About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Listen to Old People

There was a fascinating article in the Vancouver Sun today, written by Susan Schwartz, about why we should listen to old people. It reminded me of the many times my mother and I would talk about life, love, her youth and the mistakes she made, and where I'd be in life when I got older. I'd hang on every word because I could "see" her as a 17-year-old being told by her father that since she was finished high school, she had to get a job. Now you must understand that my mother had been raised in a family where money was not an issue and getting a job was a foreign notion to her. But she did get on with the provincial telephone company and that was how she eventually met my father.

In the article by Susan Schwartz, she writes that "some lament never having asked their elders, while they had the chance, about lessons life had taught them." I will forever treasure those moments with my mother, especially the moments when, stricken with Alzheimers Disease, she'd go way back into her memory bank and bring forth some words of wisdom. Once, my mother told me that I was impatient and she quoted this saying: "Patience is a virtue possessed by few women and no men." She also told me that I tend to be an intolerant person and that I must learn to accept people and situations as they are. Finally, she told me not to analyze everything so much, but to just enjoy life.

The physical and emotional scars of my life encourage me to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way. Playwright Edward Albee said that wisdom is a matter of perspective. "Maybe it's finally being able to figure out what you should be worrying about and what you shouldn't be worrying about."

My mother admitted to me that she had failed in some aspects of her life and now that I'm, shall we say "mature," I can now admit to having failed in some aspects of my life, too. But that said, I've never forgotten those three things my mother said to me. I try very hard to be patient, tolerant, and to fully enjoy my life and what it brings to me.

And today, after weeks of miserable weather, I took my first solo walk without my brace in the sunshine - and saw some daffodils.


Maggie May said...

Glad you went for a walk alone without your brace! You are getting there.
I suppose I am old...... so maybe I shouldn't comment. However I feel that old people can say some good things & some bad things, just like every other age group!

Country Girl said...

Oh, good for you Leslie! Bravo on the walk! And also on understanding the need to listen to our elders. The year before my father passed away, I talked to him every day while visiting with him and wrote down the stories he told me. My brothers and sisters Christmas present this year was the story.

Cath said...

Leslie that is wonderful! So glad you are healing physically and emotionally. Of course, if I had managed to get my butt over here a bit sooner I would have known about your surgery.
So I just want to wish you well in your recovery, and hope I don't leave it as long again!

Your mother gave some wise words for us all, not just you. I need more patience!

Liz said...

Very wise words.

And I'm glad you managed a walk in the daffodils!

Rosie said...

happy you are on the mend.
Our children have asked us to tell them our rock and roll stories, but I'm stll not quite ready...or they're not quite old enough!
I think we will both write something down eventually...

meggie said...

Progress Leslie. How wonderful that you could take that walk!