In April, I will turn 42. I really like that number.

I’m lucky. I have friends, and friends of friends who were not fortunate enough to make it this far.

2020 was a tough year for many, but it wasn’t the same for me. I found a lot of clarity. There is a wonder in being left with your own thoughts, to think about what life has given you and what the future holds. Gratitude is sobering and soothing.

Contrary to what many believe, you are in control of your life. Though I notice the receding hairline, the lines and wrinkes that permeate my face and my neck, the weight gain, I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been. Maybe content is a better word.

No one has asked for my advice, and granted, I understand those who believe I have no authority to speak about this matter, but there is one little ‘pearl of wisdom’ I would like to give.

It’s really simple actually. Enjoy it. Enjoy your life. You probably only get one shot at this, so spend as many days as possible with a smile on your face, because you are lucky to be here on this planet.

Too many people complain, they see obstacles and excuses every where. They don’t stop to think about how they’re in control of their lives and can do whatever it is they want to do.

It’s really hard not to let people’s judgments affect your own choices, but if there is one thing I’ve learned in my time on this wonderful Earth it’s to trust your own intuition, your own instincts. Sacrifices and compromises are and have to be made, yes, but that shouldn’t stand in the way of whatever goal you have in mind for yourself.

Don’t follow the crowd. Never think that you have to fit in. Take care of your health. Exercise. Don’t do drugs, don’t smoke, but if you do, moderation is key.

You’re not always going to be healthy. Life comes at you fast and one day you’ll wake up middle-aged. I’m sure you’re going to want to reflect on happy times, not bitter ones, or those memories that bring resentment.

Once, as I was debating whether to take my lunch, a colleague close to retirement said, “Take it. When you’re my age you won’t regret not taking your lunch, you’ll regret all the hours you wasted on a job that didn’t mean anything to begin with.”

Every morning I wake up and I see joy. This is so cheesy, I know, but it is true. I think about those simple pleasures. Walking in the rain, with coffee in hand. Looking out on natural bodies of water. Reading a book, taking photographs, observing the miracles of nature.

I am grateful for my legs and my feet. They provide the gift of movement, they allow me to see the world, to explore, to run and to walk, to be active. Being active is a gift, it really is. It’s a shame so many don’t see that.

There is so much to love.

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