Posts Tagged With: Wisdom

 
 

Light and Dark

Friday Letter to my Kids – March 27, 2015 –

*****

Dear J, J, L and L,

I wish I could dispense amazing tidbits of wisdom and peace in these letters to you.

Although, that’d probably just come off as advice, which I really don’t want these turning into. And I’m not really all that wise, just old. Older.

Think about it. In twenty years a couple of you will practically be my age and I’ll be my mom’s age, give or take few. That ought to blow you away a little.

Here’s the thing. Time doesn’t always equal wisdom.

Time amounts to experience, which some people confuse with wisdom.

Compared to some people’s stable, lived-in-the-same-town-forever lives, I’ve had a bunch of experience. But compared to other lives, I live a sheltered existence. The closest I get to some things comes across a flickering screen. And that’s fine with me. I don’t want those kinds of experiences.

A couple of weeks ago I read this thought that hit me full on in the face with how simply profound it felt.

Don't know who to attribute this wisdom to.

Don’t know who to attribute this wisdom to.

Wish I’d had that a year or two ago. Wish I’d known and believed it twenty years ago. I’m certain I’ll need a reminder of it in the future as well, dang it.

We all need reminders of certain things. This one now serves as my big reminder about who am I, where I’ve been, what I want, what I’d like to overcome. Hopefully this reminder will help me.

Maybe it’ll help you sometime, too.

By the way, you’re each part of the light I learned in. Thanks for that.

