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Developing self value. Thursday January 19, 2017

I was going to use the title 'Push the stop button, now'. It appertained to looking at one's behaviour in the past, and if there was ever a time when you could say 'I wish I could have stayed, right there'?

I think I can actually pin-point an age which was perhaps the 'high point' of my life. My early 50's. I had a steady relationship which had survived the traumas of rearing children, getting established and keeping a roof over our heads. it was at this time that I went to university.

My fellow students were all about 20. I could not rival them in face or figure, but I could keep up in brain and spirit. And I did not have to cope with fears of leaving home, acute lack of confidence, that the big wide world was a scary place – that you were in a place of extreme rivalry in all fields.

I learned, shatteringly, that my brain, although capable of quick thinking and problem solving, was a very ill-disciplined organ, and had to be re-trained, mostly via red ink on my essays. In my 'real' life I was still a boss, but in the lecture theatre I was often worthy of a dunce's cap.

I did learn self-value, my limitations. When it came to finals, I would take the best flower in my garden, lay it on the desk in front of me, and say 'If I don't get a degree I'm still a jolly good gardener'. Those three years, and the subsequent MA, gave me a confidence in myself that led to a retirement inestimably rich.

Who, among you, have had that experience? What has, might, or will allow you to 'value yourself'?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Molly Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 1:01am

Well done for achieving this later on in life. I guess I have had moments in the past that I have achieved things I thought I could never achieve. It's good to read upbeat posts like this, as it makes me feel that maybe one day I may be able to achieve something again. Good to hear you laid the flower on the table and didn't hold it between your teeth :-) M x

LP Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 9:06am

Ha ha! Love that image Molly! :))

Molly Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 2:37am

What happens when you think of something that you want to say on a previous post? I think my mind went blank, but I am wondering if it's only the day's post that is read and that people don't look at previous replies to previous posts and there is no notification on here to tell you if someone has replied? As I just thought of something but I think that it is too late to comment. Sorry the Gardener for invading your post with this question.

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 6:53am

Hi Molly, I can't answer for all other writers, but most of us go back to our blogs for at least a couple of days to see if there are additional comments. Also, some folk will add a "Lex - I've added a comment to your Monday blog" or similar, to their comment on today's blog. I don't think the other writers mind this. I know I don't.

LP Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 9:04am

Or me! :)

Leah Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 10:39am

molly I agree with Mary. I usually look for a few days after to see if there are any more comments.

Dee Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 6:18am

I have just scored 100%!! the last time I did the test was a few days ago and it was 19% - so here I am, back in the slightly euphoric world after a hospital admission, and on new pills and ready for the next journey, though I doubt it will be a degree, thanks Molly for your posting, and thanks to Moodscope for being a tangible record of what is 'going on' with my mood, it sometimes take such courage to dare to 'take the test' but what a wonderful idea it was of whatever the man's name was, something like John Cousins maybe? anyway thank you whatever your name is, and whoever you are who has taken it on, love to all, I have plenty today!

LP Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 9:03am

Love back Dee, so glad you're feeling better. As Mary says, go steady, LPxx

Dee Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 6:27am

I promise I am not going to dominate today's proceedings, but I get A Daily Ray of Hope every day, and just looked at it - today is pertinent to all of us on the rollercoaster of life, I don't know how to print it here, but it is Witgenstein or something like that and it is a picture of a duck's 'ass' !! and saying you don't have to travel far to find things out.........

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 6:58am

Bless you Dee. Gentle hugs to you. Even though you have masses of energy today, don't spend it all at once and eat and drink wisely. I know I'm the pot telling the kettle not to get black, but we both know I'm right, don't we! ;)

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 7:07am

What a lovely post, TG. I think our fifties are a wonderful age for many women. We have often found self acceptance and confidence, we still have our health and energy, and enough future to start something completely new: a new business, a new career, a new relationship. Most of us have seen our children fledged and independent and have more freedom to explore our own ambitions. I am probably where you were. I love being in my fifties (especially when people do not believe that I am), I love having the authority that maturity brings, of being taken seriously (being small and blonde and bouncy this has always been an issue). I enjoy my writing, my friendships and my marriage and family. Maybe we are Renaissance women!

Eva Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 7:42am

A beautiful elegant post Gardener, thank you. I feel that I was approaching this state before my cousin died, and then subsequent dad and father in law and cat deaths have kept me from it, but I am slowly creeping back to the levels of energy required to be there. "There" is painting, I'm currently doing a (delayed) diploma and looking forward now to finishing and being unleashed.

