It’s important to have things we are proud of in life. These usually range from education to achievements in a career field.

And while those are certainly accomplish-

ments, some of the sweetest come in the form of those with whom we get to share them — family, spouse, children and grandchildren. Any relationships that afford us the opportunity to be an example or leave a legacy are definitely most rewarding.

I’ve always been the type of person who desires to learn and grow. Call me a lifelong learner. If there is something I can read or a class I can attend to sharpen my mind or develop new skills, I am all in.

I get some of this from my mother. She only had a high school education, but when she became an Air Force wife, traveling around the world with my dad, she definitely bloomed wherever she was planted.

In addition to being a devoted mom to us three children, she took advantage of different classes wherever we lived. Anything from earning a teaching certificate in the Japanese art of punch pictures to cake decorating and pattern making — beyond knowing how to sew, she actually developed patterns for clothing and made them for us.

Because of her example, some milestones I’m most proud of include being among the first Girl Scouts earning the Troops on Foreign Soil (TOFS) recognition when my dad was stationed in Japan.

In college, when the Billy Graham Crusade came to Raleigh, I was fortunate to be trained as a counselor for the event.

And most recently, I surprised even myself when I was sworn in as a notary public.

Truth is, I never know what will strike my fancy. Sometimes it’s as simple as need meeting opportunity. In this case, while seeking the service, an interest sparked to learn more about it.

How great that we have a community college in our midst!

I have learned much in recent weeks. The class was excellent, and I was actually a little nervous as the exam was administered at the end.

How excited I was when the notification letter came and I could become official.

There was none of this, “Will you solemnly swear….,” where I simply replied “I do” or “I will.”

Nope! I had to read this long oath, promising to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the state and all this big-deal stuff like elected officials say.

I actually feel kinda cool, like I can go out and change the world or something.

Before this, the highest office I had ever held was PTA president for three years at my kids’ school.

As I find myself reading, really reading, the Constitution and realizing just how wise those forefathers were all those years ago, it makes me even more proud to be an American.

If you haven’t read it, I challenge you to do so.

As a newly-minted notary public, consider that my first unofficial act.

Phyllis Moore is a speaker, retired reporter from the News Argus and author of two books. She also has a YouTube channel, “Phyllisophically Speaking.”