Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thoughts from this life.

Daughter 2 is in Seville, visiting her last year's flatmate, Danielle. They'll soon be joined by their friend Anna. Here are the flowers she bought me. Have fun in Spain, D2!
Son is in Livingston, a few miles away, on duty in the maternity ward. He hopes to deliver his first baby soon. He's not going to tell the mother that he's never done it before... . The house is very quiet.

There should be some advantages in growing older, because there are certainly quite a few disadvantages. I wouldn’t claim to have acquired wisdom but I thought I might list a few things that have perhaps become clearer to me with advancing years. Unfortunately I don’t always remember to order my life by these little insights at the right times.

1. Most things that upset you will one day be a distant memory.

2. People aren’t thinking about you nearly as much as, when you’re young, you think they are.

3. Your children will never remember much that you do with them before they were about 5 despite the fact that it’s awfully hard work.

4. When they’re little, you need to feed them, cuddle them, talk to them, read to them, sing to them, keep them safe and play with them from time to time. They don’t need ballet lessons, gym classes, music appreciation groups… . Let them play.

5. Emails need to be worded very carefully. You can’t retrieve them from the hall table if you think better of them.

6. Similarly, when in doubt, it’s probably better not to tell people what you think. People don’t really want advice most of the time. Especially unsolicited advice.

7. It’s much easier to get fatter than to get thinner.

8. “Do it now” is a good maxim to apply to filling in forms, washing dishes, writing letters, making phone calls, travelling the world. (Why does America spell this with one “l”?)

9. There some things which, if you postpone them long enough, never have to be done at all. But then, there are others that you’ll never get round to doing and wish you had.

10. Life is short. It really is.


  1. I agree with your list and you are right . Life is incredibly short. Enjoy it.

  2. Comforting to remember # 1 when in the throes of the latest "family drama"!

    When # 2 dawned on me life became much more fun....

    Caution and tact required for # 5 and 6....wish I weren't such a hothead....

    Life flies by. The older I get the faster it goes......What happened to that word "sedate"? I thought the pace of life would be more sedate as I grew older. Did I miss something?

  3. I really loved this, even though no. 3 is rather depressing! such a thankless job :)

    Hope you are doing okay, I've been thinking of you!

  4. Wise words, all true.

    I am cramming as much as possible into my life, for it does fly by at an alarming rate.

    I linked you, by the way. Hope you dont mind.

  5. Tempus fugit ....

    Thoughtful post Isabelle ....set me thinking.

    Carpe diem.

  6. You are indeed, a very wise woman. You have such a way with words -- what a great list. I had to laugh at #8 and your question of spelling though -- I used that word the other day in my blog; thought to myself, it better be spelled correctly in case Isabelle would happen to be reading; and actually looked it up! I've read so much Brit-English stuff that there are many words I get confused about and can't remember how we spell them. showed both spellings as correct and the one "l" version seemed to be what I remembered learning, so I went with that one.

  7. Your list is so true. Especially "Life is short". I hope your marking is done. Mine is and I am feeling saintly. Sigh.

  8. I remember a lot of things you did for me before age 5! Or at least I think I do.

    And at least I can tell the others things that happened before _they_ were five.

  9. Are you feeling melancholy today? I find it rather sad that my kids won't remember much before age five, but it's so true. I have only one memory of my (biological)mom and she died when I was four.

  10. You summed it all up with Number 10 - life really is short.

    Enjoy every day as if it were your last.

  11. Agreed with all bar #7. Believe you me, when you are 16 years old and weigh 4 stone (don't ask for the metric conversion - I can't be bothered working it out at this hour of the morning), it does not matter how much of anything you eat and drink, you will NOT put on weight. I know because I tried. I stayed skinny, despite eating dreadful amounts of chocolate, milk and banana smoothies, cakes, biscuits and all the wrong things (on top of the good stuff that Mum insisted on), but all it did was give me pimples!!!!

  12. I've been thinking of you and wondering how you are.
    Was the list due to recent family events, or a birthday? I had a birthday on the 24th and had been thinking of life, thus my question.
    I liked the thoughts...need to put them into practice more often...

    Yes, I spell travelling with two l's and cancelled with two l's because that's how it should be...but, alas, spellcheck makes me correct. :)

  13. Thanks, Isabelle.... I really identified with your list, and if anything, it made me feel like I was sharing something with a friend. And understanding. This is good! And writing about both our Dads is much the same.

  14. Just linked on to you from Linds. Hope you don't mind. I found this post very interesting. I'll be back.

  15. how did his first birthing go?
    The list is so perfectly true, except I can remember quite clearly 18 months on

  16. darn, that should read "from 18 months old on"

  17. I see that one of the advantages of growing older is thoughtful children who bring you delightful flowers.

    Wow, your son might deliver a baby! That's amazing. Is that the same cheeky boy with the giant elbows, the book of sheepcat and the hilarious pirate costume? Somehow that thought makes me smile.

    Your list is excellent, and should probably be handed out to all kids on the day they leave school!

    Re #6: Don't we all just love sharing the benefit of our wisdom though! These days I do really try to remember that sometimes the best thing you can do is listen.

  18. I'm glad someone else feels the same about children and lessons and classes. I seem to be the odd-parent-out as far as my girl goes with these things. Friends seem to have their kids doing everything weekdays and weekends. As far as I know, America spells jewellery with one less 'l' and one less 'e' too. Jewelry. Speaking of Americans or people pretending to be them.. I've seen two Anthony LaPaglia films on dvd in the last few days (not on purpose and Anthony is Australian). Winter Solstice and The Architect. Both dark, depressing, slow films. Ugh. Sorry..thinking aloud here!

  19. Another marvelous post, worthy of printing out and tacking over the desk.