Making a List of What We’ve Learned in Life

Dear Reader:

Many people are “list” people…they can’t go anywhere without a list…like the grocery store or start the day’s errands…they feel more secure with a list. Lists are very important it seems in today’s society…so many life guidance books…that we all find in book stores these days… deal with an author’s lists for how to improve or remedy different aspects of our lives.

Me…not so much. I am the person who occasionally makes lists only to forget and leave them at home still sitting on the kitchen table while I struggle to remember what all I need to pick up.

But then….a few months ago…I came across a blogger who had just celebrated a birthday and it showed her writing something in a homemade decorated notebook with her name on it. She explained that every year on her birthday she added a list beside the year…filling in everything new about life she had learned during that particular  ‘trip around the sun.’

Not a bad idea I thought to myself and wondered what new I would list this past year. As I idly thought about it I came across one of the best lists I had seen…from Maya Angelou. Her list combined wisdom and humor as she saw her life. Here is her list.

My three favorites from her list are:

  1. “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

2. “I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

3. “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.”

I loved her last selection in her list because it coincides with my philosophy I reminded myself every day over 30 plus years of teaching.

“Students don’t care how much you know…until they know how much you care.”

When I came across the quote of Helen Keller’s in today title visual…it became mine too.

My friends have made the story of my life.” Helen Keller And I pray that the reverse can be said …that I have been there for my friends.

As I sit here this morning typing away…pictures of all my close friends keep popping up in my mind and my smile keeps getting bigger and bigger. How devoid of color my life would have been without my friends beside me… encouraging me throughout my life?

Let me take a moment and personally thank you, my dearest dearest friends….You truly are the “wind beneath my wings”…you were and are the people who encouraged me to fly when I would have been content to climb back in the nest. I will love and cherish you forever.

I would love to hear something new you have learned about life this past year…since it has been one of the craziest years we have lived through…do you have a new thought concerning new perspectives on life or a favorite life lesson from your past? Tell us.

So until tomorrow….

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Look what I discovered yesterday….my sole lone Confederate rose bloomed white…I was overcome with joy…fingers crossed it can survive the next two transitional colors…pastel pink and maroon pink…the legend of the Confederate soldier. Hope never dies.

Stay tuned tomorrow to see how an on-going blog post mystery came to be solved. ???????????????????

I got a box of wonderful surcies from Honey via Mike when he stopped by Monday…I think I probably had the last tomato sandwich of the season…but boy did I have the best- mountain tomato from the Burrells…and soup bowls from giving to Honey’s loyal support of her talented pottery soup bowls to feed the hungry annual event.



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Making a List of What We’ve Learned in Life

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky…what an inspirational message today…and you my friend have touched so very many lives through teaching and your blog…and just being you. One thing that I knew but it truly has come to the forefront lately because of having 3 of my 4 siblings struggling with seeious health ussues is how precious our time together is…we were not together at Easter this year for the first time in my life…67 yrs because of the pandemic…and niw I am not sure when we will be abke to gather again. My parents had a lot of wondeful traditions that they started and we have continued them all of my life and I am the youngest so it has been well over 80 yrs…but the one thing that still remains is the Christian faith that they instilled in all of us…thank God for that because that is whst is holding our family together….


    • Becky Dingle says:

      How lucky you were and are….as children it is so important to hear the stories and understand the role of God in our lives…as Someone we can turn to when times are tough…I don’t know what people do when times are tough and they have no one to turn to…there is no way I would have made it this long…if not for God’s presence and firm grip keeping me steady and balanced from life’s falls.


  2. Beverly Dufford says:

    Thank you, Becky, for posting Maya Angelo’s list of important things. I am so glad she didn’t add computer problems as well as computer spam to the list for being able to tell a lot about a person. I was good with a rainy day and even tangle lights, and I never traveled enough to experience lost luggage, but computer messages about someone having all my information about everything, including my bank account, will frighten me to not being logical at all. I love this one, “Every day reaching out and touching someone”. Family has always meant so much to me too, and missing being with my extended family has really been tough. Also my Christian faith has always been my greatest blessing. I have learned during this pandemic to really appreciate things that I have taken for granted such as: sitting inside our sanctuary for services, singing in church, going in a grocery store and choosing my own vegetables and meat, visiting with anyone at any time, breathing without a mask, hugging folks, not using hand sanitizer every time you touch things, the ability to read, working all kinds of puzzles, sitting on back porch watching the birds and squirrels and yes, even this computer and telephone. (Who would have ever thought we’d be doing something called Zoom?)


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