Sunday, July 09, 2006

What a Difference a Year Makes

Okay folks, the party's over. Now gather round children, I'd like to share some wisdom about life. Sure call me trite, you won't be the first (but see if I care, I'm at "that age").

A Few Things That I've Learned or Remembered This Past Year:

That My Mother-in-law's not so bad (until the next crazy thing like telling my daughter it was all my fault that she didn't get to come to the Chanukah party and hear her play violin episode). Not true - I simply refused to beg her to come. She's not read my horoscope for the year which reminds everyone the stubborn streak a mile wide most cancerians are cursed with. Yo G, give the ole gal a break, she'd give up a day of her life if it meant spending this one with her grandkids.
Lesson: Respect your elders.

Bring my daughter shopping: While window shopping along Austin Street recently, a pair of sandals caught my eye. Tali and I went inside so that I might admire them up close, say on my feet. When the man got my size, Tali said to me, "They cost too much, I mean they're only sandals and you could get three pair for that price at Payless." The man just laughed and we got him to knock $10 off the price.
Lesson: Don't be afraid to speak your mind.

Who needs a personal trainer?: My son, Julian has an inner charger which keeps him on full strength. His enthusiasm is infectious though, so when he lures me into the backyard and I attempt the "lay on the lounge chair" move, he'll say "C'mon - chase me, Mommy!". Anyone with a pulse would not be able to resist that little tilt of his head. Besides, his running in place feet off the ground cartoon maneuver alone is worth the price of admission.
Lesson: Forget how tired you are.

Don't be afraid to purge: No, not that way, (although that can be freeing), but edit out old things that you don't really need. Truth is I had a fire in the apartment building I lived in, hereinafter referred to as "The Great Fire of '89". Lost a lot of personal effects. You think I learned to travel light? Nah. But, over the past year or so, I have begun to reassess what is worth buying/collecting/keeping. Keeping those impulses in check.
Lesson: Time is too precious to spend it dusting.

Go easy on those you love and even easier on those you don't: Let's face it - intimate relationships are work. Have I mentioned that I've sometimes been a shirker in this regard? Not yet? In due time. Sometimes the stresses and challenges of every day life can make you feel ready for a cage match with your partner (hint, smart money's on me). Give yourself space and perhaps a blog.
Lesson: Don't forget to say I love you and I am sorry (and not necessarily in that order).

Develop your sense of smell: You'll waste less time cleaning out your refrigerator and wasting time on situations that are not worth it. I try to explain this to my children, although it seems, as per usual, they are already wise beyond their years and often teach me in this regard.
Lesson: Listen to your inner voice.

Don't be a jellyfish: Whether you are Black, Jewish, a soldier, an American, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a woman, a man, a child, the garbage collector (ours' just retired and he was a good friend to Julian), Christian, whatever - be proud of who you are and don't be afraid to stand for what that is.
Lesson: Being popular is highly overrated (I think).

Get up off your tuchus: Being accountable is a very important quality. Mr. Scissorhands has taught me both sentiments in our life together. I am/was/a recovering procrastinator. This is the absolute worst quality in an individual and one that is unfortunately part of my genetic make-up (hey when the present day wasn't very promising, forestalling became a viable option). So much is missed by putting off as you often spend more time backpedaling. Lesson: Carpe diem baby! (Background music grows stronger to James Brown singing, "Get up offa that thang, dance and you'll feel better".)

Get more sleep: Lesson: see previous lesson.



Postscript: I love New York - where else can you start your weekend square dancing in front of Lincoln Center and end it listening to the fireworks in the distance celebrating the Italian World Cup victory (or maybe my birthday)?

34 comments:

Pavel said...

Sounds like besides square dancing, you've done a lot of philosophizing!

Thanks for sharing...

I like the lesson about forgetting how tired you are. My three seem to get more playful when the sun sets.

cj said...

:) Great life lessons. I find I need reminders of lessons I have learned, or didn't learn well enough in life all the time!

Glad you had a beautiful birthday and I hope that you have many many more.

G said...

Hi Pavel. Yes, while square dancing in fact.

cj: I always need a refresher course. Thanks for your good wishes.

brian said...

