What Does Wisdom Mean to Me?

One of the greatest benefits of aging is the accumulation of wisdom. My friend¬†Christina Katz gave me the idea to identify the wisdom I’ve gained over the years. Here’s my list, and I hope you’ll add to it with your comments:

  1. I have more clever tactics for getting out of stuff I don’t want to do.
  2. I know how to deliver bad news in a compassionate and positive way.
  3. I’m less likely to be shocked and thrown off kilter by the crappy behavior of fellow humans, because I’ve seen it before.
  4. I know how to get out of a funk (without using drugs!)
  5. I understand how quickly things can change, and to stay light on my feet.
  6. I know more ways to help folks who are hurting, whereas when younger I used to avoid them because I felt awkward.
  7. I understand the humanity that underpins slapstick humor, and now I laugh at it. When I was younger I thought it was childish and superficial.
  8. I understand how to value the present.
  9. I know that I am just as important as the next human being, and thus am less often a doormat.
  10. I know how to tell whether a friendship has run its course.
  11. I know how to bob and weave when necessary.
  12. I understand what Christopher Hitchens means when he says that he doesn’t have a body; he is a body.

I hope you’ll send me your comments and let us learn from you, oh wise ones!


  1. says

    This is wonderful ,as usual..your post and all the comments it generates. You are right, your blog is like a coffee shop where friends gather and enjoy good conversation. I love it! How about this little bit of wisdom..

    when we concentration on the right stuff, life is good.


  2. Rae says

    I am still researching all of the topics! Loving and relating to ALL of them.
    You asked if I had any other thoughts!!
    Wondering…what well known person we would like as a friend..NOT because they are famous but because they exemplify who we ARE…???

  3. Rae says

    Yes, I have lived most of my “young” life near a horse racing track, now called a racino . The gravatar reflects some good memories.

    So many interesting topics on this site!!

  4. says

    What Wisdom I’ve gained over the years:
    1) I can’t help those who won’t help themselves and I don’t try anymore.
    2)Avoid negative people because they suck the life out of me.
    3) Try not to lose sight of goals and dreams because without them, what else is there?
    4) Be a friend to myself, I’m the only one I got.
    5) Let go of high maintenance friends. I can’t keep up with the rules.

    Great Post, Lynne!

    • says

      Vonnie, I esp. like your #1. I used to be in Human Resources and I was seriously codependent. I mean, I all but bled for those people, the employees who were all talk and no action. I literally even cried with a guy who had a drug problem, but I had to learn that I couldn’t fix them. All I could do is help, but then I needed to drop back and watch for a bit, to see what they did, and more than not, my support was just a delaying action for them. Now I make my decisions about people based on what they do, not what they say they’re going to do.

  5. says

    Good question and great answers. Some things I’ve learned:
    1. How to really listen
    2. When and how to apologize and really mean it
    3. How to express genuine appreciation to others
    4. How to avoid other people’s drama
    5. That I can’t take my health for granted
    6. What to say and what not to say when other people are going through hard times
    7. How to disagree without being contentious
    I’m sure there are more, and I’d like to think I’m getting wiser every day.

    • says

      Madeleine, your list reminds me that each one of us has developed a treasure chest of life-tools. Someday if you’ve got the time I’d love for you to elaborate on #4 and #6. Thanks so much for commenting.

  6. Nanci says

    Hello Lynne,
    Having known you in a past life :-) I would say that you always embodied the traits that you stated. Do we become more of ourselves as we age?
    Thanks to all the comments. Almost every one of them could be a blog in itself. What a bunch of interesting stories they represent!
    Hugs, n

    • says

      Nanci, if we become more of ourselves as we age, I can tell from your comments on this blog that you are still one of the most highly ethical people I’ve ever known. Hugs back.

  7. says

    To my dear friends Debbie, Rae, Rebecca and Marina, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I’m going to make your ideas into an expanded post at some point in the very near future, with attribution of course. Got to go work on my book. Have a great day!

  8. says

    1.I have learned not to be waste my time on dramatic people who vent and don’t want to change.
    2. I will never be my mothers, so stop worrying.
    3. Forgiving does not mean that you forget anything — but blaming isn’t productive.
    4. Frogiving myself for being imperfect mom.
    5. Making mistakes is part of life — roll with it. Get over it.
    6. Time management is crucial in everything we do.
    7. If you don’t like it, change it.

    Good list — I like #11 — haven’t mastered that yet.

  9. says

    Let’s see. How ’bout these:
    Knowing not to start an argument just for the drama.
    Being big enough to admit my mistakes and ask for forgiveness.
    Avoiding toxic people whenever possible.
    Accepting that I might no longer be a size 2 but neither do I look emaciated.
    Knowing that most of the things I worry about never happen.
    Realizing that I’m the only “me” there will ever be, so I have to take good care of myself.
    Living in a spirit of gratitude.

  10. Rae says

    Wisdom to me means:

    Knowing how to forgive and get respect.

    Realizing the importance of simplicity~ my routine – A little color on my cheeks, a smile and a plan for tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.