Tuesday, January 10, 2012


New Year goal setting requires considerably more time than I’m willing to devote to the activity. Instead, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned through the years. I’ve also been wondering what I’ll be learning in 2012 since life’s lessons never end.

This is a not so subtle introduction to the first piece I ever wrote for blogosphere publication -- before I even considered having a blog of my own. These retrospective nuggets previously appeared on Ronni Bennett’s "Time Goes By” on Tuesday, 14 March 2006 (slightly edited here.)

“Some of What I’ve Learned Through the Years.....So Far”

I've been aging all my life. Now, here in Southern California, where I've lived for about half my life, I'm flirting with my seventh decade. I look forward to those unknown decades to come. Isn't that what makes life so interesting and exciting, that we don't know what's coming next?

I'm not ready to leave this planet yet, unless I could finagle a free ride on one of Branson's or Ruttan's commercial space flights. (Last I read, ticket prices were just a bit steep.) Haven't yet traveled all over the world as I wanted, so this way I could just do it all in one grand trip. If for some reason I didn't make it back, well, what a way to go!

I learned long ago there's no way to predict the future. I planned as best I could. Some plans worked out. Some didn't.

I learned I didn't know as much as I thought I did at times. I learned I knew more than I thought I did at other times.

I learned to not waste my time and energy blaming others for something that didn't go right, even though they may have deserved it. Doesn't mean I haven't and don't still try to rectify what I perceive as a few injustices along the way, just means I can do that and keep my life moving ahead at the same time.

I learned there are only so many self-help books you can read, then at some point I learned I just had to get on with life. Then, I wondered why I wasted so much time reading those books. Well, I might have gotten a nugget or two from a couple of them.

I learned that everybody has problems of one kind or another, at one time or another, in their life. I learned that somewhere, someone else has had the same problems I had.

I learned that when it comes to problem solving, one size does not fit all. The same problem experienced by two different people may require entirely different solutions.

I learned it takes such little effort to smile and be pleasant to people 'cause you never know what might be going on in that person's life. They might really need that kind gesture. I've hoped others would give me the same consideration.

I learned to enjoy quiet and solitude, to value time alone without feeling lonely.

I learned to treasure time with friends and family as they may not always be present in my life.

I learned to love others just as they are; to value our differences.

I learned something from every job I ever had and I learned how to enjoy my time at every job I ever had. Doesn't mean there weren't some difficult experiences along the way.

I learned that learning is forever. I still take classwork. I still learn from people of all ages.

I learned that every job and the person who performs it is entitled to be treated with respect. I hope I'll be treated that way, too.

I learned that music, theatre, art, books, travel, nature, good food, pets can bring genuine pleasure though this is an incomplete list and not in hierarchical order.

I learned that viewing life as a glass half full is healthier than an attitude that the glass is half empty.

I learned that laughter is truly the best medicine. Science has finally proven it with all those endorphins we release when we laugh.

If you haven't laughed for a while, I strongly recommend you do so now. I know there are a lot of really humorous blogs to tickle your and my funny bone, to suit each of our tastes, written by people of all ages. I keep trying to find time to explore all those blogs, but can't do that when I'm doing this.


  1. You mention many things I have thought. Good to see a summary of lessons learned. The only place I differ is on space travel. I don't want to go anywhere. When I die, I will stay right here on earth as part of the ecosystem. Dianne

  2. Joared--Great listing. As I recall, I "found" you through your comments at Ronni's.

    These days, I am really glad that "The Big Bang Theory" has gone into reruns on several of the channels that our cable service provides. It's a rare episode that doesn't produce a belly laugh or two for me - no matter how many times I've seen it!
    Cop Car

  3. Sometimes it's good to make a list like this...and I love your list. You always make such wise sense in your beautiful way. And laughter...oh God yes....I couldn't live without it. That would be at the top of my list. Thanks JoAnn... ~Joy

  4. Wonderful list. It covers everything I've thought about through the progression to becoming a fully mature adult. Seems we all learn many of the same things.

  5. You're FLIRTING WITH your seventh decade? I've got mine down in the back seat and am necking with it!

  6. p.s. wonderful list! i especially like "laughter is the best medicine" because i know exactly how true that is!! Thanks for your reflections!!

  7. thank you for reprinting this blog. I'm a new blogger in my seventh decade (first named my blog mysixthdecade until an early reader pointed out that at 61 I'm no longer in my sixth decade). If I can figure out how to link you to my blog I will.

  8. thank you. As a new blogger I'm enjoying the blogroll on TimeGoesBy to learn about what is out here.

  9. helena: Welcome to the blogosphere and thanks for stopping by here! Your comment reminds me that I made the same mistake on decades as you did -- corrected it in a comment when the piece originally appeared, but forgot to do so with this reprint. I'm in my eighth decade.