Great post. Learning lessons is always interesting. If it is still there, I "opened" the Rite Aid on Austin St.

Have a great week.

Doug said...

Ahh, Wisdom. So valuable and so hard to blend with a life lived cranky.

G said...
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G said...

Brian - If it is on the corner of Austin and Continental, yes, I think. The landscape has been blighted with banks and pharmacies, so it's hard to keep up. Thanks and have a good week yourself.

Doug: You're telling one whose zodiac symbol is a crab.

Anomie-Atlanta said...
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Anomie-Atlanta said...

"Don't be a jellyfish" is excellent advice. Growing up my Daddy used to always tell me, "Princess, if everyone likes you, then you are not being true to yourself." Advice I have always tried to remember.

joel said...

Such wisdom from someone still so young. All great points and collectively a great formula for living life. And, speaking of young people wise beyond their years...any chance Tali could go shopping with our family next time?

neva said...

hell with the Dalai Bobo... i'm gonna start putting up YOUR picture on sundays and call it "Dalai Lampshade's thoughts for the week"! older/wiser seems to suit ya, NBFF!!

lovelovelove all your new-found "lessons", especially your thoughts on purging... i'm quite sure the *last* thing i want to say on my death bed is "gee i wish i'd dusted more".

happy 2 days after--what what clearly--a life changing birthday! (respect elders? good one. remember that when i see ya wednesday...) xox

neva said...

d'oh! now don't ya just *know* i wished i'd seen joel's comment before i hit publish? (that said... i do have a thing about expensive shoes, so maybe...) xox

G said...

Anomie: Wise words from what sounds like a wise man. Thanks for dropping by.

Joel: Speaking of points, Joel, you've just earned 2 brownie. Tali's available for sprees, but I must warn you, she books up quickly.

Neva: I talk a good talk, huh? I'll try not to trip you or be rude on Wednesday and it sounds like Tali's the girl for you.

brian said...

Yes, that's the one. I was there for three weeks, parked every day on the other side of the village, just so I could walk through the cobbled streets and across the green. I remember the stone church. Life lessons, if I'd only listened.

Gumby said...

The Italian word for shoes is "scarpe". So our motto-to-live-by is "scarpe diem" - Sieze the Shoes! (yes, I know carpe=sieze and diem=day, but "shoes the day" just doesn't have the same ring to it!)

pia said...

Am glad you had a great birthday

Almost went to Lincoln Center this weekend, but ended up at Riverside Park too many times

my problem is that everything is supposed to be a lesson, and many times lately, I have become tired of learning the same lessons over and over again

Hey, my b-i-l works in one of the newer banks there, so I'm happy there are so many--keeps him employed :-)

G said...

Brian - It is very nice in Forest Hills Gardens.

Gumby: Scarpe diem - now that I like.

Pia: Funny, I imagined running into you on the Upper West Side - I even cast a glance about in the Starbucks on Broadway and 68th (something like that) for I don't know - a woman with a laptop looking like an Edward Vargas pin-up :) Anyway, you're right sometimes you don't want a lesson, you just want to have things happen as they should. Like life being fair.

On your b-i-l - you're right, he'll never want for a job.

Take care.

Neurotica said...

i dont feel like learning anything right now. is it ok if you learn things and i crib them off you?
thanks.
being sick sucks.

Neurotica said...

actually, it's FIRSTNATIONS flying under the flag of neutotica since i'm on her computer. bleah.

G said...

No prob - I think all learning should be suspended until maybe tomorrow, even Wednesday, I'll update you though. Feel better - is the gooneybird taking good care of you? Hope you're getting chicken soup and tea. Now go get some rest - that's an order! Not only feelin older and wiser, but bossier too. Speedy recovery.

G said...
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Mutha said...

Tuchus is such a great word. Another great word for butt is "dumpah". I am not sure if that is how you spell it, but that is how it sounds and it is Polish for bottom.
My grandmother ("Bopcha" in Polish)used to say, in moments of exasperation: "Don't be a pain in Bopcha's dumpah."
Fun, right?
Read here that you love Harold and Maude...I did a piece that praises the film on my blog last month. Check it out if you can.

