Monday 21 October 2013

Postcard #4 What I've learnt from life so far

This is what I am doing here

Hello, it's postcard time again. I chose this title because I am hoping it will be a good conversation piece in the comments below as there are loads of things I am yet to learn from my funny old life and I hope you may be able to add one or two of your things that you have learnt from your life so far?

So, here goes...

Be kind
It just goes without saying really, just be kind. It doesn't cost you anything and seems to have a ripple effect on those who you show kindness too, for they in turn will hopefully be kind to the next person they encounter.

Have good self worth
Knowing the truth about myself and that my self worth is not wrapped up in what other people might think of me. It's not always easy as doubt can creep in and sometimes it's easy to let someone make you feel like poo. I try not to let people whom I have just met or people who barely know me make me feel self deprecating thoughts about how I look, act and am. I like to turn things around and if I feel someone is doing this, I ask myself Why? They must have some deep seated reason or insecurity for looking at me like that or treating me like that. That makes it their problem, not mine :o) Sorted! As long as I am not offending or hurting anyone who matters to me then I can't see why I would let someone affect me this way.

My goodness this is a life long lesson, I just love it though. Forgiveness frees me from carrying any anger or hurt or pain that I feel someone has done unto me. I love that I can search in my heart and forgive them and pray that if I have done any of the same things to anyone else that they can forgive me.
By me forgiving I feel like it stops me from holding a grudge which is so easy and tempting to do at times. It ends at forgiveness and we move on. I'm not saying that I am perfect at this, oh is a lesson that will test me for the rest of my life, but so far from what I have learnt I think I am reaping the benefits.

Don't stop learning
I love learning, I am a real nerd when it comes to learning. Mind you this only happened to me as an adult, if I could do the bare minimum at school I would. I only started loving learning at University doing subjects that mostly thrilled me and thereafter.
I just LOVE books and English literature and poetry. I love learning new things everyday in my scientific job and not only am I always learning new facts in my medical world, but I am also learning from all the patients I see, that human kind of learning that books can't always teach you.
I get bored easily and have to be stimulated with either written words or listening to interesting and topical programmes. I cannot image what it must feel like to stop learning, this is a gift that we have been given. I never want to take it for granted.

Keep my ego in check
I make mistakes all the time, I can be clumsy, I mess up, I fall short of what people might expect of me, but I hope that I admit this and pride doesn't get in the way. My ego is something I have to stop and have a giggle at, it needs to be put in it's place and can sometimes have a wild overinflated personality and hyper inflated view of itself. I have to laugh at it and pull it back in line before it gets out of hand. I hope that I am self aware enough to do this before it's too late.

Eat well and sleep lots
Ok, not always possible , but I know that everything is 100 times worse when I am tired and grumpy and a moany pants. Having had a baby made me very aware of this, how on earth did I survive on so little sleep in the early years? Alice slept through the night for the first time when she was 3 years old and then again at about 5 when she started to sleep much more consistently. I love my bed and sleeping is like a ceremony to me. I am a bit of a night owl and have to curb this habit during the week when I am working.
Eating yummy food is so important to me. I love food and am even more grumpy if I don't get it on time :o)

Why do clichés always come true as you get older? Yes, laughter is the best medicine and especially when I can laugh at myself. I love people with a good sense of humour and dry wit.

Being a parent is good
I never thought I would have a baby. I'm so glad I did as it's changed and enriched my life in countless ways. It's better than I ever expected and my maternal instincts were there all along. Now that did surprise me as I never gravitated towards babies or little children. Now I love them. It's not always good, but hey any heartache or difficult times are so far outweighed by the good ones.

Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you
Another cliché, but jeepers it's so true. I won't say anymore, as it's self explanatory. Its a tough learning curve and one I want to always be working at.

 I can choose my happiness
I have realised that over the years I can control how I deal with my emotions which are usually automatic and out of my control. How I choose to feel about how someone may have treated me is up to me.
You can’t change others, but you can change your expectations and your reactions to their actions. It's hard work and will be an on going journey, but I think I am learning more and more about this as time goes by. I wish I had known this when I was younger.

