I was going to use the title 'Push the stop button, now'. It appertained to looking at one's behaviour in the past, and if there was ever a time when you could say 'I wish I could have stayed, right there'?
I think I can actually pin-point an age which was perhaps the 'high point' of my life. My early 50's. I had a steady relationship which had survived the traumas of rearing children, getting established and keeping a roof over our heads. it was at this time that I went to university.
My fellow students were all about 20. I could not rival them in face or figure, but I could keep up in brain and spirit. And I did not have to cope with fears of leaving home, acute lack of confidence, that the big wide world was a scary place – that you were in a place of extreme rivalry in all fields.
I learned, shatteringly, that my brain, although capable of quick thinking and problem solving, was a very ill-disciplined organ, and had to be re-trained, mostly via red ink on my essays. In my 'real' life I was still a boss, but in the lecture theatre I was often worthy of a dunce's cap.
I did learn self-value, my limitations. When it came to finals, I would take the best flower in my garden, lay it on the desk in front of me, and say 'If I don't get a degree I'm still a jolly good gardener'. Those three years, and the subsequent MA, gave me a confidence in myself that led to a retirement inestimably rich.
Who, among you, have had that experience? What has, might, or will allow you to 'value yourself'?
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