Monday musings – insignificant or significant

Life offers many experiences from the insignificant to significant. Approaching my 62nd birthday, I can share that more than a few things people believe are significant are not really important. Conversely, little insignificant things may have been gateways into something more meaningful. As Robert Frost wrote, the road not taken has made all the difference.

The girl or boy you did not ask out, as your friends labeled the person too different, might have opened your eyes to wonderful experiences.

Being prevented by your parents from attending a party may be mortifying for a teen, but does not make that big a difference in the big scheme of things.

To this point, the most well-adjusted Hollywood couples, live away from the superficial Hollywood scene. They crave the reality, not perception.

Being genuine is far more important than being popular. Choosing to help or listen to someone with a problem, is far more important than being “liked.”

Changing your mind on a major decision may prove embarrassing, but it is usually for the best. Life events are worthy of as much introspection as possible. I have never regretted unwinding a major decision.

Saying “no” may be unpopular, but it is also more than fine to decline. People sometimes overcommit and end up letting people down.

Take the time to ask your older relatives about your heritage before it is too late. I still have unanswered questions, especially after doing research online. Knowing your lineage and history is gratifying, even if the history reveals some warts. Our kids love to speak of their roots.

Finally, one of the things my wife and I miss with the COVID-19 limitations is talking to people we encounter on our travels, near and far. A trip to Ireland was seasoned by chatting with Oola, who grew up in a corner of Belgium, very close to two other countries, eg. Take the time to talk to folks. It may make all the difference.

17 thoughts on “Monday musings – insignificant or significant

  1. Good thoughts for today, Keith. Meeting and sharing with others was always the thing my husband and I enjoyed about travel too. So much to learn from others. And today, I discovered we are the same age, so guess I’m an old fart too, lol.

  2. There is a line in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” that says, “Youth is wasted on the young”, or something very nearly like that. It is ironic that it takes us until we are ‘old farts’ to figure out what is really important in life. Oh, and I’ve got you and VJ both beat by several years! If I survive, I’ll hit the 7 decade mark next year!

    • Jill, true. But, on the flip side is the line from the Bob Seger song, “I wish I didn’t know now, what I didn’t know then.” There is a lot to be said for first times. I think life is the journey. We should take chances, but do them for us, not someone else. And, we should not be afraid of being embarassed or missing out on some fad. Fads fade.

      I think of the tiny excursions where we veered off the path to take in a quaint village or interesting gathering of shops. These are insignificant, but left us with memories. The Oola I mentioned was in a small cafe near The Cliffs of Moher on yet another rainy Irish afternoon. She spoke out and we chatted for thirty minutes. Keith

      • Good one, Keith!!! You’re right … fear of being embarrassed often keeps us from trying new things that might have added joy or meaning to our lives. Especially as a teen, I fell into that trap, but the older I get, the less I care what anybody thinks!

        Your experience with the Oola is a once-in-a-lifetime chance! What a wonderful memory you have from that day! Funny how things just pop up like that, isn’t it?

  3. Surely a fine list of significant and insignificant things. A lot of them are realized after attaining wisdom and sometimes not even then so it’s a good reminder. Especially miss the travel related learnings here too.

  4. Only 62! You are a youngster compared to myself, but I will not tell by how many years. Many decades ago the girls in my family were expected to master the fine art of embroidery under the tutelage of my Gram. A sampler that was expected to be completed with my needlework repeatedly had the stitches taken apart by Gram. Over several months I stitched the same words again and again until the stitches were finally neat and evenly placed. I will never forget the words on that sampler : What seems insignificant when you have it becomes significant when you don’t. Thank-you!

  5. Goodness Keith. I’ve had MS more years than you have been alive. I also have Jill beat by a few years, will be 78 in December, and have had MS for 66 years, since age 11! I’ve found over the years that no matter how embarrassed you are at any time in life it becomes so insignificant is a matter of days most of the time, remembered only by you on days when you are going over the latest embarrassment and wondering if anything worse has ever happened. I had strict parents but learned valuable lessons from them, how to laugh at myself from my dad and how to do all the little things that make up a large thing from my mom who taught me to crochet, sew, embroider and cook. And from both grandmas I learned to make quilts, something I spent the day doing and will spend many more working on before Christmas, while wishing someone would m ake one just for me! Insignificant wish I know, but what can I say? I treasure the hand made things over all the store bought junk in the world! Angela

    • Thanks for sharing your stories and challenges. You are the second person who has shared how your mother helped teach wonderful and productive hobbies. Laughing at oneself is a key to moving past little embarrassments. It will diffuse criticism. Thanks again, Keith

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