G said...

Mutha - I am on the way there now. I remember reading the book when I was in about 7th grade. I drove my mother crazy (although she enjoyed every moment) but laughing hysterically and reading parts aloud to her "swinging the clever high, he severed his hand at the right wrist..." - that part just came to mind.

My nephew has a bopcha - I'll have to tell him that one :) Love Yiddish and since its roots are of course in Polish, German, etc., they share many humorous words.

Fun indeed.

Sar said...

Happy Belated Birthday to the lovey lampshade lady! :)

Miz BoheMia said...

This is a sin, A SIN I TELL YOU! I coulda been first and then I left you an answer in my mind meaning I forgot that I didn't actually write something and so... *sigh* Oh well! #25 it is then!

Very wise lady you are G! I think we could safely allow Tali and Lil' B to shop together. I am big on sales and getting the best deal on everything (my kinda hunting) and so I am teaching her about it and at 5 she is pretty up and up on the price of things now. The other day we were in a shop and there were this beautiful shoes, gorgeous embroidery on them and they were 15 euros. Not bad really. but she had some simple 3 euro summer sandals in her hands and she looked at what I was showing her, sticks out her hand while waving no and loudly and shocked said "But Mom! No! I have many shoes and don't need them they are 15 euros!!! No! I want these because they are pretty and only 3!"

What a moment I tell you! I almost cried at the sight of my little good shopper right there in the middle of the store!

Yes, wise words indeed Lady G! Hey, give us more! Encore, encore!

G said...

Thank you Sar, glad to see you're back.

MizB: #25 is a nice number just the same. I just got such a sense of your Lil'B - moments like that are enough to make you want to give them the world, but you know they'll get that on their own with their own wisdom. I'll look forward to the day our girls (and boys!) meet. I just love that little story.

Thanks for your encouragement - it means a great deal to me.

weirsdo said...

Wise words. I am wondering if blogging is a good activity for recovering procrastinators.
Belated happy birthday.
And did you want Pansi to answer the Central Snark questions? I am not sure it is a good idea to let her near the beanie/crown debate, at least provided she can be got to understand what a beanie really is. . . . But on "Ask Pansi" we strive to please. Your wish is our command, so please let us know how Pansi can assist with her own inimitable wisdom.

G said...

Weirsdo: Sort of falls into the blessing and a curse category I believe. Thank you.

I think that with some gentle guidance on your part, Pansi might just be the purfect person, er doll, to answer that.

G said...

Weirsdo, Actually, she could answer the questions and weigh in on the debate. But, I think it's best you decide as I don't want to put Pansi too on the spot.

ariel said...

wise lessons, G, I believe the world badly needs people of those lessons.

G said...

That's why I remind myself of them from time to time in the hopes that I'll hit at least one on any given day.

By the way, don't know who the little girl is in your avatart (oops may have just come up with a word for Jenna :), but I had a haircut scarily similar in 1st grade.

neva said...

"avatart"? yes. that *definitely* goes into the blogging vocabulary. good one!

apparently stupid typepad is whack tonite... so i can't even comment on my own post. so i figured i'd come over here and comment on yours...

THANKS SOOO MUCH FOR THE FUN TIME TODAY!! i had the BEST BEST BEST time!!! ple-e-e-e-e-ase say we can do it again? pleeeeeease??? (yeah... nothing gay about this, right?)

anyway, so sorry you had to worry... blame it on the traffic. and my mom. and my sons. dogs. the mail. laundry. dinner. tv. that frontal lobotomy i got on my way home.

hope you had a good rest of the day... and that norell wasn't too upset that you were gone so long! talk to ya tomorrow, NBFF!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO (muu-muus, hawaii, coconuts. it's so us.)

actonbell said...

Great list:) You haggled down the price of shoes in a fixed market economy? I'm fascinated! And I have learned that it always pays to ask:)

G said...

Neva: add it to the lexicon I say! Oh and right back at ya (but you already have gotten my emails, comments, etc.

Actonbell - It never hurts. By the way, loved that little teapot - enchanting indeed.