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Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’


Sometimes life gives you the opportunity to receive more than what you think you’re paying for. 

I take weekly sculpture lessons with a wonderful and giving octogenarian. She provides sculpture lessons for sure, but she frequently weighs in on life matters. The sculpture studio is an intimate place. When a new person (male) was introduced into the group of female students, it was with the understanding that he “fit” into the group without disrupting it. (He met with her approval.)

Life, challenges of health, family and the world at large are discussed in the hours we spend there together. And our teacher, a wise, strong and loving person, continues to evolve and share what she has discovered.

I have always favored older friends. They have the wisdom of the older generation, like parents, but none of the baggage or judgement that accompanies blood relationships.

The latest lesson was how to slow down. She had recently decided to permit herself to do it and say “no” to even the most tempting activities. She listens to and respects her body, age-related limitations and trusts that it is OK to NOT do something.

I have been experimenting with this myself. I learned that the town I will be moving to has roller skating weekly at one of the schools. My eyes lit up as I remembered the fun I had on roller skates when it was back in style in the mid 70’s, when I was in my twenties. I pictured myself twirling around, skating backwards, dancing with a partner. I was pretty hot on wheels. 

Then reality sunk in. Having had a number of falls and breaking a wrist in the past few years, I realized the lunacy of even considering this. If I couldn’t figure out why I fell while standing in a supermarket line, how could I trust that I could move on wheels? “No,” I said to myself. Just “no.”

My teacher’s words came to me. “You can slow down. It’s OK.” And you know what? I am OK with it. Who needs another broken bone?

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Best friends for life!

I recently had breakfast with a good friend of mine, to celebrate my birthday. We much more relish time together than birthday presents. Gifts come in many forms. Neither of us needs anything tangible. We both prefer each other’s company.

My friend is 32 years my senior – a greater difference than that between my mother and myself. She represents the best in a friendship. She embodies motherly concern, she is someone to have philosophical and topically interesting discussions with, and she inspires me with her attitude, experiences, and generosity of spirit. She is a disciplined person, much my opposite, but she gives me a different and equally important perspective when I need one. Yet she is never judgmental and always accepts me for who I am. What can be better.

She has lived to see amazing things come to fruition in 89 years. She saw the synthesizing of insulin, frozen foods, TV, scotch tape, electron microscopes, Polaroid cameras, nylon,photocopiers, ballpoint pens, Teflon, Sikorsky’s first helicopter, aerosol cans, microwave ovens, Velcro, the jukebox, the first credit card, superglue, bar codes, transistor radios, oral contraceptives, optical fiber, tetracycline, the pacemaker, the first air crossing of the Pacific, Speedos, letter sorting machines (and to think the post office is nearly outmodes altogether), sports utility cars, penicillin, rotary lawn mowers, permanent press, the airplane black box, plastic optical lenses, ultrasound, latex gloves, the inflatable emergency airplane slide, microsurgery, pop top cans, in-vitro fertilization, integrated circuits, electronic ignition, space travel, personal computers, ATM machines, gene splicing, bionic ears for the deaf, Post-It notes, MRI imaging, laser printing, spreadsheets, solar cells, plastic bone replacements, soft, multi-focal, continuous wear, and disposable contact lenses, roller blades, hepatitis vaccinations, genetically engineered tissue, Doppler radar, HDTV, world wide web, Google, mapping of the human genome, to name a few!

She delights in things that virtually no one else her age would consider. She embraces every opportunity to learn something new when offered. She lives life intentionally – she does not wait around for the inevitable. Every minute she is alive is not wasted. I strive to grow up to be her. And I am blessed and honored that she calls me her friend.

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