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Repeating History

  • Posted on January 10, 2006 at 7:19 am

There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened.

– Willa Cather (1873 – 1947)

American Writer

I was getting my nails done one day in a very small intimate salon when I over heard the woman next to me complaining about her 16 year son who she has just visited in the hospital.

“I’m so angry with him!” She protested. “After all the times we’ve told him not to drink he did it anyway and was in an accident and broke his leg and his arm.”

I looked over at her pondering which of the multitude of questions running through my mind I should lead off with.

I choose “I’m sorry to eves drop, but when you were his age, did you drink with your friends?” I asked.

“Oh sure!” she smile “but that was different.

I’m sure she whole heartedly believed she could justify that in her mind, but it did surprise me that someone my age with a teenage son could be so naive.

Why do parents act so surprised when their children repeat the same trial and errors they experienced? It is part of growing up. It is part of learning how to become oneself.

If parents were more straightforward with their children and talked more forthright with them, then it’s possible their children would not have to experience the extreme challenges they often face.


  • Posted on January 8, 2006 at 6:54 am

I only said “I want to be left alone!”

Greta Garbo (1905 – 1990)

Swedish Actress

When I was in my 20’s I always sought the company of others, no matter who they might be. I was always running from one event to the next forcing myself to stay constantly busy.

In my 30’s I found that I had narrowed down my activities to include only a select few activities. The activities were less intense than those from the previous decade.

Then in my 40’s I rarely participated in social activities because I was more preoccupied with my business. I found that I became very protective of my privacy as well as my free time. This is also when I began to develop more of my creative nature.

Now that I’m in my 50’s, I enjoy my business relationships tremendously but find that it requires a great deal of effort to remember to schedule social time with my friends.

I rather enjoy my time alone and I am never bored with being by myself. I often prefer to return home on a Thursday afternoon when my business meetings conclude and not have to go out into the world until the following Tuesday when I have my next meetings scheduled.