Saturday, January 26, 2013

What I learned this week

Yesterday I had lunch with a school friend that was in the same class from Sub B (Grade 2) to matric (Grade 12).  The last time we saw each other was when we walked out of the examination center in 1978. It was her birthday yesterday, she is exactly 3 days older than me.  I wanted to make her day special hence the invite to join me for lunch at Blue Waters.  We spent 3 hours together and I felt a little like a teenager again.  So many sentences started with "Do you remember"....and ...."Do you know what happened to so and so".  It was amazing!   The years just rolled back.

I learned a few things about perceptions.

I grew up as one of six children and the oldest of five girls.  Keeping five girls dressed could not have been an easy task and my mom made all our clothing.  She is still an amazing seamstress and she used Burda patterns and made us clothes that was always way ahead of fashion.  My parents drove an old Consul that my mother inherited from my grandfather.  It was very old and rusted and we were ashamed (though we never had the heart to tell her) that Mom always waited right in front of the school for us.  We lived in municipal flats for many years until my parents could afford to rent a house.

As a rule we never took friends home, because Dad drank too much and he was loud and aggressive when he drank.  Sleepovers were out of the question because I would simply die of embarrassment if Dad got drunk.  On the other hand I loved sleeping over at my friends homes. I was envious of the stability in their homes and I was envious of the relationship they had with their fathers. I was envious of my friends who lived in owned houses and wore clothes that had labels.

I was always convinced that somehow we carried a label..."the poor kids". Yesterday was an eye opener when my old school friend told me that she never noticed any of this. She never considered us poor. She never noticed the old rusted car...and was envious that I had a "stay at home mom" that picked me up from school.  She had to go home to an empty house every afternoon as she had no siblings and both her parents worked. She loved the trendy clothes I always wore. So what did I learn?

  • That I was blessed to have my mom home every afternoon.
  • That my mom loved us a lot.  She never made only one dress, she made five.  How do you measure love in hours of sitting in front of a sewing machine.
  • As soon as we were old enough to understand my mom taught us a valuable lesson:  "You can be poor, but always be clean"...and another gem "Class isn't bought with money". We are poor but we are not common.
  • I also learned that what I saw and was envious of, was a polished exterior that hid a lot of heartbreak and pain.
  • That how I grew up formed me to be the person I am today and a person that can have empathy with people that have drug and alcohol problems.
I am counting my blessings.

Has this ever happened to you?  
Have you had weird and wonderful perceptions that proved false years later?


  1. How wonderful it is to reconnect with old friends! All the memories!!!

    Perceptions, I am sure virtually everyone has had a misperception or two at one point in life. I can't count how many times I've thought someone was in a wonderful relationship and then something happens and I realise they were in an abusive relationship and it was just cracked walls covered up :(

    This is the one reason, I've learnt to count my many blessings and name them one by one (I made sure this song was played at my wedding)

  2. It's wonderful what we learn when we look back and reflect! I am so happy you had a great time with your friend!

  3. I love, love, LOVE that you had this precious time with your friend.

    And that the perceptions were different to reality :)

  4. Loved this post! So wonderful to reconnect with an old friend. I guess when we are young we are very self-concious. So true that other people's lives can look great on the outside but everybody has a story. It is wonderful that you can see all of the good in the past. :)

  5. Lynette what a heart warming piece of your unique life. Yes, no matter what, there are always loads to be grateful for. You are truly an inspiration.
    Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}

  6. How wonderful that the Lord brought this opportunity to reconnect into your life and helped you see new perceptions of your younger years. Thank the Lord for your wonderful mother!! Thanks so much for sharing these fabulous words of wisdom and your beautiful photo. ~ Blessings, Tracey

  7. I am happy that you had a wonderful time with friends, especially long lost friends. Thanks for reminding me that we should be grateful for what we have, thanks for sharing Lynette!

  8. I agree with all of the above, sometimes we forget to be thankful for what we do have, happy crafting x

  9. Food for thought indeed Lynette! Glad it was a positive experience for you meeting up with such an old friend!!

  10. I'm glad you had a lovely day with an old school friend, Lynette....& it's an extra bonus that you came away with new thoughts & such a positive attitude.

  11. I am 100% sure David and I had lunch at a place with that exact view!!!!

    Yip this happened to me when I connected with old school friends from FB.

    I was the fat girl at school, never had boyfriends etc etc. When chatting to one of the guys I grew up with he commented on how pretty I was both now and back then - I could have punched him. So many of my confidence issues stem from high school and how I assumed people perceived me!

  12. @Laura...I was the skinny, plain girl with the very curly hair. My first steady boyfriend was my husband. He must have seen something nobody else did.

    1. Thank God for that! I was the "PlainJane" with beautiful friends. However, I looked for a hard working guy and married that guy. We have had hard times due impacts of him being severely burned but we have survived. I have a home, food on the table and faith that God will provide. What more do I need?

    2. Thank God for that! I was the "PlainJane" with beautiful friends. However, I looked for a hard working guy and married that guy. We have had hard times due impacts of him being severely burned but we have survived. I have a home, food on the table and faith that God will provide. What more do I need?

  13. What a beautiful reminder to all!
    Only blessings in life, even though we do not see it in the moment!

  14. I really needed to read this today Lynette. I am going through a bit of a dark patch at the moment and although I like to stay positive it feels like its getting the better of me some days. You've just reminded me of how blessed I really am and that I should always remember that. Thank you. xx

  15. Wonderful that you could catch up with an old friend and also make some realisations about the past! The past has made you who you are now and has certainly helped you grow as a person...may this new knowledge help to flourish you in everyway! ;-)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your visit with your old school friend. So funny how we perceive things when we are younger....I am also one of six children, the second oldest of four girls and two boys, and grew up knowing that it was struggle for my parents. Funny thing is the fact that we weren't alone, definitely not the only poor ones in our community. Looking back I realize that I learned so much by not having everything and was truly blessed. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Such a difference perspective can make! What a blessing God gave you in that time with your friend - not only the friendship, but eyes to see the blessings He bestowed upon you years ago. Truly beautiful. I love how He is always working in our lives and doesn't let a single moment go to waste. Thank you for sharing this today!!!


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