This past weekend I went through a period of feeling very grateful about my life. And in looking back – on the events of this year alone – I realize that I love my life. I can’t count the number of times I have looked back on my life and felt good about it. Not to say it was perfect by definition, because it was far from it. But it was perfect – for me – and that is what really matters – isn’t it? The same goes for you. Your life should be perfect for you, not anyone else.
Along with so many others who experienced the events of this year in our country’s history, I have been blown away about being alive during this time. As you know, our country voted in to office the first US President (Barak Obama) who is clearly of African decent. We are experiencing the worse economic downturns since the 1920’s. Our unemployment rate is higher than it has been since the early 80’s Additionally, there are movements underway among some groups to set up shop in this country and totally destroy it, from the inside-out. There are just a few of the events that may be uplifted as landmark experiences in our country’s history.
On the flip side, investors who are positioned to survive and who have access to cash are going to make a killing off of the woes of many; particularly in real estate and the stock market. If you happen to be in that group, I wish you the best and say, go for it!! Or you may be like Phil Valentine (radio talk show host) and make a conscious choice not to participate in the economic slump by spending money you don’t have regardless of the current conditions. What ever you choose as your way of being during these times, do it with gumption and passion AND be happy about your choices.
These and other events of this year were experienced by all of us. However, there were at least two other events I experienced that none of you did.
Almost one year ago today (January 13, 2008), I became a father. It is our first and only child. I know for sure she is the only child we will have because while going through labor Indira looked me directly in the eyes and firmly said, “We are NOT doing this again.” And she has reiterated this to me several times since; I’m okay with it (as if I have a choice). Seeing our beautiful daughter being born was an incredible experience. I also had the privilege of cutting her umbilical cord, which added to the depth of the experience. Our daughter’s name is Imala Belizaire Johnson and she is so wonderful.
The second major experience I had this year was just a few days ago when I happily turned fifty years old. Yes, happily! I am very grateful to be at this point in my life. Fifty years is a long time to have been hanging around. And hanging around is what I did a lot of during the first fifty years of my life.
I spent a lot of time from 1958 to 2008 being happy, relaxed, and taking on challenges with great intensity. Don’t get me wrong, I had many moments of lost emotion, like every one else does. But for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed my first fifty and wouldn’t change a thing.
I also re-learned how to love my self. And if you know anything about my philosophy on life from my book, then you know loving one’s self is a big deal. Even if you don’t know about my philosophy, you should know that loving your self is the most important thing to re-learn while alive. I say re-learn because I believe we are born with a built in mechanism for self-love and loose sight of it as we mature over the years. So re-learning to love oneself is very important.
Looking ahead to the next fifty years I have decided to continue on the path of being happy and relaxed; and in addition, even more grateful. I also decided that since my first fifty years were spent focusing primarily on me, the next fifty will be spent on others. In other words, I will give, give, and give of myself – to my daughter, to Indira, and to all the people who have supported and believed in my work. I mean it! I actually started toward the end of this year by giving about 400 books to domestic violence shelters in middle Tennessee.
And I can’t wait to get started on my new focus. It will begin next month.
Until next time…