Tag Archives: midlife

Balancing what I know with what I don’t…

20 Apr

In many ways I feel like I am living a “Benjamin Buttons” life

(a reference to the circa 2009 movie of the same name where a baby was born as an old man and progressively got younger as he chronologically aged).  I married young, had two wonderful children in my 20’s, and now enjoy a single life where I love myself, appreciate good friends, and am grateful for health, work, career and a happy life.

In many ways I feel like I’m living my 20’s today – I have the freedom I never had when I was married or raising children to go out whenever and wherever – and I love it.

Along with my youthful outlook is maturity, and I realize just how much I do not know about life or the world!  Maybe that is the beauty of my current life and my place in it!  I know what I know (professional expertise) and I am learning everyday that there is so much that I don’t know (and maybe never will).

  • I know that friends come and go, but I don’t know when new ones will come and old ones will leave.  Somehow there is always a balance of good friends that is just short of 5 at any one time.
  • I know that good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people, and sometimes it just doesn’t seem to be fair or balanced.  I have no idea why this is so.
  • I know that it is more than okay to be me and to love being so!  Since I am not a child, I do not understand why others seek to change me (for my own good.)
  • I know that I am a giving and generous person (who often put others first to my detriment).  I do not know (and am learning that it doesn’t matter) what others think of me.
  • I know that my perceptions and feelings are valid, just are those of others. I do not know or purport to know what goes on in anyone else’s head.
  • I used to think I knew about love, and now I know that I know nothing at all.
  • I know that I know very little about human behavior aside from my own.
  • I know that I do not like conflict, loss, confrontation, accusations or cruelty.  And I know that there are people who do.
  • I know not to take things that people do or say to me personally (it is more about them and their experience), but it still feels personal. I do not know how to perfect this practice.
  • I know that I will never be able to predict (with any accuracy or precision) the reactions of others.
  • I know that girlfriends are the joy and stability of life.
  • I know that there are reasons that people from my past did not make it into my present.
  • I know that mean doesn’t go away and fortunately, neither does nice.
  • I know that friends can be the family we CHOOSE for ourselves.
  • I know that there is no guarantee that siblings will be friends.
  • I know that people are always surprising – sometimes in good ways, sometimes in bad.
  • I know that change is the natural state.  I do not know how to make more of the good things last longer and the bad ones disappear.
  • I know that for every “get rich quick” scheme there are people who were taken.
  • I know that I am grateful for the people, places, pets, nature, parents, children, and friends who grace my life today.
  • I know that they will not always be there tomorrow.
  • I know that I don’t know what I don’t know…

When I was younger, I used to think I knew more about life than I did not.  Today I think just the opposite.  Maybe that is a sign of maturity – or maybe it is proof that I am young at heart!  And I am quite happy to know that I have so much more to learn.

Have a good week!



BFT (Best friends today)…

29 Mar

Best friends forever… that’s a blast from the past for most of us who have been adults for some years.  I can remember growing up and thinking that having good friends was THE single most important thing in my life.  Somehow that went by the wayside as I graduated from college, moved away, got married, and raised children, and the friendships of yesteryear waned.  Now divorced, with happily grown children, I again appreciate that having good friends is one of THE most important things in my life.

The friends I make today are not as easy and frequent as those I made in grade school, and many of the people I meet today are made through random encounters at events or business networking meetings.  I no longer adhere to the childhood adage of best friends forever – instead I embrace the concept of best friends today. I’ve also discovered that we meet many more people who will become acquaintances that we will ever have as friends.  Friends are like anchors that steady us against the winds of life, while acquaintances may grasp hold of us for a moment during a storm of their own.  Regardless, a plentiful supply of friends and acquaintances give our life variety and keep us honest and sane.

These days, I’m still learning about the differences between acquaintances and friends and I’d be honored if you’d add, change or drop items I’ve put on my list.

Friends and acquaintances… what’s the difference? (A list by Carol Dekkers)

– A friend doesn’t mind if you call them in the middle of the night because you’ve just done something stupid and need to chat for a minute. (An acquaintance will keep score)

– A friend will tell you tactfully if you have mustard on your face (and won’t laugh out loud) where an acquaintance might enjoy a chuckle at your expense.

– A friend will honestly tell you when you’re shopping if a pair of jeans makes your butt look big, and will continue to help you find the perfect pair. (An acquaintance might lie to you to save time and keep the good looks for themselves).

– A friend will listen to you lament about your latest date gone poorly and reassure you that not all guys (or gals) are jerks. (An acquaintance is waiting for their turn to talk.)

– A friend doesn’t judge you when you’ve got nothing to do on a Friday night and you call to hang out. (An acquaintance will drop you if you don’t have exciting events to bring to their life).

– A friend will gently give you their honest opinion even if you don’t want to hear it. (An acquaintance will tell you what you want to hear or offer inconsiderate unsolicited advice).

– A friend cares about you even when there are others around who might not like you.  (An acquaintance will opt for “mob mentality” and might ditch you if someone in the crowd isn’t your fan).

Wishing you more friends than acquaintances, and certainly Best Friends for today.


Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.

Copyright 2010 Carol Dekkers – All Rights Reserved ———————

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