Why as human beings are we so slow to learn? The other day it occurred to me that we are always on a very steep learning curve and the lessons don’t seem to come quickly or easily. As kids we enter our double digits and in those ten years we are bombarded with learning how to be young adults. We make huge mistakes and have the overblown belief that we know so much more than the generations before us. We enter our twenties and for the next ten years start to learn how to be adults. We again make huge errors but still believe time is infinite. Then come our thirties and most of us find ourselves parenting another generation. We have wonderful moments of joy and optimism and lots of doubts and fears. Then we turn forty and feel our youthful optimism waning and have moments of panic and regret. By the fifties we have some things down pat and maybe can enjoy some of the fruits of our efforts. Then sixty comes along and we all of a sudden need to start learning how to be old. We are shocked by the face we see in the mirror and the changes we see in our bodies every day. That is where I am. I am watching the years of my sixties fly by but every day I have moments of feeling as confused and afraid as I always did, despite the lessons I have learned. I can not tell the twenty year old , the forty year old or even the person in their fifties what it is like right now just as the eighty year old can not tell me. These lessons are ours to learn as we live them. Today a quote by Ralph Waldo Emmerson spoke to my heart and was one more lesson along the way.
Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you’ve even survived,
But what torments of grief you’ve endured,
From evils which never arrived.
I have had the ‘worry gets you no where ‘lesson over and over but seem to find I need to sit for it again and again. Maybe my homework is to memorize this quote and try harder to live it every day!