I invite you to visit also my literary blog: Journeys in Creative Writing where I post original fiction including short stories, poetry and 'Paternity', a full length mystery novel.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Wisdom and Wrinkles

I'LL BE 73 NEXT MONTH AND I'M PROUD OF EVERY WRINKLE. There’s been a lot of energy expended getting me here, and a lot learned on the way.

Those who visit 70 Plus regularly will have heard me say more than once that I believe oldies shouldn’t hide themselves under the nearest bush.

Surely it’s best for them to share the wisdom they’ve gained on their treks through life – for the sake of whippersnappers (of all ages) and for themselves. Oldies also deserve to receive kudos for what they know.

I have a few hobby horses so far as the getting of wisdom is concerned.

Take curiosity. It’s long been my contention that those blessed with the bug of needing to discover are among the luckiest around.

CURIOSITY drives one to do new things. That’s when we brush up against different people and experiences and, unless we’re impervious to our environment, it’s when we LEARN – spelled in capital letters.

Those incurious human beings we all know are the followers – the types who are stuck in the rut that life has handed out TO them. They don’t make their own paths, and much knowledge that could be gained from experience passes them by. Sad eh?

Be curious and we discover a big world out there.

Then there’s TRUST. Trust is number one in my book when it comes to relationships of any kind. Without trust a relationship isn’t worth having.

Picture in your mind walking into a shop to buy the morning paper. That little transaction is built on trust, if you think about it. The shop assistant hands over the newspaper fully trusting that she will receive payment in return.

Imagine if this almost universal trust in shopping transactions broke down – what chaos!

Right now in this little old world, we’re seeing trust dissipating in so many directions, and mores the pity. Nations disintegrate when corruption (ie abuse of trust) takes hold. The financial system similarly, as with the courts in many lands.

Marriage breakdown, of course, is another classic example, and very much closer to home. We can all see the devastation that abuse of trust is causing to families in a street near you. The fact that trust is important is a vital piece of information that many people learn too late.

When we do learn the lesson of trust, and are lucky enough to have trust returned, we gain huge rewards throughout our lives. However, the beginning is always up to us – and that part’s easy.

This week I was impressed when introduced to the concept of a new book that’s coming out in October. Its subject is the wisdom of human beings at each end of the age spectrum – 10 to 100.

‘What I Know – Uncommon wisdom and universal truths from 10-year-olds and 100-year-olds’ will be a reasonably slim volume, weighty with knowledge gained by human beings during short and long lives.

The book is the brain child of Roger Emerson Fishman, a former News Corporation Executive, Vice-President for Worldwide Marketing, who has now formed his own company concentrating on digital strategies.

Roger travelled 3,000 miles from Montana to New York talking to people in all walks of life, trawling for their outlook on positive living. The book is a result. You can find out more here.

He talked to 101-year-old Dorothy Young who was escape artist Harry Houdini’s assistant in 1924. She believes Harry chose her for the job because she ‘had faith in herself, just the way she was’.

That rings bells for me.

Roger gathered this little pearl from a much younger person called Joseph:

‘The secret to life is not to try too hard. It seems like usually when I’m wanting or
looking for something, the best way is to not really look too hard, and then I find it.’

That’s in my armory as well. We operate much better when we are relaxed don’t we?

Do you have little pearls of wisdom of your own that you’d like to share? Pop them in a comment below.


  1. June, you're the greatest!! I love reading your little bits of wisdom. ;D

    You ARE good for my ego - thank you.

  3. Lack of curiosity ages people more than anything else I think.

    Who has zest, life? The curious 70 plus or the non-curious teenager?

    Trust; I left the financial services industry because I no longer trust it. I could not feel that I could function properly and service my clients honestly.

    So I (semi)retired earlier than intended.

    I'm still curious to see how the industry moves on though :)

    Thought provoking.

  4. JOHN OF A WRITE BLOG - I'm pleased you were 'provoked'.
    Hopefully the non-curious teenagers of this world will turn the corner sooner rather than later. I do worry for them a little though - given that many spend so much time looking at screens rather than in interpersonal communication.

