It never ceases to amaze me what time brings: peace of mind, compassion, new perspectives. Of course, lately time is also bringing knee pain and wrinkles. If I paid attention, every day I could probably make a list of at least one thing, if not several, that time has made me aware of. As it is, I am often blindsided by small realizations that I have learned something new or changed my mind about something just because time has passed.
The passing of time and keeping my mouth shut while it passes has also taught me that perspectives vary a great deal given the age of a person. Among my younger acquaintances, I can see that their ideas of what is most important to them is directly proportional to their age. A twenty-something is becoming more and more aware of the vastness of her world; while a thirty-something is focused on the world inhabited by her small children. Given my age, I am aware of what I have learned as I have ventured through both the worlds of family and far-flung lands. I am also aware that very few others are interested in what I have learned; they are too busy learning for themselves.
Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” I am a great believer in obtaining as much knowledge as possible and while much knowledge is printed in books and much knowledge can be gained by listening to one’s elders, most knowledge is discovered by doing. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…and hopefully, wiser.
I hope the perspectives I have gained will make me a better person: One who listens more and talks less. One who is tolerant and not judgmental. One who ventures and doesn’t shrink away. I also hope that I get better quickly as my time is growing short.
Apparently, for me the act of continuing to write is extremely difficult. I have read several books on “how to write”. They all tell the aspiring writer to write a lot. Write on a schedule. Write in the middle of the night when one is inspired. Write. Write. Write. Yeah, right.
Some little part of my brain that has always wanted to write is always getting overruled by the part of my brain that tells me to do laundry or cook dinner or read a novel. The writer part of my brain is not very tenacious; it’s old and flabby from disuse. So here I am again, trying to exercise it. Of course, going to a physical exercise class is one of the best excuses I have for not writing. One simply must stay in shape. Look what happened to those English ladies who lolled around writing and eating bonbons and died from consumption or obesity or something.
I decided that I wanted to write long before I ever turned to exercise. I took a literature and composition class in high school under the direction of Mrs. Della Craighead. I told her I wanted to write and she encouraged me. She encouraged a lot of people to write, to think, and to live a good life. She still does. She is in her nineties now and has a strong Facebook following of former students. She doesn’t actually post on Facebook; friends and family do that for her, but she is still an inspiration to us.
I don’t consider myself a failure in Mrs. Craighead’s eyes because I did do a lot of writing in my various careers. My writer brain has been used; it just hasn’t been used to its potential. Or maybe I just want my fifteen minutes of fame. I know I am not going to get much recognition from my music or dance or math abilities in this pageant we call life, so I better rely on something that I have a tendency toward.
(And, yes, I know I ended that last sentence with a preposition. I do know how to write, you know.)
My sweet traveler, Sarah, has started a blog of her adventures. She asked me for some assistance in the mechanics of her written efforts and I will happily comply. To do so, I am starting a blog of my own so that I may assist her from a position of knowledge. Let’s hope I have chosen the right path.
My blog is written/maintained through Blogger – a Google product – as I think hers is. I must make sure of this before I go too far.
And that last sentence illustrates the major difference between Sarah and I. Though she is far from reckless, she doesn’t hesitate to go out and do what she wants. I, however, want to be sure I am on the right path. Duh. One can never be absolutely sure of that. I know that, don’t I?
Go forth, girl. Both of us.