Now Here’s a Thought…

Thank goodness, another sunrise...

Several years ago I went through a reading phase where I read many books by women mostly who pondered elements in lives, some dealt with past lives, some mired in the present, some determined to share the path they thought most valuable to attain the future we all wanted. The writers wrote to appeal to the all inclusive we.

However, I believe for most of them they were mired in the I perspective. I had no problem with that; in fact many of the books gave me something to chew on. I can’t say that any of them became my guidebook for living. My mother might refer to that as my stubborn nature.

Maybe I am.

But while I’m an educated woman and I’ve read an incredible number of books, from mind numbing academic texts and treatises to commercial fiction, from books dealing with religions and their philosophies, from biographies to cookbooks, and everything in between, not one of them has totally changed my life.

None of them by themselves turned me into a better woman, a wiser woman, a more caring individual.

Maybe because I’m stubborn as Mom always said.

Am I sorry I read all those books, some more than once?

Of course not. In some way, in a measure larger or smaller depending on the book, its contents became useful to me—if only as a measure of what I didn’t like and agree with.

So as I ponder my life what has made me wiser, better, more caring? Maybe even more stubborn?

Don’t laugh when I tell you. And please don’t think I’m simplistic and dismiss the idea I put forth. But the most influential learning tool I’ve had is my life experiences and all that encompasses.

That means first of all accepting life is full of personal pratfalls—and I’ve had many. Literally. But if I don’t get up, dust myself off, and keep moving on, well, I haven’t learned a thing. In one particular case of taking a well-witnessed fall, I learned always to watch where I was walking, hang on to my skirt (that’s another story), and wear sensible shoes.

To paraphrase Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” (and my brother Jerry’s favorite song), mistakes, I’ve made huge ones. But I learned to learn from them, analyze them, figure out what I was responsible for so I could change it, and then work on that. I also learned to be wary of situations similar to my mistake so I could avoid them or prepare to deal with them in a better way.

Did I learn from them?

In both the above examples, I’m sure many of those books helped me come to my conclusions and knowledge gained from the experiences. However, I don’t think those concepts would have been as meaningful to me had I not been able to apply them to real life situations. My real life.

We’ve all heard that old saying, “Walk a mile in my shoes and then judge me.” Some of us may have used it. I’d like to alter it a bit and to say something like “If I walk a mile in my shoes with my eyes and mind wide open, I will learn more about me and life.”

Or maybe it’s that stubborn nature my mom talked about with me.

Stubborn nature or not, here’s my thought for the week: The more days we live, the more we walk/live a life. The more we learn. So treasure each day, each experience along the way. Do you agree?

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14 Comments on “Now Here’s a Thought…”

  1. Oh, I most certainly agree. 🙂 And I’n grateful for all of my days/experiences so far in life, and hope to have many, many more. I’m also very glad you have such a stubborn nature, because I know you’ll be with us for a very long time. 🙂 Love you!

  2. Donna,

    Sometimes I get a bit too stubborn, but never if someone agrees with me. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a good day.

  3. Edie Ramer Says:

    Another stubborn woman raising her hand. lol I don’t think a book has changed me, but I would say many have entertained me. I certainly appreciate that.

  4. Edie,

    Entertained is great and many books have done that for me. Dead People really entertained me. Actually, all your books have. i am chuckling while I’m reading with many of your scenes.

    Glad to know another stubborn woman… 🙂

  5. I’m with you, we learn most from our experiences, and in addition, to watching and listening to other’s experiences. Like you said, you learned a little something at least from those books you read because it was related to someone elses experiences. And I agree that we need to be aware and be open to learning, otherwise we end up doing the same thing over and over and expect different results. Not a good way to go through life. And I know there’s a saying to go with that, but can’t for the life of me remember right now.

    I’m with Donna and Edie, I’m grateful for your stubborness. 🙂

  6. Leigh Morgan Says:

    You learn everyday because you are self-aware which I don’t think is necessarily synonymous with stubbornness, although both are qualities that help all of us get back up when the winds of life knock us down. As always I enjoy your insight and your joie de vivre. I always learn something from everything you write. Thanks.

  7. Stacey,

    If you’re with Donna and Edie, I imagine my mom is rolling her eyes–if she’d do such a thing. Maybe more likely sarying a few more rosaries that I’d become more mellow and less stubborn. Actually, I probably got the stubborn trait from her though she was quieter about it. 🙂

    Anyway, I LOVE it when people agree with me–so thanks. And I especially appreciate you stopping by as we are all so busy these days. 🙂

  8. Leigh,

    And life has a habit of knocking people down fairly often…which is why we have to get right back up and figure out how we can avoid it in the future.

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m still chuckling over the sheep incident in the middle of the road. Thanks for giving me a smile today. 🙂

  9. Deb Maher Says:

    Ah, but reading so many good books had to influence your skill as a writer. We learn more than ideas from well-written books. We learn, in subtle ways, how to construct our own writing to its best form.

    So while they may not have converted you to a whole new way of thinking (because of your incredibly stubborn-nature 😉 ) they probably changed your life in other, more subtle ways.

  10. Deb,

    Of course, books had an impact and I tried to make that apparent. However, sometimes we overlook the need to learn from our pratfalls and mistakes to work toward a better life. Otherwords, none of those books will help us.

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope your Thanksgiving was as joyful as your post suggested. 🙂

  11. Anne Parent Says:

    I think books have made me question things, and perhaps shifted my thinking somewhat, but that’s only because my life experiences have laid the groundwork for it.

    Once again, your brilliance shines through!

  12. Anne,

    Brilliance? Not so sure–especially when considering some of the mistakes and pratfalls I’ve made in life. But I have learned and shaped my life as a result of them and what I’ve learned in life. I must remember that living in learning and learning is living. As we all should remember.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was all you hoped for and once again, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  13. I agree that experience is the best teacher. Books can help you learn for other’s experiences if the books are well crafted. And I don’t think you’re being stubborn; you just know your heart and follow it. That is an admirable trait.

  14. Lorna,

    An nod coming from you with all your training and experience–I accept. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by.

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