Jane Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 7:50am

Good luck Eva

LP Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 8:59am

Good luck from me too Eva! Onwards and upwards! Xx

Jane Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 7:49am

Hi Gardener, well done for your great achievement. I completed my MSc 4 years ago, I'm in my forties. I'm slightly hard of hearing and I allowed this to get in the way of my learning at school by rebelling rather than admit to it and risk getting bullied like my sister was. So to finally achieve my Masters was great and I have finally come to terms with, and am no longer ashamed of, my hearing. This took me slightly longer though but I attended a 12 week drama work for introverted people, altough everyone who knows me thinks I'm an extrovert! The workshop my all the difference to my confidence and accepting my hearing once and for all. Xx

Jane Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 7:50am

Made all the difference! Typo!

Orangeblossom Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 8:05am

Hi TG I really enjoyed reading your blog which fully resonated for me. My Mid-fifties was the turning point in my life. I was offered the job that I am doing now. I love it and am getting a 'free education' Notetaking for students with a disability. I have grown into the role of mentor & supporter. Someone once described me as "a course junkie". However for me learning self-acceptance is an on-going process.

Sally Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 8:45am

What a gem of a blog, The Gardener . I absolutely loved it for its sincerity and truths. Very well written too. I could identify so much with all you said, too. Although I didn't do my degree at 50. But I did start a job in a demanding role that I've been proud to have even attempted given the family circumstances at the time.
Your blog this morning is a ray of sunshine on a grey day. Thank you very much.

LP Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 8:55am

Hi TG,
I went on a course called Protective Behaviours which was intened for me to learn about how children can learn to value themseves, feel self worth and about their rights. I wasnt expecting the "Wow!" moment that I got from the simple statement "You have the right to feel safe".

There was a whole section on awareness of how language is used in society, in interactions and our own language about ourselves. The less obvious phrases containing put downs or violent words, not intended to be taken literally.

I realised that I was safe from others in that if they are being intentionally hurtful towards me, it is their problem and I don't have to take it on board and if they're not doing it intentionally, even less so!
It felt like a win win for me and I felt like I had a protective bubble around me for several months afterwards.
If only life were that simple! One day I realised that a person in a "position of power" (in that I get paid), can get to me. I came crashing down and had do alot of looking after myself and learning, to be able to speak my truth and stand my ground without causing repercussions. Now I literally decide "I'm not going to take that on board." which helps alot.

Amazingly I have found that the universe has a wonderful way of turning things back on people who have hurt me. The number of times that just a week or a month later, the perfect opportunity to illutrate to that person that what they did or said was wrong, just lands beautifully without malice or confrontation, has amazed me.

I've had moments when I've thought that things were good and wanted to press "hold" but other good times have been ahead. I havent been able to see it when things don't feel good, but they do come around in the long run.
Thank you for an inspirational blog TG. I loved the flower on your desk!

Blue skies in London today folks! Cold but bright :) Warm wishes to all, LPxx

Tutti Frutti Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 9:49am

Hi Gardener
It's great that you did your MA aa a mature student and that it bolstered your confidence. You seem to have done some amazing things and I hope I have done even half as much by the time I am your age (though I imagine I am actually too cautious and too far behind you at 45 even for that).

"What might allow you to value yourself" feels like the million dollar question? Objectively I have quite a lot of past achievements with academic and professional qualifications, and a career that is nearly what you might expect from someone with my qualifications (which for a part timer with health issues isn't bad). I am also a fairly good musician. But it doesn't seem to make me feel much more secure in myself. Mega issue with disqualifying the positive I suspect! I also associate with lots of people who can knock spots off my achievements. I have an extremely academic husband and also many very academic friends and colleagues and my best friend is better at both maths (our degree subject)and music than me - plays 12 instruments, several grade 8s. And I know comparing myself with others is also evil.

Apologies for a bit of a rant today. Perhaps I will see the light when I reach 50!

Love TF x

John Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 10:02am

"What might allow you to value yourself?" - there was a teenager a long time ago who was taught to fly (in the ATC), I have the proof he was an above average pilot by the comment in his log book from when he flew his solo. Nowadays, and three and a half decades later, that young lad wonders if there is anything else that he has achieved that comes close to that.