I worry less
It's weird, but I know that I worry a lot less than I did when I was younger. I once saw that poster saying "worry is like sitting in a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you no where" and I think I like this a lot. It might also be to do with my faith, when I know I can pray and hand over any worries, it helps me tremendously.
When I went travelling in my early 20's I used to think to myself if I was worried about something "What's the worst thing that can happen to me?" The answer was that I would have to use my 1 year return flight ticket to go back home. If that happened, so what? It would not have been that devastating.

You are not responsible for someone else's behaviour
I learnt this lesson very painfully in my early 20's with a rather awkward boyfriend I had at the time and kept making excuses for his (in my parents eyes) weird behaviour. He thought he was much more of an intellectual than what he was and thought of himself as a bit of a nihilist and was into existentialism in a big way which irritated my parents somewhat. How I fell for him I don't know, but you know what they is blind!
I learnt not to be responsible for his behaviour and it was painful believe me. I told myself to try and carry on thinking like this in the different circumstances that life would throw at me and it has helped not to be embarrassed about someone else's behaviour. Long may it last :o)

Be very silly at times
We all have a little child inside of us and sometimes my little child likes to come out and play a little too often. It's a good thing I think and it helps when you have children I think. Being silly and a bit of tom foolery never go amiss in my life.

Make stuff
I just can't help how important it is to me to always appreciate the beauty of human hands and how very grateful I am that I have them and can use them to make stuff. I adore hands and would have paintings of them all over the house if I could, old and young. The incredible gifts of creativity that we can use our hands to make always overwhelms me. The passing down of skills and craftsmanship from generation to generation by using our hands is a supreme thing of joy. I love that life in these 43 years has taught me how valuable my hands are and the occupation of making is one I hope to enjoy for many more years to come.

There are so many other things that life has taught me so far, my goodness I could go on and on and on....but, my bubble bath awaits. So farewell for now and have a great week ahead.

Let me know a secret or two of what life has taught you thus far, I'd love to know (I'm nosey like that!)




  1. Penny, this is wonderful. I cannot say anything that would come close to this, these are all things that I should know, but I struggle with. I will print this out and keep it with me and read it again and again until I learn it and then put it into practice. I have learned to learn from others! You don't need comments from me, I need to learn from you, and I thank you for these lessons. xx

  2. I would say that at this stage of my life I am still trying to learn and I often don't know. I have learned so far that a lot of the things I was brought up to believe were important don't matter as much as I thought, like careers and money. I have learned that life doesn't always go the way you'd expect and that sometimes that can have good things in it as well as bad. And I hope I am becoming more compassionate and have more time for others. That's a thought provoking post.

    I also agree about going on learning, there is so much in this world to learn about and it keeps making life more interesting and you meet some wonderful people along the way.

  3. Life has taught me to try and look on the bright side, never judge a book by it's cover and don't take things for granted...oh, and read wordy blogs as they can be interesting! xx

  4. Well done, I'd have to add that life isn't fair, it never has been and never will be so make the most of what you have.

  5. I like this post very much and agree with all of this, I think! Something I learned at work is to be nice to everyone, because you never know who you'll end up working with in the future - I think it's a good lesson for life in general. And that there are always two sides to every story, that's always worth bearing in mind. xx

  6. Penny, I would love to sit and write a huge screed on each and every one of your 'confessions' but I am running short on time today. But truth to tell, all I need say is: these are profound words. Take them to heart NOW and don't waste time til you are 'old enough to know better' . These are lessons for life. Lx

  7. This is such a heartfelt, wonderful list. I agree with you fully on each point! Some easier said than done, as you admit. I am inspired to sit down and write up my own list and reasons in my own words, maybe to share with my children, or just for my journal. I suspect I would have many of the same points you listed. It's lovely that you've shared! xo Karen

  8. all great lessons of course, I would add that you can't make someone else change either, we can encourage and motivate or inspire, but we can't 'make' them change. Spent a lot of time trying to do that! Heather x