Learning by Example
Sandra Peterson Ramirez
Posted on May 6, 2011
Once again I have stunningly failed to learn from experience (hello stomach bug from kissing the sick baby). However, I have had the opportunity to observe several examples from which, I believe, I can learn by example. Hence the title of this post. It is my hope that I can absorb these lessons without having the pain of first hand experience. So here are my lessons for the week:
1. Do not borrow my father’s pickup truck, get drunk, roll the truck and then try to blame the “accident” on my 15 year old son who was not even in the truck. Really, I don’t think this requires further explanation.
2. Do not let a car run a red light and mow you down while you are riding your motorcycle. There’s no good outcome here.
3. Don’t get old, trip while working in your garden, fall on the porch and be unable to get up. Really just don’t get old. Gathering wisdom and experience is great, but dealing with your body no longer doing what you want and need it to do; frankly, that sucks. Avoid it. Also, don’t get old, live alone, have heart attack symptoms in the middle of the night and refuse to call anyone because you “don’t want to bother anyone”.
I’m pretty sure I know how to avoid number one. To paraphrase Nike, just don’t do it (hey, I’ll bet no one’s ever said that before). The other two are a bit trickier.
I often ride on the back of my husband’s bike which means I have no control of either the car running the light or the bike in the intersection. For some people, that’s part of the thrill: the complete lack of control, putting your trust in someone else. For me, it’s more of a necessary evil. I love my husband. I love spending time with him. I don’t mind sharing some of his more time-consuming hobbies. It bothers me a little that one of those hobbies could kill us. I also hate not being in control. HATE IT.
And then there is the getting old thing. Not sure how to avoid that. Well, other than the obvious, unfortunate method. In middle age, or sometimes before or beyond, we do our best to beat back the signs of aging; the wrinkles, spots and graying. But the insidious erosion of the inside is harder to battle. The fact that you can’t see it means it can slip up behind (inside) us unannounced. What to do?
I suppose that means that I should avoid drunken joy rides in my dad’s truck; accept that I can’t control all the objects flying through space and time; and enjoy the time I have, with whom I have, to live and love. The hardest part? That would be accepting the lack of control. I think I mentioned that I HATE that.