juliespeaks

The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.

NEW POST – THINGS I’VE LEARNED

on March 7, 2012

THINGS I’VE LEARNED

I sometimes ask myself what I have learned..  Occasionally I’m satisfied with the answer and just as often I’m dissatisfied.  It feels incomplete – as though by the age of 75 I ought to have learned  a good deal more.

I have learned  that  anger and self pity , jealousy and envy are self-defeating: they deprive one of the ability to experience warmth and love.  Once, in an effort to shake off a feeling of self-pity, I took a walk and it occurred to me that self-pity is not only self-defeating but also turns one into an isolationist..

I have learned and appreciate the fact that mankind is one kind and I strive to incorporate that point of view in all I do and say.

I have learned not to waste worry. I know I am too trusting but I have no desire to be anything but.  ‘Parlous’ times are not familiar to me.. I have learned to value and take pride in some personal qualities that, some years ago I didn’t recognize. I like my flexibility, my open-mindedness, the things that make me caring and loving, my creativity. I never used to think of myself as creative but a few years ago, something made me realize otherwise.

I was sitting in a synagogue inPhoenix. Suddenly, I looked to my left and my right and, there I was, surrounded by needlepoint tallit bags (bags used to carry a man’s prayer shawl) I had designed and made. The concept of creativity came crashing down on me like a cloud letting loose of a torrent of hail. It washed my soul and gave me a real sense of some of what I am. Why I had failed to recognize and embrace it all those years I can’t imagine. I accept that now and value it.

One of the most important things I have learned occurred one day on about the 50th lap of a one mile swim in a pool.  Like a bolt of lightening I suddenly realized that subjecting oneself to unpleasant circumstances only causes one to lose self respect..  Another –   most important -is never to forget and appreciate the importance of family.

On the other hand, I have failed miserably to learn anything about cynicism or skepticism. Essentially (foolishly?), despite all evidence to the contrary, I still believe that good will triumph over evil and that people are basically kind and honest. I have been sensible enough,  however, to have taken my phone number off the number/address tracking line and I don’t walk down dark alleys.

I have also failed to learn much about patience and how to control my impulse to snoop.  If it wasn’t illegal I’d probably open other people’s mail.  Nor can I control my tendency to be critical of those who cannot spell and butcher the English language.  I haven’t learned how to participate in small talk and avoid it whenever possible.

Surely there’s more – more I’ve learned and more I’ve failed to learn – and now I will be distracted for a few days in an effort to zero in on them.

What have you learned?

Julie Rose

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