  5. The challenge for everyone nowadays is that we can live out our lives a lot more passively than when we were younger.

    TV, the web, being the obvious.

    And the pressure to stay at home to avoid risk for young people compounds that.

  6. Yep that's another side to the issue WRITE BLOG
    The thing about oldies though is that at least we had a good start before technology took such a hold.
    Mind you I am absolutely crazy about technology - love it to death. Care to get to a balanced situation is probably wise - what think you?

  7. Hi June,
    Great subject !! Loved your blog subject today and as usual you speak a lot of sense (as did some contributers on your wee videos) - Especially loved 10 year old Emma's comment about how you should think of yourself as a dot on the line and always moving forward... what insight for a small child - I imagine she'll go far. It's amazing how wee ones can just 'hit the nail on the head at times'..
    Thanks for making me think and use my aging though ever moving onwards braincells and hugs from the land of the tartan and me too!
    Kate x.

  8. Yes indeed, trust, faith in self, and not worrying too much or trying to hard are pretty basic things in my armory also. I'll have to look for that book, it sounds interesting.

  9. June, I can really relate to the "don't look too hard for what you're looking for" wisdom! lol Things seems to work out best for me when I am not trying too hard.
    I like to say "a smile will take you a mile!" and I also believe that every situation, good or "bad" are learning expeirences...even the mundane!

    thank you again for another great post!

  10. I am enjoying your blog very much. Thank you. As I journey through life, I try to remember that people are more important than things. A 97 year old woman taught me that. I thank her too.

  11. Great article! Thanks for your interest in the book. Wisdom from others and wisdom from ourselves are some of the most important things we have as people. It's great to see wisdom being shared.

    Find out more about the book at, and don't forget to friend us on facebook and follow us on twitter for your daily fix of wisdom from some names you might know and others you might not!

  12. I think what's really interesting is that the wisdom in all these words have been echoing through time always. The simplest truths about life have simply always been true.

  13. But you are the gretest,inovative,informative,creative,cool,funny,and sweet.Again a brilliant post,you magnifficent spirit,have a grand birthday and take care,love and hugs from Aleksandra! :O)

  14. Oh,I see,my typos and poor English again,pardon me for that,pretty please?? :O)

  15. Hi June, I love this post! We can all learn so much from each other. One thing, I would suggest is to always be yourself and be honest. I have been called a wysiwyg all my life!(what you see is what you get) The book sounds like a good one. I want to read it. I don't blame you for being proud of your 73 years. I can tell that you are someone I would be proud to know in person and that could teach us all a few things about life.

  16. I have always been curious about people. Why they are the way they are. I like to observe and listen. Maybe I'm just nosy!?!

  17. June,

    That's great! Happy Birthday in advance! And your amazing zest just proves that age is just a number, a positive thing that adds experience and enjoyment to the human mind. Keep writing!

  18. G'day KATE
    Pleased to hear that you're giving cheek again. Thinking of you.
    Nothing like giving the brain cells a jolt - I agree.
    Roger's book looks interesting doesn't it? I'll talk more about it once it's published in October.

  19. Hi ERIC
    It's so good to have you back in blogdom. Yeah - I think it's important for each of us to KNOW how good we are, and stop putting ourselves down. As you say - have faith in ourselves.
    And as I repeated to a friend recently - worry is but an electronic impulse!

  20. TULSA
    That's a good little list for life that you have there.
    'Not looking too hard' is a great weapon that artists and writers use all of the time. We mull things over in our minds, maybe take notes or sketches, and let things 'simmer' until they turn into something beautiful.

    'People are more important than things' - your friend was so wise.
    And yet many of us turn ourselves inside out and ruin our lives striving for a third TV ...
    I liked your blog Wendy - you may be interested in my post on Journeys in Creative Writing about an eco village near here - peek at

  22. ZACH
    I'm pleased you like the post. Roger has hit the nail on the head with his idea of putting together gems of wisdom from ordinary people - 10 to 100.
    Couldn't be a better source for happiness and a productive life, I reckon!

  23. ROBIN
    I absolutely agree with you. These gems have been around a long time and we choose to ignore them. At our peril I say.
    I think Roger's book should be a real wakeup call when it's published.

