Advice From Wanda, 84: “It All Boils Down To Choices”

Wanda worries that young people won’t be interested in her life lessons. I think she’s wrong about that, choicesbecause her hard-won lessons for living are ones we all can use.

I write poetry for children and for the old. The media generation escapes me. I really would like to know what is going on, but it all seems as alien as the planet Mars. What could I tell them out of my experience that would have any meaning for them? In my 84-year-old case, I feel that I have lost their attention. If I could re-capture it for fifteen minutes, I would say this:

It all boils down to choices. Make a bad one in a few seconds, and live with the consequences for the rest of your life. When you are young, lots of the choices have to do with sex and relationships. Use your head, and go carefully.

If you have a chance, get as much education as you can, because it gives you options you would not have otherwise. Find out what your strong suite is, and follow up on it. Don’t be afraid to seek advice . If words are your thing, and you think you might make a writer, don’t wait until you are 70 years old as I did.

Those who make a plan for their lives have an advantage over those who just float merrily along. This, in fact, is what I did, and I had a wonderful ride – but if someone had asked me “What do you want to do with your life? You’re only going to get one.” I might have focused more, and perhaps made a difference . But no one ever did. Too late for regrets!

One must make a living, and it is not easy these days. But don’t insist on being a millionaire. Focus on making enough money to bring up your children, educate them, save and invest anything extra for your old age.

If you have children, spend time with them, doing “stuff” like going on beach picnics, going to the zoo , reading poetry and stories at bed time, making cookies, at Christmas, singing with them, using art materials( Kids clean up well.) These are things they will remember in later life.

I think I’ll stop here. If I get preachy, no young person is going to listen.

3 thoughts on “Advice From Wanda, 84: “It All Boils Down To Choices”

  1. Dear Ms. Wanda –

    I’m listening. I want you to know I am finding that every word you say is true. And there is no preachy-ness to it. It’s beautiful, as you are.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your best with this blog. I find the older I get the more I am listening to people that speak the least. They have the most to offer.

    If we could live life backwards like Benjamin Buttons, maybe we would not have that ‘eternal youth’ mentality and appreciate life for the short, sweet moments that make it up…maybe not.

    Just know, I appreciate you writing and will take it all to heart.

    Thank you again,

  2. Hi Angelia,

    Thanks so much for this comment! I love your Benjamin Button idea – it would be wonderful if we could adopt the idea that life is short, so we need to look for the sweet moments!

  3. Dear Ms. Wanda,

    I read this and will share with my 10-year-old son. His grandparents don’t share words of wisdom and perhaps that is so they don’t appear preachy, but he needs to hear them as they’re powerful and enduring.

    Thank you for taking the time to share.

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