All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low. John Wooden

Living the “good life” isn’t that what we all want? Twenty-nine years ago today my wonderful daughter was born and our family was complete. When we bring children into the world we have to be optimistic about the future. We want them to have a great life, opportunity, and experiences. What happens in the world matters more because it matters to our children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren.

We may not agree on what better looks like in the short term, what political stripe gets into office, and what laws get passed. In the long term. however, I think we all agree we want our children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren to live in peace, prosperity, and a natural world alive with wildlife, fish, trees, and wild places.

When we look at our children and grandchildren (still waiting for that joyous, momentous event) we want so much for them. We want so much for them but we are afraid to watch them go out and take their place in the world. It seems so much less safe than when we went out there. We worry about them getting into the wrong crowd, getting involved with drugs, and depression.

When did we start thinking life should be easy? When I listen to Mom talk about the early days, life was hard. She said she and her first husband had their budget down to the penny. To get her a Christmas present when they agreed not to give each other Christmas presents, he quit smoking for a week to afford the gift.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. Sir Winston Churchill

Housing is a big deal and we are all wringing our hands over how our kids will be able to afford a house. Has it really been that easy for most people to prosper over the decades and centuries? There is a lot of talk about money in the bible. Shakespeare said neither a lender nor a borrower be, and Charles Dickens gave the recipe for a happy life. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

What advice do I have for my daughter on this birthday? Love and live fully, don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Be grateful for what you have and you’ll get more. Live beneath your means and be kind to those you meet along the way. When you have children they completely take over your life, and will be the biggest blessing, and raising happy healthy kids is your biggest job, and where much of your joy will come from. Make time for your husband amid the chaos and enjoy together what you build together. Walk into the sunset of life arm in arm and enjoy your golden years. Time is the secret of a long marriage, there will be ups and downs, and you have to get through the downs to enjoy the ups. Don’t throw away good trying to get perfect – there is no perfect in relationships. Love is a verb, and happiness is an inside job.

A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are for what you have. Unknown

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside. Unknown

Life is like a camera… Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot. Unknown

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Secrets and Silence: What if your biggest secret became public? by [Belynda Wilson Thomas]

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