  24. LEKS
    Thanks for your kindness. And your English is a lot better than my attempts at other languages. All we need to do is understand each other eh?

  25. BETTY
    Curiosity isn't 'nosey'- quite different in my book.

    Curiosity is wanting to know 'why', to know what's around the corner, how things work, what makes people tick, how to use a computer, what's it like to do oil painting, what's a better way to bring up kids, learn a new recipe, enjoying something different, wanting to do another course and and and and and ...

    You are curious, not nosey - don't let anyone suggest otherwise. Do you agree?

    'Age is just a number' - there's another one for Roger's book.

    Good to hear from my Indian friend.

  27. Dear JUDY
    WYSIWYG does me for sure.
    Is that why I don't dye my hair?

    Wouldn't it be nice to meet one day? Bad luck about the lack of a plane fare ...

  28. Dear June
    Please accept my warm wishes from the core of heart for your happy birthday falling next month. If you let me know the date I shall make specials prayers for you in the temple. To me age matures a soul constantly correcting and modifying the trajectory that god wished long back. People responding to the modifications remain young fortifying themselves with the cosmic energy. People do otherwise become old.
    You remained a young lady and I wish shall continue so.

  29. You are such a gentle man PRADIP. Thank you.

    I am honoured to receive your good wishes. My birthday falls on the 13th August.

    May you remain young as well ...

  30. To answer you June - a balance?

    Most people can come to a balance of their own I think. I get bored after a while on a computer.

    Our Granddaughter does too. However, we do limit the amount of time she is allowed to spend on it and try to make the more traditional outside activities interesting and unique.

    It's a question of being aware and making an effort.

    Where people get it wrong is when they take the line of least resistance - not applying any strictures or limits to either themselves or their children and not thinking things through.

    That was a problem before technology became so all pervasive. Technology has just excacerbated it where it would have existed anyway.

    The balance is that technology provides so many opportunities that were not available to us when young.

  31. I agree about the opportunities Write Blog ...

  32. Hi June

    I'm a newly found follower. Really enjoyed your thought provoking blog and look forward to many more.
    I'm 29 myself and I think there are far too many distractions in life's new digital era that we sometimes forget to focus on what matters most to us.
    I don't know what life was like 50, 60 or even 70 years ago but today I feel like everyone is forgetting to stop and see the flowers bloom or say hi to their neighbour. It's a little heartbreaking that it takes a tradegy for people to come together these days.
    Maybe I live by my heart too much but I'm a believer that one person can make a difference. Do you think people have become too self focused in the last 20 or so years or has it always been this way???

    Thanks for the blog and hope you keep them coming.


  33. Hi June! Even though i hate wrinkles and admit i am vain enough to just religiously slap some moisturizers every so often so it will show at least a while later.. but what i have appreciated is the "wisdom" that age brings as a form of compensation maybe from life's experiences.

    But i like what you said abt being that we will continue to discover the big world outside of us.


  34. Hi Virgin Journalist - welcome!

    In a way I think we haven't been sufficiently focussed on ourselves - in a productive way.

    I believe that the world is moving a lot faster with new technology, and that we have lost sight of what is important. We've focussed more on buying the consumer goods technology makes available, and forgotten the situations that really matter.

    During my youth we always had time for our neighbours on a daily basis. Women worked physically harder because they didn't have washing machines and the rest, but when the washing was done, there was time left over. We always had week-ends off.

    I had hoped that the benefits of technology would be properly shared so that men and women would be able to work (albeit shorter hours), so that women could extend themselves, while we all had family time.

    When we were first talking about computers and al we were told that we'd have MORE time for our families. That hasn't happened.

    Was this speeding up because we didn't keep our eyes on our priorities, or did greed come into it? Or both?

  35. Well now SILVER I didn't say I don't use moisturisers - and 'religiously'! But with the years and the Australian sun, wrinkles are pretty well inevitable.

    I was speaking figuratively I suppose ...

  36. Hi fellow septuagenarian!
    Just discovered your blog and enjoyed reading it Can't be very wise yet as i cannot add to your words ! Well maybe-- accept what life throws at you and look for the silver lining !

