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by Jennifer Brown Banks

Birthday Reflections on Love, Life, Etc.

June marks my birth month.

I love the month of June, because it’s the beginning of summer, it’s the wedding season, and did I mention it’s my birthday? :-)

Birthdays for me are always a time for reflection. As I celebrate this one, I have so much to be thankful for; my health, my home, a career I love, folks I love, folks who love me, self love, and a killer wardrobe for the hot days ahead! Not too shabby for a gal my age.

Each year, I try to progress in my life---to be a little bit further and smarter than I was the year before. So far, I’m on track.


Conversely, I was talking to a friend of mine recently, and I was really stumped at how a person her age keeps repeating the same mistakes. Getting older, but not wiser. I can’t quite figure it out. Though she’s a sweetheart of a person, somehow she doesn’t seem to be able to quite “connect the dots” to a better life. So, I thought for this column, I would share some of the lessons I’ve learned from over the years. Here’s what I’ve picked up along the way:


» We teach people how to treat us by the things we accept.

» Men will come and go, but friends are forever.

» All relationships have stages.

» You can’t change him.

» The search for a soul mate begins with some soul searching first.

» Self-love is a prerequisite for successful relationships.

» You reap what you sow in love and life.

» Choosing a person with compatible values is crucial to successful mating.

» Love does not conquer all, nor does money.

» Relationships take work. The more you invest, the greater the return.

» Geminis are not a good choice for me in the romance department.

» Internet dating is becoming increasingly popular for people of all walks of life.


» Once you reach 30, it takes real discipline to keep the weight off.

» Happiness is a byproduct of good choices and proper balance.

» Most things shouldn’t be indulged in excess.

» Choosing friends wisely helps to avoid future drama. · There is a divine plan in operation in each person’s life

» Having an open mind is a true sign of intelligence.

» I would rather be respected than popular.

» Time heals most wounds.

» Different cultures have different standards for beauty.

» Marital status does not determine happiness. It’s the “quality” of a relationship that really counts.

» Simple pleasures really are the best.

» A bubble bath and a good bottle of spirits will cure most ills ETC.

» Marie Calender makes the best frozen dinners.

» Happiness is a choice. · Never compete or compare. Strive for your personal best.

» Everybody is good at something. Have you discovered your niche?

» All men are not dogs, though some require training!

» You should always have a “plan B”.

» Music is the universal language.

» For every gain there is a sacrifice. There’s always a tradeoff.

» You should never marry a man for whom you have to give an ultimatum.

» Every relationship should have boundaries.

» If you could live your life over again, and would change very little, you’ve lived a great life.

» Budgeting is an art.

» Education increases your options and your income potential. The more you learn, the more you earn.

» Keeping your word is crucial to gaining other’s trust and confidence.

As I close out my birthday reflections, I’d like to leave you with this:

In life and love, always strive to be wiser with each experience. To quote a popular expression, “Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it.”

If you’d like to send sentiments or well wishes for my birthday, drop me a line at GEMSJEN@YAHOO.COM. I’d love to hear from you!

Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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