Whenever I read something that has “blogworthy” potential, I file it electronically. My file is growing.
When I read Thursday’s Daily Good, published by Charity Focus, I immediately knew that the post’s “Be the Change” directive to “reflect on the greatest lessons from each decade of your life” was going to be my blog topic this week.
The great lesson(s): It was good for me to live in Puerto Rico. Although it wasn’t an exotic foreign locale, I was introduced to Spanish at a very young age (when it is easier to learn). We also did not have English television in the daytime, so I had to go out and about. I also vividly remember the spanking I got when I opened the Barbie I had been given, even though I knew it was a duplicate and I knew my parents planned to return it. It was one of those seminal moments when I “got” the fact that my parents meant what they said.
The great lesson(s): In the end, it really doesn’t matter that your children have the matching designer outfits and the perfect “everything.” If I were raising a little child again, I would focus more on the sheer experience of spending time with him or her than on attempting to perfect the “look.” I would also defer a little bit throwing them into activity after activity, letting their interests unfold in a more natural way.
Decade Five (2004-present)
It amazes me that I am over halfway through this decade. When I disclosed to my husband recently the fear (that I consider irrational) that I am going to die before I get to do the things I most want to do (like use my passport), he said “we all feel that way.” By 2013, I will have one child a year away from college and another in high school. It strikes me that by incorporating the things I love doing (writing, being involved in our local film school, running), I am somehow coming closer to my true self and therefore being more engaged with my family. This has also been the decade of looking the debt monster in the eye and saying, “yes, we let you grow unchecked for far too long. It is now time for us to slay you once and for all.”
The great lesson(s): This lesson, I suppose, has extended itself over three decades. When Ann died, I had just the night before chosen not to call her. We had been buying her old townhome, and Wayne suggested I let her know that it had been painted (one of the financing conditions). I said, “no, it can wait.” Would it have mattered that she knew the townhome was painted? No. But it matters, in retrospect, that I didn’t talk to her that night. Sometimes a phone call or conversation about “nothing” is the one that matters most of all.
The Daily Good pieces always start with a quote. The quote on the day that prompted this blog was also a “keeper”: