Today is my 65th birthday.
The past 65 years have been full of both lessons and milestones.
A friend of mine gave me a birthday card that says it all: “Every candle tells a story.”
And, it encouraged me to look back at the candles in my life. Below I share some impactful candles with a little wisdom and some lessons thrown in.
Candles 1 thru 19
My brother, sister, and I emigrated from Cuba with our grandparents. The three of us were under the age of 3. They raised us. My mother stayed in Cuba with my father, who was a political prisoner. We were reunited with them when I was 19.
My lesson: My grandparents taught me how to love. Their love for the three of us was pure and unselfish.
Candles 20 thru 41
During these candles, I was a young bride and mother. I was in a great marriage – until it wasn’t. And, as a single mom, I raised three wonderful kids.
My lesson: Sometimes “it takes a village.” I was lucky to have a big family and support system and learned that sometimes we must let others help. For those of you who don’t have family support – do what you can to find support within your community.
Candles 42 thru 52
These candles represent many milestones and lessons, but I’ll leave it at two milestones and one lesson. The first – a wonderful man married me and my 3 kids – 23 years later, we are still happily married. The second milestone was earning an MBA.
My lesson: It’s never too late – or impossible – to go after what you want.
Candles 53 thru 64
These were candles of continued personal growth with gains and losses. During this time, I earned two coaching certifications. I had breast cancer and a mastectomy as a result. And my ex-husband passed away bringing closure to part of my past. My lessons were two.
My lessons: Regardless of age, there is always room for growth and change. And, showing gratefulness and forgiveness is the best gift you can give yourself.
Today, I feel very lucky.
This year has been 5 years since my last chemo treatment. As of today, I am cancer-free. This year marks my 10th year since I opened my business. And my family has grown with the addition of three grandsons.
Yes, in 65 years there have been many difficult times but also many beautiful ones. Sometimes we tend to get lost in the difficult and miss the rest.
The gift I’m giving myself today is being thankful for the difficult times – for they gave me the clarity to recognize the beautiful.
I wish the same for all of you.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“I don’t ruminate on the past. Rather, I look to the future and think what now?” Emy Fernandez, MBA, Certified Life Coach