My Next 35 Years

September 24, 2013 Becky Oberg

I'll be honest, I hate country music. For example, as someone who lived next to train tracks for a year, I don't consider listening to the "Night Train" romantic because the horn is too dang loud. And leaving my abusive ex was not themed like "Independence Day" or "Goodbye, Earl", as much as I would've loved to get even. But some of it just rings true, especially Tim McGraw's "My Next Thirty Years". Maybe I'm a bit reflective because I turn 35 tomorrow, but it seems to fit with my attitude towards life.

"Find a world of happiness without the hate and fear"

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent of your response to it. And in my 35 years on this earth, I found that we tend to attract our beliefs. If we believe the world is basically good, then everything that happens to us is good. If we live in a world of hate and fear, we will see the world as cold, cruel and hostile, and everything that happens to us will be bad.

The problem is I was raised to believe the world--and by extension, me--was basically evil. It was literally a religious belief--people were bad, God was good. God sent his son to save us and we killed him, and if we believed that he rose from the dead to save us from being evil we would go to Heaven. I don't know to what extent I still believe this, but I know that people, regardless of religion, are capable of great good.

A Buddhist monk once said "To every man is given the key to the Gates of Heaven. The same key also opens the Gates of Hell." For my part, I choose to open the Gates of Heaven. I try to focus not on the evil I face, but the good I can do in spite of it.

"Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers"

I am an alcoholic. It is vital to remain in recovery from my alcoholism unless I want to end up in jail, a state hospital or a cemetery. It is also vital I stay on my medication and not self-medicate.

As a person with borderline personality disorder (BPD), it is essential that I stay in treatment. I have to live my recovery as well. I have to choose not to drink alcohol. I have to choose to take my medication and go to therapy. I have to choose to use positive coping skills.

We've all heard the saying "When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade." In other words, do the best you can with what you've been handed. Sometimes you'll find the result is that while there is some sour taste, for the most part the result is sweeter than you could ever imagine.

"Spend precious moments with the ones that I hold dear"

I'm a family person. Family comes first. I remember I e-mailed a source that I might have to cancel at the last minute since my sister-in-law was nine months pregnant. I have three nephews and a niece that I dote on something awful. I've found that time spent with my family is truly "quality time".

This doesn't mean that everyone can be a family person. Sometimes relationships are in name only. In that case, find your own family. I define family as "a group of people who love and accept one another more than they deserve". In that sense, I have a church family and an AA family.

Every moment with a loved one is precious. Enjoy them while they last.

I don't know what my next 35 years will bring, but I do know that I'm determined to enjoy them.

APA Reference
Oberg, B. (2013, September 24). My Next 35 Years, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 27 from

Author: Becky Oberg

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