes, relax, enjoy each day, do my best at whatever I did, love and forgive.

This is a new me. I’m not the same person I was two years ago. I feel different about so many things.

Celebrate today. Celebrate your life. Celebrate the little things and the big things. Enjoy them. When today has passed, you can’t go back and change any part of it. Do good and right today. Give compassion, be sure the people you love know it, work hard, and be grateful.

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