Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jane Austen, Life Lessons and some Ice Cream

Today is a good day. I woke up on time and without problem. I was able to not fall asleep in the shower like I normally do, so I had sufficient time to blow dry my hair (something that hasn't happened in the last two weeks). I arrived at work 5 minutes early as opposed to 5 minutes late and all of my work is caught up. My class tonight is supposed to be easy and I should get out early. Yes, today is indeed a good day. What could make it better? This, except it would be with my amor:

Who wouldn't want to go ride their bikes to eat some ice cream?

Another thought: I have been mildly obsessed with Jane Austen my entire life. Recently, through the magical world of the library, I have become even more obsessed with BBC and Masterpiece Theatre's renditions of her works. I find myself watching and re-watching these classics at least once a week. I happened upon an article with 12 Life Lessons Learned from Jane Austen. I completely agree with all of them.

1. You aren't nearly as special as you think. You may walk around like the heroine of your very own novel, but you're no better than any of the minor characters. You know--those dull, ordinary, conventional people you're forced to be surrounded by. Take a good look at them: that's you. (Emma)

2. Gossip is the highest form of wisdom. The most important things in life are the small, trivial, everyday events, the little moments of feeling, that people like to gab about. That's what the fabric of our years really consists of. That is what life is truly about. (Emma)

3. Humiliation is the fastest way of growing up. You're not as wonderful as your mama told you, and the way to grow up is to realize that. Growing up, in other words, means making mistakes. Only it's not enough to make mistakes: you have to feel them. Those moments of excruciating shame when you really screw up? Cherish them. (Pride and prejudice)

4. Your feelings are not necessarily right. Feelings are always about something, and that "something" is not itself a feeling. It's an idea, a perception of a situation. And because ideas can be wrong, the feelings that are based on them can also be wrong. So relax a little bit. (Pride and Prejudice)

5. Don't believe everything you think. We do not come to things with open minds, we come with all the ideas we've already acquired, and we can't wait to project them onto everything we encounter. Instead of discovering the truth, we end up with a very elaborate theory that bears no relationship to what's actually going on in front of us. (Northanger Abbey)

6. Keeping your eyes open is the best way of staying young. Forget Botox. Staying young means continuing to be open to the possibility that life can take you by surprise. Curiosity is the true source of joy. If you think you've already seen it all, you have. (Northanger Abbey)

7. Too much money makes you miserable. Being able to get whatever you want makes you awfully unhappy when you can't get what you want. And if everything is easy, then nothing really matters. The only people who can feel are those who have a sense of what it means to do without. (Mansfield Park)

8. Listening to people's stories is the nicest thing you can do for them. A person's story is the most personal thing about them, and paying attention to it is just about the most important thing you can do. Our stories are what make us human, and listening to someone else's stories--entering into their feelings, validating their experiences--is the highest way of acknowledging their humanity. (Mansfield Park)

9. Friends tell friends when they're screwing up. The true friend wants you to be happy, but being happy and feeling good about yourself are not the same thing. Being happy means becoming a better person, and becoming a better person means having your mistakes pointed out to you in a way you can't ignore. (Persuasion)

10. Men and women can be friends, because the sex thing doesn't always get in the way. Harry and Sally were wrong. Men and women can talk to each other, sympathize with each other, even share their intimate thoughts and feelings with each other, without having to be attracted to each other. Men and women can be equals, so men and women can be friends. (Persuasion)

11. Love is never at first sight. Lust at first sight, a whole train of fantasies and projections at first sight--sure. But to love someone, you have to get to know their character, not just their body, and that takes time. True love sneaks up on you. You never see it coming until it's already there. (Sense and Sensibility)

12. Arguing is the best thing about being married. If your spouse is already just like you, then neither one of you has anywhere to go. A friction-free relationship would be a desert. Conflict is good; disagreements are good; even fights can be good. Committing yourself to someone doesn't have to limit your growth: it can be the door to perpetual growth. (Sense and Sensibility)

I hope everyone else has a great day too and maybe gets lucky enough to ride bicycles with their amor for ice cream.

1 comment:

  1. I looooove me some Jane Austen. :) Excellent life lessons here.

    Now I wanna go read. :)


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Love Kaylee


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