By Cindy (Walker) Burton

I turned 58 in March. Fifty-eight years of learning something new every day, and trying to learn from my mistakes. So here’s a gift for my readers in recognition of my recent birthday: “What I Wish I’d Learned Sooner Than Later.” Enjoy your gift and keep learning!

Making mountains out of mole hills is tiring work. You can’t make someone love you. Things happen for a reason but you may not know why for a long time. Forgiving will make you feel lighter. It’s okay to act your shoe size and not your age sometimes. If love eludes you, it will find you when you least expect it. Smiling is the same in every language. Kindness never goes out of style. Think before you speak. When you fall, get up and dust yourself off.

There’s no one like a true blue friend. Mom usually knows best. Wear sunscreen. Too much of a good thing is bad for you. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade (or a lemon drop martini). You never see a U-Haul behind a hearse because you can’t take it with you. People may not remember what you said but they’ll remember how you made them feel. Grow a thick skin.

The past will come back to haunt you – boo! Helping others takes your mind off yourself. If you and a friend both packed problems in a suitcase you’d want to keep your own suitcase. Collect memories not things. Pets love unconditionally. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and sometimes it has weeds.

You are what you think you are. Your past does not dictate your future. Holding hands is grand. Hugs give hope. Life isn’t fair. Life isn’t a spectator sport; you’ve got to participate. Love conquers all. Everything in moderation. Take that hard earned vacation.

And finally: ASAP (Always Say A Prayer).