The older I get: the more potential for giving good advice.
In general, I think people dearly love giving advice. When I ask someone for some advice, no matter their age, I watch them morph into a tiny sage. And even though it appears to me that the world doesn’t seem to go ‘round by the advice of babes (although that is not to say we can’t learn from them!) age doesn’t seem to stop us. I think we start dispensing advice as soon as our little lips can start forming words.
My Mom likes to tell this story about my sister who was in kindergarten at the time and therefore growing wiser by the minute. It was the Christmas season, and Mom was singing one of the classics:
“Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh!”
My sister engaged her teacher voice. “Mom! You are singing it wrong. It’s ‘one horse HOPEN sleigh’.”
Graciously overlooking that fact that “hopen” didn’t even exist, Mom tried to defend herself, only to be scolded with, “It’s true Mom. Brandon from school told me.”
Apparently my Mom should have felt some gratitude – especially since Brandon was a fellow scholar in the think tank that was my sister’s classroom.
While her timing was off, my sister was learning an exciting truth about aging: As I age, I can give really good advice. Advice that is helpful and inspiring. Advice that can change lives. Because with each day, I enter (sorry to be cliché here) “the school of life” and I learn, and so does everyone around me. And therefore, we have a story – a bit of wisdom - to tell that can inspire others to make better choices for themselves and ultimately others, since our lives are incredibly connected and intertwined.
I recently went on a hike. In the hike’s pre-planning stages, I had envisioned myself a veritable mountain goat, swiftly and easily prancing up the trail. After all, I’ve hiked before, and I consider myself in decent shape.
Hmmm. Let’s just say I was no mountain goat and leave it at that.
As I hobbled back to the vehicle after the hike, I realized the obvious truth: If I were younger, I’d probably would have found the trek easier.
There is another truth that brought with it a huge rush of pride. Yes, activities may prove more difficult for me as I age. But as a result, I feel more triumphant. The task may become harder, and that is not a fun thing to admit; however, as a result, it is a greater accomplishment.
And I just can’t ignore that. I’m delighted.
When little, I would observe some grown-up behavior in disgust and fiercely tell myself, “I will NEVER do that when I am that age.”
I wish I had written all my “I will NEVER do” thoughts down into a list. But I can remember some of them.
For example, while growing up, my main household chore was to wash or dry dishes. I had zero enthusiasm for it.
Instead, I had glorious visions of myself in my first apartment. There would be adult me, living my very adult life, moving about so carefree in my adult kitchen, using my adult paper plates and cups and plastic utensils…adultishly. Cleaning dishes would be a thing of the past.
I really have no witty way to wrap up this blog entry except to say that I love to reflect on these moments and laugh. Not a “poor me” kind of laugh, but a “if only you knew the future” kind of laugh, that remembers my frustration but is relieved that a better, more economical solution was awaiting me.
Like my first dishwasher.
Creator of Love, Auntie.