Five life lessons
by Nancy Russell Catan

I was reading an article the other day in one of the local magazines published by the senior citizens of the area, which highlighted five life lessons that the seniors had identified as keys to living long and fruitful lives.

1. The simple things matter most.
2. Humor and time cure most pains.
3. There’s more satisfaction in giving than in getting. Service to others is the most satisfying activity.
4. Choose your spouse carefully. It will be your most important decision.
5. Work hard and in a field or role that you enjoy.

When I reflected on my own life, I realized how true they are and how people should really think about living by these guidelines. They show that every thing we do in life counts; and many times, it is the simple, ordinary experiences that matter most in the long run. I may not remember the stresses and challenges of culture change (from Western to Eastern culture) or climate change (from a cold temperate mountain climate to the hot and wet tropical Philippine climate), but I will surely remember the smiles of my children and grandchildren when I give them a kiss and a big hug!

Humor is definitely an important part in my life. Without a sense of humor, I would be allowing the little irritations of daily living to become major stress factors. I have found that humor heals, humor smooths over the rough spots and helps make mountains shrink to a more manageable size.

Lesson number 3 is probably one of the more important lessons that all of us should not only learn, but learn to practice daily in our life. Yes, it takes some effort to give off your time to whatever and whoever may need encouragement, assistance, comfort, an additional task done, or an errand run, but you will have the most satisfying feeling once you have accomplished it. Choosing your spouse … not only is this a life-changing decision, but if done with prayer, open eyes and the willingness to change yourself (instead of the other), truly, you will experience great personal fulfillment. I know because this is what I have experienced. And despite our many differences, Jun and I will be celebrating our Golden, 50th Wedding Anniversary this coming December. WOW!

Work hard and enjoy your work! This is your decision – to enjoy your work, to be happy, to make everyday an important and meaningful day. The result? Coming home at the end of the day with a sense of peace and accomplishment, thanking God for that day and looking forward to tomorrow…and tomorrow…and tomorrow.

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