A quick thought……………

Cover of "Thinking About Memoir (AARP)"

Cover of Thinking About Memoir (AARP)

I opened one of my favourite books, and chose a passage at random. It is from Abigail Thomas’ “Thinking About Memoir”, and if you have not read this little book yet–treat yourself. Here is the passage:

“Living is said to be an art, and like any art it must be practiced with diligence (to paraphrase Dr. Johnson) before it can be done with ease. There is nothing we do in our everyday lives that could not be done with greater understanding.

Very few learned this while still young. Most of us spent the first half or more of our lives trying to provide for our families and ourselves. It’s only in the later, latter half that the questions come: What must I do, how shall I live, what difference will my life have meant when I have come to its end?”

I am in that latter half and I am asking those questions. A life examined is a life revealed and learned from. I do not want to repeat my mistakes. I want to make new ones.

How about you?

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Published in: on September 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm  Comments (25)  
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25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m right with you yet again Lou Ann..I have only gotten so far as to believe that the legacy I left at work, is only meaningful to me if I made someone’s life better in some small way. My legacy as a mother, wife, sister, etc means most to me I think (I’d say daughter, but my parents are gone). And now I must figure out how I want these next chapters to hold value. Do I have an answer yet? I wish I did..

    • we are working those answers out – that is what makes life interesting…………

      • 🙂

  2. I’m 25 and trying to think about those questions before I have other responsibilities/distractions (husband, children, mortgage, other grown up things I don’t know about yet). I used to think, and still kind of want to believe, that some day I will find the answer to those questions. But more and more I believe that the practice of continually asking them and living intentionally is what creates the meaning. Thanks for the reminder to ask those questions again today. Great post!

    • at 25 you have a wonderful life ahead of you–but you do not yet know all the questions to ask, as neither do I at my age–with experience comes wisdom–I can theorize all I want–but I have always needed to learn by doing or experiencing — you do sound much more aware than I was at 25 though–so hopefully your learning curve will be much less steep than mine! 🙂

  3. I think it’s only in the latter half of our life that we have the luxury of being able to sit back and contemplate these important questions. The first part is far too hectically busy.

    • I am finding this half busy in a different way–while I am not running around after my kids I have to be there for them on a more aware basis and I have to say my listening skills have improved–dealing with their problems illuminates some of the questions

  4. Looking back I regret some of the mistakes I made but moving forward I believe I am wiser now that I am approaching the half century mark to live better, and smarter. Wonderful Post!

    • I agree with you–though we regret our mistakes we do try to learn from them

  5. Don’t want to repeat mistakes either. Life has a way of teaching us and if we don’t pay attention, soon that whisper becomes a shout and hopefully then we learn. It has taken a few shouts for me to listen, but I eventually learn and the shout does not become a scream.

  6. Mistakes of youth I have no desire to experience again. Yes, this is the time of life I have the time to reflect on how I want to finish living my life.

    • but those mistakes inform you and make you who you are and help in making those future plans

      • Yes, but I don’t want to have to relive them again. I’m sure I have plenty of mistakes left waiting for me to make.

      • I don’t want to relive mine again either–I am sure there are many more out there waiting for me too

  7. I wish we were born knowing more about life than having to live it & figure it out half way through. Things would be so much different.

  8. Yes! Let me always make new mistakes instead of repeating the same ones! 🙂

  9. Yes, I am at the elbow too!

  10. We do so often ask those questions when we are older. It would be so good if somehow we could learn or be taught to slow down and think on those things in the first half of our lives. Maybe the older need to caution the younger generation …. but then again maybe you need to live those busy years to gain the wisdom that comes with age…. I just read what I wrote and I’m not sure I’ve said what I wanted to …so if it doesn’t make sense… it’s okay… Diane

    • I understand it perfectly–I guess one of the good things about getting older is the wisdom we get to work with–although I could have used it early I think you need life experiences to gain it

      • 😉 😉 Diane

  11. Reblogged this on writers experience everything twice.


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