***

All my love,

Mom

~~~~~

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” ~ Mark Twain 

Categories: Friday Letter to My Kids, Friday Letters | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wisdom from an Almost One-Year Old

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I could do this all day. That’s my plan.

I spent some quality and quantity time recently with an almost one-year old. I recommend it to nearly everyone. I learned some profound and not so profound lessons I think I could apply to my life, if I’d just loosen up a little bit.

  1. Water is JOY! Put it in a plastic five-foot circle, a sippy cup, a bath tub or running out of a faucet or hose. It’s the best toy ever! It surprises, cools, splashes, runs, makes music I can dance to. It also has the magical ability to clean everything or transform it into a giant mess
  2. I’ll stop everything if there’s an animal to observe.
  3. Except eating, I won’t stop for anything if I’m in the middle of eating. I probably wouldn’t notice a Tasmanian devil and an animated rabbit in the room if I had food in front of me. I want it. I need it. And I need it fast! Don’t be lollygagging around once you’ve decided it’s time to eat. Oh, and what I loved yesterday, or even at lunchtime, I might turn my head away so it ends up in my ear.
  4. I just need one little foothold to expand my play space from the floor to everywhere else. Chairs, pillows, toys, people, all count as legitimate means to upward mobility and access to all things taller than me. You’ve been warned.
  5. If you want an honest, unrestrained belly laugh just tickle me under my chin. Or kiss me there.
  6. Clocks – schmocks. Nonsense.
  7. I’ll insist I’m not the least bit sleepy even when every indicator for exhaustion is blinking red and making warning noises. If someone can just help me slow down long enough to pay attention to the tired meters I’d probably start snoring before my head reaches the pillow. If you want to hum a soothing tune or gently brush your hand across my forehead for a few minutes I might just fall asleep in your arms. I’ll try not to drool.
  8. Dirty toes, sticky fingers, splotches on my face and spills on my shirt mean I’ve simply been exploring, learning and having an all around lovely time of it.
  9. My smile is all about you and has very little to do with me. I’m happy to see you, I love being in your company. As much time as you want to hang out with me, I’ll take it. All I have to offer you in return in my undying devotion and this smile.
  10. When you go away, even if it is just down the hall or into a small square room with a lock on the door, I’ll feel forlorn and lonely and think the world has come to end. At least temporarily. I’ll probably cry, loudly and with gusto. But when I see you again, all is instantly forgiven and life is good.
  11. My big bulging belly is part of my beautiful physique. It isn’t who I am though. No matter how much exercise I get, or how healthy I eat, my belly insists on being a prominent part of what everyone sees.
  12. I want to move to everything that sounds like music. I may break into dance without any warning whatsoever. If I’m moving around in silly ways that not everyone will interpret as dancing, you’re welcome to move to another part of the room and pretend you don’t know me, or you can laugh. But please, don’t try to video the experience because it’ll just ruin my groove.
  13. I love being snuggled, and held, and hugged and patted on the back. But I need my space. Don’t crowd me. How will you know when to hold me and when to let me go? I have no idea. Go with the flow and take a chance.
  14. I’m going to fall down a heckuva lot. It’ll look like failure, but it’s not. I may whine and cry about it. But mostly, I’ll just get myself up off the floor no matter how awkward it might look, and, if I can remember what I was doing before I fell, I’ll try again. Obstacles abound. Oh, well.

That’s not everything I learned. But it’s a piece of it.

Toddlers. Who knew?

Those little people possess a boggling amount of wisdom for having just barely learned to walk.

Midnight? What's that?

Midnight? What’s that?

Categories: Fun, Happiness, Humor, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

What I Know, A Very Short Treatise

At age eighteen I thought I knew so much. That may have been true if you compared me to other eighteen year olds. I read more than the average teen. I took Advanced Placement classes. I took life pretty seriously, and yet, at the time I enjoyed myself. I had some brainy and quick-witted friends.

Ten years after that I looked back at my oh-so-wise-in-my-own-eyes teen self and shook my head. What a naïve girl! A lifetime of non-book learning seemed to occur in those ten short years. I’d put in some college time, sure, but I didn’t learn much the first time as a freshman. Who does, right? Distracted by trying to pay for the privilege of being there, I missed out on a ton of fun and opportunities. I had the dumbest work hours. Missed all the parties, missed all the camaraderie, missed learning how to get along with people.

Then I got to go back to school as a slightly older student and I soaked it all in like a sandbox and water. I had a couple of writing classes that kickstarted me in the sanity direction that words spilling out on paper became.

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One professor in particular encouraged and praised my writing beyond anything I’m sure I deserved. I reread that stuff and wonder how he ever saw potential there. His last  bit of advice to me hit me like an anvil dropped from an outcropping cliff by a road runner. Mind you, as a twenty-five year old mother of two I thought I had some life under my belt.

He said, and I paraphrase, “You’ve got real talent there. Give yourself ten or twenty years of life experience and then you’ll really be a great writer.”

It was like getting a hug while a wearing a burr covered shirt. Ouch!

No, I didn’t set out to live some amazing life of adventure. Having children and my particular husband served well as adventure fodder and life experience. “Sure it is,” you’re thinking as you shake your head “no.”

Let me just insert here that after that first move which pulled me out of college one year shy of a bachelor’s degree, we moved eleven times and added two more children to the mix. From the Northwest to the Southeast to the West to the Midwest and then back to the West. Include a couple or more bounces in each region. Add in two stints of wearing out various relatives for several months in between homes.

I’ve met a wide variety of people. Granted, most of them are American, but not all of them. I learned to get along with people, make friends quickly, climb out of my shell, ask questions, act independently and confidently and navigate the weirdest roads without a smartphone or GPS.

Throw in life’s natural disasters and dramas add a generous mix of teenage angst and a bit of insanity from several directions. What you have several decades later is one woman with a head filled to overflowing with experience but not necessarily wisdom trying to make sense of what she’s done with and to her life.

My own personal bluebird of happiness. He hangs in the laundry room and occasionally chirps out bits of advice.

