Say hi to Linda Smith, today’s Life Lessons subject. Linda is doin’ it! The it is life and she’s grabbing it with both hands, even the parts that aren’t a whole lot of fun. Read more about her below and remember, if you’d like to be a part of our Life Lessons feature, drop us a line; we’ll get the questions out to you ASAP!
Are you happy at the moment?
In spite of some circumstances, yes, I am happy. Some areas of my life are less than I’d like, but I have many people and things that bring joy to my life. The greatest source of happiness at the moment is a new grandbaby set to arrive in late June!
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
Sweetie, don’t overlook all the opportunities currently within your grasp as you continue to reach for the stars. Don’t view those opportunities as unacceptable alternatives to what you’d hoped to achieve, but rather as stepping stones to your goal. Kudos to your choice in friends – they will continue to be true friends throughout your life!
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
I’m learning to accept change as an opportunity. Change is what enables us to move from what’s become comfortable to things we didn’t even know were possible.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I’d like to get a portion of a book written. Research can slow me down and cause procrastination. However, I have been handed a great gift recently, which should put me months ahead of schedule!
What’s your secret to happiness?
I try to overlook the small stuff that can steal my peace and joy. My dad died a few weeks shy of his 52nd birthday, so I understand life is short. I don’t waste time trying to fix things that are outside of my ability to fix.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
I’m a person of faith, so I begin everyday with devotions. Whether you call it quiet time, meditation or devotions, it’s a way to start the day with a clear heart, mind and spirit.
What’s your biggest regret?
I regret not taking advantage of a music scholarship to attend college. I was young and in love and chose not to leave my boyfriend. Good thing he became my husband (married 33 years June 16)!
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
They are both adults and have expressed that they learned that they are responsible for their choices. I’m not always pleased with every choice they make, but I am glad that they own them.
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
I’m a procrastinator. It drives my husband crazy and adds stress to my life that isn’t necessary.
Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
I’m proud of the fact that I went to college for the first time at age 33 and began a successful career late in life (relatively speaking). It was tough with two young children, but I think it was good for them to see mom (and dad) take classes, do homework and generally place a value on education.
When were you happiest?
When I knew I was pregnant for the second time. Our first baby was born nine weeks early and she died at 10 days old. I had a lot of infertility problems after that and two years later was told I would probably never have any other children naturally. We adopted a three-year-old girl and a few months later discovered there might be an answer to my infertility issues. A few months after that, I was pregnant with our son. I still smile when I remember the pregnancy test being positive!
What ten words best describe you?
Hmmm – not an easy question to answer, so I asked for a little help. In alphabetical order:
cautious, compassionate, creative, encourager, intelligent, loyal, procrastinator, reserved, stubborn and thoughtful.
Linda worked as a media/public relations specialist for the Oregon Zoo for 15 years and is now putting her writing skills to work on her blog, Femme-de-Finesse. Understanding there aren’t a lot of blogs covering that transitional period between raising children and retirement, she writes about life from a reflective, yet lively point of view.
Linda has been married to her husband since 1979, and they enjoyed raising their two children and all the activity that goes with it. Rivers of tears ensued as the youngest child left for college, but the benefits of being empty-nesters (quiet evenings, freedom to travel, eating in restaurants without breaking the budget) has eased the trauma.