I had brunch with a friend last week on her birthday. We haven’t talked in years and it was lovely to catch up. Like me, she is a lover of words. She shared that during a New Year’s Eve service at her church in 2022, the message included the phrase “lovely bits” of life. She grabbed that as her resolution for 2023 — not to miss the lovely bits.*
I recently ran across a Twitter thread by @Sahil Bloom that made me think about the little things in life that are good, but can be missed. I try not to miss the good by keeping a thank you journal that I write in it nearly every day, but his Twitter thread made me pause. I currently have two friends contending with cancer, and one who has recently died. I can still succumb to the enemy’s tactic to miss the lovely bits of each day and treat small negative events as larger than they are.
Sahil interviewed people in their nineties and asked each,
Question: What advice would you give to your 32-year-old self?
18.3 million people have viewed the answers. Let’s enjoy them today too. I don’t agree with all of them, but I didn’t edit the thread. I have highlighted the answers that struck me personally.
Which answers speak to you?
Now and again, break out the fancy china and drink the good wine for no reason at all.
Dance at weddings until your feet are sore.
Tell your partner you love them every night before falling asleep. Someday you’ll find the other side of the bed empty and wish you could.
Don’t fear sadness, as it tends to sit right next to love.
Treat your body like a house you have to live in for another 70 years.
Never raise your voice, except at a ballgame.
Do one good deed every single day, but never tell anyone about it.
Time doesn’t heal anything when it comes to relationships. Don’t delay difficult conversations.
Find the things that make your eyes light up. Do more of those.
Always remind yourself that your track record for making it through your bad days is perfect.
Minor issues become major issues over time. Applies equally to love, friendships, health, and home.
The most damning lie you can tell is the lie you tell to yourself.
No one has ever argued their way to happiness.
If you’re going to lose a fight, make sure the other person thinks twice before fighting you again.
Getting old is no picnic, but it’s much better than the alternative.
You may occasionally disappoint others, but make sure you never disappoint yourself.
Never let a good friendship atrophy. Send the text, make the call, plan the trip. Good friendships must be treasured.
When you meet someone, look them in the eye and learn their name.
Give everybody a second chance, but never a third.
The “good old days” are always happening right now.
Whenever you hug someone, make sure they are the one to let go first.
If it’s raining on a warm summer evening, go outside and dance in it.
Taking no risk is the biggest risk you can take. Regret from the inaction is always more painful then regret from action.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
When in doubt, love. We can always use love.
When you’re feeling down, smile at yourself in the mirror for a full minute.
Travel as much as you can. Collect one token from every trip to remember it by.
If there’s something bothering you, ask yourself whether it will matter in a month. If not, let it go right now.
Stop trying to change people who don’t want to be changed.
You may win the argument, but if you lose the friends, what’s the point?
Stubborn pride is the downfall of many men and women. Learn to forget the slight hurts and and avoid grudges.
Do one thing that challenges your mind every single day. A crossword puzzle, math problem, anything. Daily “exercise” will keep your mind sharp for the long haul.
If something isn’t working and your gut tells you to try harder, first ask whether there’s an easier way to do it.
Allow your kids to fail. You will hate it, but it’s so important.
There’s nothing wrong with shedding old relationships as you grow and change.
No amount of money is ever worth trading for your peace of mind.
If your kids wants to dance in line at the store, join them.
Smile and say good morning to strangers on the street.
Laugh loudly and unapologetically whenever you feel like it.
James 4:14 reminds all of us of our shared reality: Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. There is room to enjoy today because life is short, and there are plenty of reasons to live each day well because days string together to form a life, hopefully a life well lived.
Feel free to share in the comments which one spoke to you, or share one of your own!
* I have heard there is some slang out there that can have a sexual connotation. Nothing about this post is meant to be crass or have any sexual undertones.
**This list isn’t an endorsement for @Sahil Bloom. I don’t know anything about him except that he was a former pitcher for Stanford and is now a “finance guru” on Twitter, but this thread made me pause to ponder.
Picture Explanation: Each year my husband’s sister graciously gifts our family with a gift card to a hibachi restaurant. Our family is quick to put a date on the calendar and get together as a family on her dime. What a generous gift idea that benefits our lives. This sister turned 70 this week. We love her so! Happy birthday, special lady!
Also, these dogs belong to our adult daughters but they have breathed new life into our home, along with some barks. They are lovely bits.
Speaking of our lives being a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes…
If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study in 2023, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and contact me by email. There are plans for an evening online study April 4-May 9. There are also plans for a face-to-face study this summer. Let’s focus on things that count for eternity!
© 2023 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.
Hi, Laurie. Thanks for this post and the reminder particularly to take care of my aging body! I have some work to do!
Me too, friend. Me too.
AMEN dearest Laurie!
Glad to hear from you. I have got to slow down and smell some roses and dance in the kitchen. Working at it!
I have been struggling with telling my brother why I was in a terrible terrible mood the last time I visited. I have ruined my relationship with him and and his family. The one quote that stuck out was “time doesn’t heal anything when it comes to relationship. Don’t delay difficult conversations.” God has been whispering for months that that I need to take care of this.
Ah, my dear friend, thank you for sharing that. May God be with you as you walk out what He has been whispering. May God bring healing!