My own personal bluebird of happiness. He hangs in the laundry room and occasionally chirps out bits of advice.

I look at what I thought I knew in my thirties and shake my head in embarrassment. I look at what I thought I’d figured out in my forties and hide my head and shudder. I look at what I think I know now and at least I know that I know very little.

You know who really knows what’s what? People nearly twice my age. People ten years older than me, twenty years, thirty years older. Where is their wisdom? Why aren’t they out there blogging, writing, sharing, spilling, imparting, enlightening?

Oh yeah, because anyone younger thinks they’ve got it all figured out and they don’t pay attention. Including me to an extent.

What a dingbat.

I know some thirteen year olds who swear I know nothing about the real world. Eh, maybe. But I’m pretty sure I’d beat them in almost any game of life put to the both of us.

There’s no convincing anyone. You have to come to that conclusion yourself.

How?

By getting older. By living.

By time you figure it out, it’s too late to profit much from the wisdom of any other person. Unless you’re willing humble yourself and listen. And then follow through.

Is that what the great circle of life really is? Learning that the stove is hot by getting burned? Figuring out the water is too deep and fast by wading in and being swept away?

I suppose to some extent there’s no way to replace experience. But there’s a few thing I would rather not have had to learn.

And I’m certain there’s more on the horizon I still don’t want to learn. I wish I could just read a book on whatever it is and take a test.

I guess I’ll try to relax and breathe deeply, so when the vehicle starts to roll, or the avalanche lets loose, or the tornado hits, or life spins wildly into vertigo I won’t get too banged up.

Anyone want to volunteer for me? Anyone? Anyone at all?

Katniss?

Ah, well. Life isn’t a novel, or a movie.

Age

Age (Photo credit: garryknight)

In the meantime, I’ll write about it all, a little hear, a little there. I’ll try to make sense of it and share what I can along the way.

You’re welcome to take it or leave it.

I don’t really know all that much, after all.

Categories: Education, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Fortunate

Fortune cookies play as entertainment in my book. I don’t place much credence in fortune-telling, or in predicting the future, or stuff like that. I do, however, find some interesting tidbits of wisdom or humor in those crunchy pockets of cellophane wrapped take-out.

20130915-095630.jpgTake this one. “Good luck is the result of good planning.”

I plan much and then play things by ear. I’m spontaneous, flexible and easy-going. Planning on my part seems like a way to bring some humor into God’s day. “She thinks she’s going to do what today? Hahahahahaha.” As anyone who knows me will attest, I’m easy and I’ve learned how to fall without getting hurt too badly. I do feel lucky but not in the classic sense.

I’m glad to provide someone with a good laugh on occasion, even if it’s God, or the Fate’s or someone looking on at my attempts at leading a productive and helpful life.

20130915-095659.jpg“Most spend lives reading the menu instead of enjoying the banquet.” I can never decide what to eat when I go out to dinner. I end up getting something familiar then watch whoever I’m with enjoy something new and yummy. Put me in front of a buffet and I’ll have a grand time! Lately life’s banquet has been sumptuous. And if I’m honest, it’s always been a feast of epic proportions, but I haven’t always recognized that.

20130915-095710.jpg“Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians.” I’m not sure I can add any more to this one. Like most doctor’s advice, we don’t want to follow through, we want a pill, a quick fix, an instacure. Let Nature work her miracles on what ails you. She’s a master healer for me. And the twins Time and Patience, they’ll work their own special brand of healing whether you want to wait and see or not.

20130915-095825.jpg“Any troubles you have will pass very shortly.” If by “shortly” they mean eventually, then this one speaks truth. While we’re in the middle of chaos and mayhem and heartache, time seems to stand still. I’ve found it helpful to remember what  the Persian sufi poets have said, “This too shall pass.” I also try to picture myself still dealing with the particular flavor of trouble I’m experiencing, oh say, five years from now, and often picture seems brighter with the trouble in my rear view mirror. This is particularly true of children trouble, oddly enough.

20130915-095648.jpg“You will have a long and wealthy life.” Subjective words like long and wealthy can mislead. Long enough is long. And wealthy in what? Money? Sure that’d be nice. But, I like to think of myself as wealthy in family, rich with experiences, decadent in knowledge, comfortably well-off in friendships, affluent in laughter and prospering with gratitude. What greater wealth could a person hope for?

20130915-095841.jpg“You are strong and brave.” I have this one in my wallet where I can see it daily. Hopefully I’m internalizing the idea as well. It’s something I really need to incorporate. If you can believe that you’re strong and brave, then you can valiantly and gracefully endure any troubles you face.

*A side note here for a select few. If it doesn’t apply to you then skip ahead to the last paragraph, or if you can listen quietly, then go ahead and read anyway.

*I know a few of you think of yourselves as weak and scared. You’re wrong. I’ve seen as life has woven strength into and through you. I’ve watched as you’ve battled frightening odds and climbed treacherous trails. You’re braver than you believe. Say this to yourself today. Say it to yourself every day. “I am strong and brave.  I am strong and brave. I am strong and brave.” Say it until you believe it. Say it for the rest of your life. It’s true. You just need to believe that it is.*

An unopened fortune cookie

My favorite chinese food is crab puffs. There. I’ve admitted it. Followed closely by egg rolls, spring rolls and fried rice. I never have much luck with Kung Pao. I usually end up with one of those red peppers burning off half my tongue before I can swallow the rest of the deliciousness. Not sure why I felt compelled to disclose that. But it’s out there now.

And from what I’ve heard and read, fortune cookies didn’t even originate in China. You can read a bit more about it by clicking here if you feel so inclined. Wherever they came from, they sure make for some great conversation starters and often some good laughs.

Wishing you good fortune and happiness today and everyday.

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ziggy’s Wisdom, Mom’s Hands

Ziggy always shared some bit of wisdom. This wall hanging I have at home, a gift of cross stitch from my Mom, has some of the wisest words that little roundish guy ever spoke.

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Give a little, get a little.

Seems like a good philosophy.

What will you do today, or tomorrow, to start your day with a little love?

To check out Ziggy cartoons and other bits of wisdom click on one of the links below.

Ziggy Comic Strip

More Ziggy Comics

Categories: Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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