What I Learned Living in New Jersey

When I was in high school in Iowa I worked a number of part-time jobs, mostly in retail. Back then, I figured the primary benefit of those jobs was not the paycheck.

the words love yourself written in sand on the New Jersey Shore little waves rolling in

Experience every bit of life and let it continually reshape you.

The primary benefit was that I would learn something – about life, about other people, about myself. I figured as long as I kept my mind open to learning a lesson larger than the tasks required for the job, then I was meeting my goal.

When I moved to New Jersey 13 years ago, I took that same perspective: Stay open to what life’s experiences have to teach you. I thought I’d share 13 things I have learned while living here.

Sometimes when you really need a friend, all you have to do is ask.

People who try to make you defensive can be best dealt with by a good offense.

For me, learning happens best through talking and listening to people with different backgrounds.

Some people show amazing grace in the face of devastating adversity.

Developing a new hobby can lead to developing a lot of new friendships.

Lighter than air flight is awesome.

Most of the things we spend time obsessing over really aren’t worth that much attention.

No matter what happens to us, the only workable choice is to keep moving forward.

Unconditional acceptance and listening are perhaps the best gifts we can ever give.

We don’t have to be perfect and it’s okay to try and not succeed.

Focusing on the past means the future will only be more of the same.

We can set boundaries on acceptable behavior.

We are our most caring when we can hear our words as others hear them.

What’s most important about all of these lessons is that most likely I would have learned all of them living some place else. I didn’t learn them because of where I lived, I learned them because of how I lived. When we take the blinders off from around our eyes and from around our heart and allow ourselves to see life as it really is, and to experience all the joy and all the pain that comes our way, then we are living an honest, open and true life.

Life Is Honest, Open and True

When we are open to adventures and embrace life’s lessons as they present themselves, we experience the full promise of the life we are meant to live.

What about you? What have you learned living in the place you live now that has shaped your daily life? Is it different from what you might have learned living some place else? Stop by our Life is HOT blog Facebook Group and leave a comment or tweet me @LifeIsHOTBlog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!
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0 Responses to What I Learned Living in New Jersey

  1. Pingback: The Sanctuary of Home | LifeIsHOTblog

  2. Stevie Balch

    Place matters, I think, in the sense of connection, not of geography alone, nor even climate (though I wholly endorse the above idea of warmth: we’ve been semi-icebound for 2 days and local rivers are heaving Khombu blocks onto bankside fields and roads.)

    Place seems not fixed, but allegorical, lyrical, discordant.
    Here is a favorite excerpt from Wendell Berry. May your new place welcome you with promise and adventure.

    Sometimes our life reminds me
    of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
    and in that opening a house,
    an orchard and garden,
    comfortable shades, and flowers
    red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
    made in the light for the light to return to.
    The forest is mostly dark, its ways
    to be made anew day after day, the dark
    richer than the light and more blessed,
    provided we stay brave
    enough to keep on going in.

    -Stevie

  3. Irene

    I learned I should have moved to a warmer climate a long time ago. it probably would have made a big difference in my arthritis pain. I also exercise a lot more all year around, even when it is 100+ degrees outside. Warm weather and infrequent rainy days makes a happy me. I find I don’t have those ‘down in the dumps’ days like I did in the midwest. But maybe that’s also because I have young grandchildren to keep me hopping.

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