Life lessons learnt from teachers

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One of my old singing teachers has her birthday very close to mine. Through the several decades that we’ve known each other, we have sometimes had joint celebrations or gone out for a birthday meal together.

At such an event one year,  I remember saying to Sylvia that she was a fine role model for growing older with grace and style. She asked me what I meant, so I explained to her. She was excellent at keeping fit (through attending regular Pilates classes) and she also worked on developing new skills, such as drawing and various painting techniques. In fact, a drawing of hers was exhibited in the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition Show in a particular year, even though she doesn’t have a background in visual arts at all and was about to enter her eighth decade at the time.

The key lesson that I’ve learnt from Sylvia is about the ongoing journey of life and the fact that there is no reason to stop learning. I don’t think her mindset is the same as the one where folks become perpetual students, amassing degrees in order to prove something to others. Hers is a more personal approach that has self improvement as the goal, but also involves giving one’s self some pleasure along the way.

Each individual can make choices based on what floats their personal boats. Some senior citizens are wary of the internet and computers. That is fair enough, as it demonstrates that we can still get by without them if that is the case.
It also suggests that we don’t have to “obey the breeze” or follow trends simply because they are catching at any point in time. The main thing is to have a reason to get up in the morning and to make good use of the time we have.