I met her in a lineup where we were both waiting to pay for items of clothing.
This lady was so excited with the garment she was about to purchase, she couldn’t resist telling me about it.
“When I saw this on a mannequin, I knew I had to have it,” she told me. “I don’t even know how much it cost!” She carried on to tell me this was for her six-year-old granddaughter. She explained that the two of them looked alike, and her granddaughter always says, “Same, Same, Nana.”
The little girl would be thrilled to experience the same, same in matching outfits.
I thought back to my mom knitting matching sweaters for my young daughter and I and a Cabbage Patch doll! For a child, wearing the same type of clothing as someone they look up to, helps them feel as important as that person is to them.
As an adult, I no longer want to be dressed exactly the same as someone else. I have, however, looked for other ways to emulate people I admired. If I tried to duplicate their methods, could I be as successful? Could I copy their mannerisms and be as popular?
The trouble was, I could never do enough to be the same as someone else. It left me frustrated and feeling like a failure.
My efforts to be the same caused me to lose sight of my own unique qualities. I had to learn to accept and appreciate who I am and what I have to offer. Only then did I feel good about my own accomplishments.
Now, I am willing to learn from others but my goal is no longer to be the same as anyone else. Instead, I am happy to become the best version of me.
Although the temperature was still climbing, my husband and I decided to go for an afternoon walk. The new route we chose rewarded us with some lovely scenery but offered no shade to give relief from the sweltering heat.
Part way through our walk I overheard a snippet of conversation between a dad and his young son. They were standing by their bikes at the side of the path. I guessed the boy was suffering from the heat when he said to his dad, “When it’s summer, I want it to be winter and when it’s winter, I want it to be summer.”
This child had just expressed what many of us, myself included, often think. It is so easy to take life for granted and not appreciate what I have until it’s gone. Only then do I wish I had it back.
Does this sound familiar to you? I wish and are both thoughts that sabotage my enjoyment of today. Both of them are focused on a time that is in the past or the future. When my mind is occupied with these things, I fail to appreciate what I have right now.
Recently I unearthed a scrap of paper containing part of a song lyric I’d jotted down because of the impact the words had for me. They said, “Yesterday’s gone and tomorrow may never come, but we have this moment today.”
I may need to rewrite this and put it in a prominent place as a reminder to enjoy every moment. Life is too short to wish it away.
My reasons for working with a nutritionist were twofold. Digestive issues were the main reason. The other one was to lose some of the excess weight I’d accumulated.
I was told as we addressed the digestive issues my body would start to release the weight. I wouldn’t need to stick to a calorie count or be concerned about portion control. The object was to restore balance to my body and let it heal. As that happened, the weight would take care of itself.
To let my body release the weight, rather than trying to lose it, was an unknown concept. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
When I lose something, it is usually unintentional. I am unable to find what was misplaced and start a search to find whatever it was. This is not what I wanted to do with my extra pounds!
It’s not only objects, like car keys, I lost. I’ve also attempted to lose a bad attitude, resentments and frustrations. Sometimes I’ve found them again when searching to make sure they were really gone!
Releasing something has an entirely different connotation. It means I willingly, intentionally give it up. I had to do this with many items when we downsized last year. The difficult process was worth it as each item I set free liberated me.
Another meaning of release is to allow or enable to escape from confinement. When I did the work to heal my emotional state, I could release anger and experience true forgiveness. Bitterness gave way to freedom and happiness, enabling me to escape from a self-imposed confinement.
My experience with the nutritionist has helped me to weigh the difference between loss and release. I’m now on the proper end of the scales both mentally and physically.
“I’ll give you my wise woman discount,” she said. “Thank you,” I replied, before joking, “Is that your nice way of saying senior?”
The answer both surprised and pleased me. I was told of her belief that seniors have much accumulated wisdom, so she truly thought of them as wise. She also told me that too many people don’t recognize or appreciate this. Needless to say, I was quickly gaining respect for this young woman!
For many years, I didn’t think of myself as wise. I don’t have the formal education that many do. I don’t always make good decisions. It took a long time to realize that these facts don’t negate the wisdom I’ve gained in my lifetime.
My wisdom has come from experience. I can’t speak for others in my age category, but for me, many of the learning experiences in my life have come from mistakes I’ve made. The longer I live, the more opportunity I have to make mistakes. They are an inevitable part of life. Over the years I’ve discovered that my mistakes have enabled me to gain wisdom.
When any of us are willing to be vulnerable and pass our experiences on to others, wisdom is shared. It’s nice to know that all the mistakes don’t have to be mine. I can learn from yours as well!
One of my favourite sources of wisdom comes from children. I have heard some profound things from my grandchildren. Young children don’t filter their words. They say what they think and feel. I have learned a lot from paying attention to them.
So, while I appreciate being called wise, I know it’s as a result of the mistakes I’ve made and also from paying attention to what I can learn from others. I’m also wise enough to accept the wise woman discount when it’s offered!