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Buying my first car at 20 yrs old was one of the most challenging decisions I had ever made. It was Friday afternoon and I just found out that I was hired at my first real life job and was to start Monday morning. Right, well yes and no because I had no way to get to this job. With $600 dollars in my pocket and a boyfriend to take me, we head off to find this car. Three hours and three breakdowns later, I was able to get something that fit the need in every way, but one. It was a manual shift and I only knew how to drive an automatic. That my friend is another story I will have to tell later.

“Life is a journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn and most of all experiences to enjoy”.

This quote sums up for me the wholeness of life outside of our logical minds. Problems to solve is dealing with the practical issues in life, lessons to learn are the situations that can help us grow and experiences to enjoy our opportunities to celebrate life. I want to take just a few minutes and share with you some of my thoughts on how each one of these can play out.

The first is on Problems to solve, which, in my opinion is the practical side of life. The first one I faced was buying my car. Here are some others I have experienced, and maybe you also. Where do I want to live? What job do I want to have? Is this the person I want to marry? The problems that I had in school had right or wrong answer that would allow me to pass or fail and these didn't seem to fit that model. Oh, the confusion, what is the right answer? Not having a clear understanding of decision making can cause so much stress, right! Did you know that there is more than one type of system created to help make these types of decisions? If you were like me with the car, we just turn to someone that we trust to help us, or in these days we can just Google that. Good decision-making skills, however, are important to the quality of our lives. In fact, research tells us that good decision-making skills are a mark of leadership. They make those decisions quickly and then they make those decisions work.

The second is lessons to learn, or the situations that can help us grow. Lessons, oh so many lessons to learn about us, others, who is in charge, the list goes on... I have an Instagram account where I have posted some of those lessons and I'd like to share with you here:

When everything around me feels out of control I remind myself I can control my attitude, that's when I feel empowered.

My self-worth is not determined by how would someone responds to me.

Self-awareness is putting space between who I am and what I feel.

Taking life circumstances and making them lessons is what gives us wisdom. The older we are the more wisdom we have. I wish I would have had appreciated what my elders shared with me when I was younger, because now I realize they could have saved me a lot of time and energy trying to figure it out on my own.

That brings us to the third and final last concept I want to share today.

Experiences to enjoy, the things in our lives I believe deserve to be celebrated. Would you mind taking just a minute right now and recall a moment you have had recently that you enjoyed. Maybe it's a vacation, time with your family or friends, maybe a goal that you've recently reached or a walk along the river or in the forest or something else that's brought a smile to your face. In the busyness of life, I can forget to stop and soak up those things that bring me joy. Recently, I started golfing again after leaving my clubs sitting for over seven years. I had forgotten how much I delighted in being out on the course for a couple of hours. We live in a such a fast-paced society and to slow down for just a minute can be a challenge. We have social media that is vying to get our attention, we can zone out on Netflix anytime we want and with a stroke of a finger have so much information of our disposal.

We can stay consumed with life instead of enjoying life. A quick little fact here, when you wake up first thing in the morning and roll over and grab your phone and start scrolling to see if you missed anything through the night, you're setting your brain up to be constantly interrupted all day. And we wonder why we never really get anything done.

How do we slow down? I think it's just like anything else, it must have value or we're not going to do it. So, what's the value in slowing down? In closing today I will leave you to ponder that question.

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