Honeysuckle Air: A Lifetime of Learning

At my 75th birthday celebration, one of my sons looked me in the eyes and asked me, “What did you learn?” He may have thought I paid no attention, but it hovered over my heart till I had to respond:

I learned:

That the days go on and I might as well go on with them. Good and not so good things happen–they’re all part of the colors of our lives. It may be much later when we can look back and see how all the hues work together to paint the portrait which is life.

That a good chuckle is like a vitamin for the whole being. So I laugh every chance I get, except when it might cause hurt to another fellow traveler on this earth.

Sometimes I am afraid. When I am, I can stop, rest, distract myself, then take tiny steps here and there. In time I will get to where I need to be. Meanwhile I can see interesting panoramas along the way.

Memories are the jewelry of my life. They are there to frame and decorate my days. I pull them out once in a while and dust them off, lingering on some. Then I move on with my life’s journey, knowing I am surrounded by the finery of the past as well as the lessons gleaned from not so fine moments.

I don’t control everything, and that’s OK. I can direct certain crucial turning points and that gives my soul strength to go on.

It is possible to take any shred of positive to heart, and drop much of the negative by the wayside. Life’s good stuff lightens my days and the bad stuff is just too heavy to lug around.

Smile and greet each day like my Oklahoma Indian forbearers, awakening my grateful heart before plunging into the day’s activities.

Take naps, which I endearingly refer to as a “Nappypoo.” When I sleep my body is refreshed, and when I don’t actually fall asleep my mind is refreshed.  A win-win:-)

Give something to myself so that giving to others is a joy, not a job. And let others give to me. Both of these took a while, since I’ve always helped others. But my life is better because I’ve learned that giving is a two-way street.

I seem to communicate better in writing than speaking, which is why I give myself time to process my son’s vital question about what I learned in life so far.

Let nature sooth, inspire, and entertain. Play with plants and grow some for food. Try a house plant to give you clean indoor air. Watch a flower bloom and take solace in the calmness trees and other plants so generously give.

Keep some music in your life. Sing in the shower, car, etc. Singalong with the radio or on your own. Make music any way you can. Let it comfort or invigorate whichever is needed at the time. And remember that silence is a crucial part of music, so include and respect it.

Breathe. That would be the finest gift we give ourselves. It can be done at a stop light or any other moment available. Breathe deeply. It works even better with a smile.

Get some really good shoes since they affect more than just your feet: your knees, hips, spine, and balance. But if they only helped your feet that would be enough reason.

Perhaps the reason cliches hang around our lives is that they have something to say. Listen to those not-so-modern ideas in case they deliver a kernel of truth to help along the way.

Value moderation in all things, forgiveness of everyone even myself, grateful living as a health practice.

The world is a wonderful and terrible place! I am regularly amazed and inspired by ideas and deeds of others in all walks of life. Reading is one window I utilize to keep expanding my horizons.

Letting go is a lifelong process, challenging, but vital for one’s health. Keep an active box for things to give away, and throw away bad feelings when possible.

Grief is just gonna happen; all I can do is cry, hug, accept, rinse and repeat.

Accept more than you expect.

I can learn to find pleasure in foods and habits that are good for me.

When life throws me for a loop, I can adjust to independent living, even after living my whole adulthood as part of a pair. I just have to give it time, and keep an eye out for little moments to relish.

Enjoy foods in moderation; friendships in excess, and be one’s own friend and be gentle in that relationship.

Cultivate friends of various ages. It will enrich your life and theirs. Some of your younger friends can help you with technology and they can learn from you along the way.

Mostly, dear one, I’ve learned to keep my eyes open to the old and the new, and never stop learning, and to live gratefully.

Copyright 2018 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.

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About grantutor

Career educator in both public and private schools. Has tutored all ages. Writes about education, parenting, & seniors. Sings harmony with folk/rock group and a choir. Caregiver for spouse who dealt with Stage IV cancer. Happy person committed to nature and conservation of a green world.
This entry was posted in Deep Breathing Moments: Meditations for the Unpremeditated, Honeysuckle Air - Memoirs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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