“Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” Winston Churchill
About eight months ago I wrote a blog about some of the knowledge I have acquired during my lengthy stay on this planet. I have since realized that I have so much more to share than I originally thought; I don’t believe any of this wisdom has been recently acquired, though–it just took me this long to retrieve it from the dark recesses of my cluttered little brain.
And like the esteemed Mr. Churchill, I am always ready to learn new things and appreciate the knowledge and growth such learning brings. However, I don’t always appreciate the difficult manner in which such knowledge is obtained–specifically, through hard lessons that knock me upside the head repeatedly until I finally sit up and take notice.
Perhaps you can benefit from reading about some of the things I’ve had to learn the hard way (or perhaps you have had similar opportunities to gain the same information).
I have learned there is no sporting event so important in life’s “big picture” that ugly, rude behavior is warranted. I have also learned that some of the quietest, calmest, most pleasant individuals can instantly transform into vicious, flesh-eating, venom-spewing evil incarnate when their children step onto a ball field or court.
I have learned there is no ego so strong that it can’t be taken down a notch by swimsuit shopping.
I have learned that focusing on what the future might have in store causes one to overlook the many gifts that the present is already offering.
I have learned there is ALWAYS another side to the story.
I have learned that everyone has the capacity to bring beauty and sunshine into the lives of others–but only if they first recognize that these same qualities already exist within themselves.
I have learned there is a very thin line between courage and stupidity (and this line is crossed repeatedly, often by the same people).
I have learned there is no such thing as a painless mammogram (seriously, imagine flattening grapefruits into pancakes with a vise grip–does that sound painless?). Any technician who tells a woman otherwise is probably under the age of 30 and has never had the honor of being on the receiving end of the vise grip.
I have learned there is no friend more loyal than an old dog.
I have learned there is no task so simple that it can’t be done incorrectly.
I have learned that people with too much time on their hands typically spend it nosing into the private lives of others.
I have learned that one of the greatest days in the life of a parent is that day when a sick child is finally old enough to announce, “I think I’m going to throw up!” before he actually does.
I have learned that no matter how great my intentions, how sincere my efforts, or how perfect my response, there will always be someone who will find fault. I have also learned that this person’s opinion is frequently irrelevant.
I have learned that the world doesn’t end if the bed is unmade and the dishes are unwashed. Housework can wait; in fact, it can wait a long, long time with no permanent side effects.
I have learned that it is usually okay to be wrong as long as I am willing to admit it.
I have learned there are few situations that can’t be made better by a hearty laugh, a hot shower, a restful night’s sleep, or warm sunshine. And when none of these tactics are successful, sometimes a good cry will do the trick.
I have learned that the expiration date is just a suggestion–UNLESS it’s printed on a milk carton or a packet of birth control pills.
I have learned that it only takes a few kind words to brighten a day and change somebody’s world. I have also learned that it only takes one cruel remark to shatter that world.
I have learned that sometimes angry people just need to be heard.
I have learned that I am very good at giving unsolicited advice but not so good at receiving it. I have also learned that Dr. Phil is not a real doctor–he is a TV personality (yeah, I was shocked, too). He is no more qualified to be dispensing advice than I am, and yet millions of people tune in to him every day to hear what the good doctor has to say. Give me a break.
I have learned there is no greater self-esteem booster than slipping on a pair of formerly too tight pants and realizing they are now too big.
I have learned that, with a little guidance and a lot of love, even the most obnoxious little boy can grow into an amazing young man.
I have learned that very few problems are as painful as the moments (and sometimes weeks) of dread leading up to them.
I have learned that a freshly washed car issues an irresistible invitation for cats to play hopscotch on its hood.
I have learned that Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” is an amusing ringtone–until it sounds off during an important meeting.
I have learned that the older I get, the older “old” becomes. (Strangely, when I was 30, anyone over 50 seemed ancient; now that description seems ridiculous and is reserved instead for the 80+ crowd.)
I have learned that, no matter how many times I open the refrigerator door, there is still nothing in there I want to eat.
I have learned that everybody is somebody’s weirdo–that just as I am labeling someone as “strange” or “odd,” there are several someones thinking the same thing about me!
I have learned that distances of time and space cannot deter a great friendship. I have also learned that, if we allow ourselves to be open to the possibilities, we can develop new friendships that we would have previously considered impossible.
I have learned that some people find my intensity intimidating. And, thanks to one of my readers, I have also learned that I am much funnier in writing than I am in person!
I can’t wait to learn what lessons the next few months will bring.