  37. Hi BARBARA - good to meet up.
    I really agree with looking for the silver lining but I don't necessarily accept everything that's thrown at me.

    I tend to look at the latest 'thing' and decide whether to accept, work around it or decide how to deal with its consequences in a positive way - and not a particularly obvious one.

    Can you agree with some of that?

  38. Yes June ,will go along with that ! Although I like the quote "If life gives you lemons make lemonade "-believing that nothing and no one is totally good or totally bad It's just how we choose to see and respond to people and situations !
    Happy to meet you . When I started blogging I hoped to communicate with people of others about my vintage but it didn't happen There are lots of Silver Surfers around around but the either don't like what I post or have nothing to say - or maybe they are shy!
    My wedding anniversary would have been on 13 th August !

  39. Tut Tut apologies for the typos !

    Call me old fashioned but I like to communicate meaningfully as much as I'm able. My bloggy mates are of all ages, so I suppose my attitude is not confined to the elderly.
    I do think bloggers appreciate being taken seriously in comments and posts.

  41. Just thought i'd pop by and say Hi.. I've just seen you elsewhere and love your blog.. also if i'm quick enough, i could well be your 100th follower!! think i have over 70 to go on one of my blogs to catch you up and 98 on the other hehe..

    keep up the good work xx

  42. TRACEY - a BIG HUG as my 100th Follower! Congratulations and thank you. Sorry I can't send an air ticket as a prize ...
    I see on your blog that you have relatives in Yorkshire. My great grandfather John Hemingway Fisher was born in Birstall, West Yorkshire, in 1827. There are many Fishers there still apparently.

  43. Yes i have "dead relatives" in Yorkshire lol they're all buried in and around North Yorkshire.. I'm a Yorkshire lass too from East Yorkshire.

    It's ok that i'm not winning an air ticket, I'll start thumbing a lift right away instead hehe xx

  44. TRACEY Take care while you're hitching a ride ...
    then give me a call when you hit Oz! :)

  45. Secrets eh, well to me wrinkles are known as life lines and those grey hairs are nothing but sunlights :) Cheryl

    What can we possibly gain by thinking of them in other ways?

  47. Oh June what a beautiful 73 year old you are, and I don't see many wrinkles. I too am curious and have never been one to follow, always have been my own person who trust everyone until I'm given a reason not too. I have known great joys as well as great sadness in my life but I basically would not change much even after knowing the final result. Life has been good, love has been better. For me if I were to give any advice would be for us all to value and nuture our friendships, women especially have a bond of understanding and supporting each other....I am so blessed to have wonderful sisters and many friends, many go as far back as grade school....these wonderful ladies have made my life what it is today and what it will be tomorrow. An early Happy Birthday June, this was a great topic and I enjoyed your post and all the comments so very much.......:-) Hugs

  48. Hi Anna M Blanch
    I didn't realise you were an Australian. This health business all seems to be a conundrum for the USA doesn't it?

    Mind you I remember Australia before it had the Medicare system - we just put it in once the decision was made. And computers were very simplistic in those days, making administration more difficult than it would be now.

    Truly, I don't think the big problem is likely to be systems so much, as the will to do it. There would have to be consensus among those in power wouldn't there?

  49. Hi June, I wanted to say thanks for visiting me and for your nice comment, a definite honor! I so admire your outlook on life and couldn't agree more with your wonderful pearls of wisdom. Yes, I especially relate to the importance of curiosity. It has always been a major driving force in my life, sometimes at the expense of 'things I should really be doing' can be overwhelming the amount of things I wonder about. But here, I am very happy to be a new follower of yours :)

  50. SARAH
    I absolutely agree with your sentiment about curiosity getting in the way of the 'should dos'. Life is so much more full when you want to know about everything. But it's worth the juggling, I reckon.
    Thanks for the kind words too - it's good to have you around!

  51. June, one of the things I've noticed as I get older is how much sillier I used to be. The things I did at 20? Ridiculous!
    Do you suppose that at 70 I'll be reflecting on how silly I was at 55?

  52. Hi PEARL
    That's my experience anyway.
    With you - let me know if that's the case when YOU are 70!


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