Lifelong Learner Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 10:13am

Thank you for your uplifting post TG. It was for me a timely reminder of the value of developing self esteem. I too had my 'renaissance' (thank you Mary Wednesday!) in my 50s and studied with the Open University. Completing my studies and graduating with an honours degree has literally changed my life in so many ways. Life can still thrown me a curve ball from time to time, and at those times I have often been helped back on track by the support of our lovely Moodscope community, which I have just realised I also discovered in my 'renaissance period'. I am fast approaching my next decade with far more hope and enthusiasm than I did for my 20s and 30s. Thank you Moodscopers for your thoughtful, heartfelt and nurturing contributions - you are valued and very much appreciated.

The Gardener Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 10:22am

What glorious replies! I'd forgotten writing this blog, so it was a lovely surprise this morning. Rivalry is necessary but can also be destructive. A cliche, but we cannot ALL be good at everything. I've had more than my fair share of being 'put down' by relatives. Something I'd forgotten but adds a corollary to Adrian's blog on possible recognition/prevention of depression - and the piece on CGT on Radio 4. I had been classified manic depressive since my early 30's. In my 40's, although I'd had a hysterectomy, my doctor put me on the 'pill' to see if hormones were at fault. In the 2nd year of my degree I was not coping, exhausted, poor marks, losing interest. I knew that if I continued, and got a poor or no degree my character would not stand such a terrible failure. I went to my personal tutor and said I ought to give it up. He was horrified, saying I had all the ability necessary, and go and see the College student adviser. She went into details, and then said that she hated saying such a thing to a woman who had brought up 5 children but try a qualified nutritionist. I had a 9 page questionnaire. Came the interview and she said 'However have you coped all this time'. I have a life-time intolerance to dairy products, but was told that other than a diet of fish-bones I could not replace the calcium. Rubbish apparently. I'm no chemist, but low calcium intake locks up magnesium, vital for nerves, and I fetched up in hospital 2/3 times with suspected heart attacks, I'd turned blue and collapsed. We should have known as farmers, cows collapse in early spring eating lush grass but low on magnesium, they often. die. Anyway, calcium and magnesium ever since, no more problems. So, on I went, good degree, a Master to follow, move to France, and using French and Latin plus access to rich archives I've had a super time. If anybody thinks they may have a dietary problem, spend a bit of money (not on the many charlatans who claim to be 'allergy' experts) - but a bona fide trained one - your GP will probably know one.

Leah Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 10:45am

Today I have only one year of my fifties yet so I admire what you achieved. Comparedto you I I have done little in my fifties but am hoping the best is yet to come.
Your writing shows me that your life has been full and varied. I am exhausted just reading your qualifications and achievements.well done.

The Gardener Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 7:49pm

Dear Leah and everybody - I feel a cheat, being put almost on a pedestal! I must come clean - the decision to take a degree was talking to a student on holiday in Corsica - I was very drunk, she was studying European History - I though 'thash me', cycled up to the college on my return and was admitted to a degree course straightway. Many things I have done were through boredom or for a bet. I think the bi-polar instinct? inherited from my father probably played a part in decisions I would not have taken if more rational. If there is a message in this lot, it is 'realising your potential'. The other, never forgotten, when we were all gung-ho about what we were going to do for the millennium was our then priest, 'whatever talents you have, use them, don't waste them'. Eva, paint - if you have a photo of your beloved cat, paint her. I've had a day scooting from problem to problem in freezing cold, Mr G is unutterable hell tonight - but the blog and your posts have kept a flame alive. God bless you all

Leah Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 8:27pm

TG You are not a cheat at all but a very clever woman who has led a full life. I know comparisons are odious but I still compare! I think what I take from your experiences is your determination and the belief in yourself. You have had many obstacles in your life and still keep going. Your blog and posts help so many . Take care xx

Leah Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 8:27pm

TG You are not a cheat at all but a very clever woman who has led a full life. I know comparisons are odious but I still compare! I think what I take from your experiences is your determination and the belief in yourself. You have had many obstacles in your life and still keep going. Your blog and posts help so many . Take care xx

Jane Fri, Jan 20th 2017 @ 7:19am

I agree with Leah and I love the drunken story!! X

Lexi Thu, Jan 19th 2017 @ 11:44pm

Hi TG! I had that moment at 40, when my daughter was 6 months old and I quit my sales job and started my own business. I have never regretted it though the years have proved to be a challenge to say the least. Now at 48 I am considering going back to school to get an advanced degree to help me in my business. I will most likely do it online, so as to avoid being the old lady in the class :) Congrats on your degree! It is very inspiring to hear you accomplish that!

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