» Ivy & Innocence by Susan Reader

An Ivy & Innocence Journey Back to a Special Place in Time

A Morning Walk with Life's Important Lessons

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This morning early, since we couldn't take our walk last night due to the rain, I took Buddy, our 11 year old black lab (pictured above), on his walk. Overcast, I grabbed an umbrella - just in case. Off we went. It started to sprinkle. No problem, I was prepared. I like the rain and it was particularly pleasant listening to the patter of drops, reminding me of my childhood camping trips in the tent. Naturally, the furthest point away from home it began to rain. Under the canopy, my vision was impaired and the overgrown, neighborhood tree branches hung low due to the extra weight of the water.

When an umbrella hits a tree branch, I can tell you, the tree branch will win... every time. Also, it yanks the umbrella backwards, usually with a force and, depending on how fast you are traveling, can pull it out of your hands.

Did you know that a branch with many leaves can hold a tremendous amount of water?

Trust me, it can.

I made it home, dripping.

I close the umbrella thinking I probably would have been better off without it and the dog shakes.

Mornings are wonderful.  :)

In a few days I turn, well, let’s just say I add another year to my rising tally. I have learned so many things that I feel are extremely valuable to create a happy life. Right now, for instance, my warm cup of tea under my towel is especially gratifying. (It's these little things in life that make me happy.)

I read uplifting things because I try to add joy to my life from the moment I wake. I am thinking perhaps you might feel the same way. And after my invigorating walk, I read an article that I wanted to share… I plucked out the highlights and added some commentary but, if you want to read the entire article – you can do so here: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/01/02/10-most-important-life-lessons-master-your-30s)

Important Life Lessons To Master

Number 1: Start saving money for retirement now, not later. Okay, this one I think is a struggle for most of us. Not because we don’t want to or need to or realize the importance of doing so - it's just we would if we could. Right? It is the simple fact there isn't anything extra to put away. Making ends meet is our first priority - a situation I know most families are in today. We live a simple existence. I am thankful for everything I have. My needs are few. I trust with a peaceful knowing that one day we will be in a position to prepare for retirement, but that day hasn’t arrived. I hope you have. If no, do so when you can. It is important. Moving on...

Number 2: Take care of yourself. Health is irreplaceable. Don’t take it for granted. Eat healthy and exercise. I try to eat healthy and I should exercise more. I walk the dog (affirmation above, *chuckle*). But that's about it. I need to take better care of myself. How about you? Do you drink plenty of water? I read drinking a warm cup of water with lemon and 1tsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in the morning sets up the day with good digestion, boosts your metabolism and will help your liver. Plus it's extremely hydrating and alkalizing. Sounds good. I can do that. (Not sure it will taste good) Nope, it doesn't - heading for a few walnuts.

Number 3: Don’t spend time with people who don’t treat you well. Time is so valuable. We only have a precious amount. It is limited and there is so much to do. Avoid those that bring you down or are negative to your spirit. Surround yourself with people that make you a better version of yourself. They bring out the best parts and accepts you. There’s no reason to waste time with people who don’t advance your life’s journey to find happiness. So true. I am extremely thankful for the extra time I have been granted to share with wonderful people.

Number 4: Be good to those you care about. Be there for those that matter to you. Support them. Do what you feel brings value to their lives. Just being there for them, sharing life is so important because special moments happen only once, then lost forever. How you spend your time will affect your life and theirs. Appreciate those who you love because one day they will be gone. Have no regrets. Make moments count. (Nothing more to comment about this, it's perfect.)

Number 5: You can’t have everything; focus on doing a few things well. Focus on primary strengths and maximize them over the course of lifetime rather than doing many other things poorly. You can get more things done if you focus on one thing and do it really well. Don’t get distracted. Make it happen. Take action. Live with purpose. Be Grateful. I agree, although, I am distracted at times (kids you know, but, in my defense, see #4) and I do get right back on track!

Number 6: Don’t be afraid of taking risks, be flexible with life changes. Don’t be afraid of taking risks. It’s never too late. Don’t look back and say “My biggest regret is the things I did not do.” Live your life, do not let it dictate to you. Fear less, jump in, do what you love to do. Try, try, try and try again. Then dance because whether you succeed or not… you are living, doing something so many fear. Follow your dreams, live, try, dance. AND sing - being off key really doesn’t matter… (well, it might to others nearby).

Number 7: Continue to grow and develop One of your goals should be to never stop learning. Try to become a better person, partner, parent and friend. Exercise your brain, your mind is a beautiful thing. Feed it and evolve your thinking. Be open minded. Learning is so enjoyable. Take care of your mental and physical health and you will be light-years ahead of the pack. Read what inspires you.

Number 8: Nobody really knows what they’re doing This is good news, don't you think? Everyone is really the same. What you think is important now might be unimportant later. We will all go through times that are really sad because our hearts are huge and giving. Sorrow is part of life and it does make you stronger. Be kind because we all venture through tough times and stumble. Let’s help each other up because, arm in arm, we can make life’s journey so memorable. Make a list of something you need to do... three big things and three small. Scratch them off the list when you get them done. Then add three more. Surprising how much you can get done doing this.

Number 9: Family is worth it! Make the effort. Bury the hatchet. Take the high road and do everything to make your family relationships enjoyable. Appreciate those you love. Tell them how much they mean to you because one day you might not be able to and then, almost always, you will regret it.

Number 10: Respect Yourself Be kind to yourself. Life is hard enough so love and accept what you see in the mirror because there is only one you. You are so special. A one-of-a-kind, warts and all. Focus on what’s inside, your soul. Take whatever it is that makes you tick and embrace it. Relax. Accept that things happen. Good or bad, they just do. Deal with it the best way you can then let it go. It’s a part of life. It means you are alive. Celebrate life… and DANCE!

Happy Sunday everyone. It's another beautiful day!

Susan