Learning to Define ” Everything”

Dear Reader:

Grandmother Wilson used to tell me that I could be anybody I wanted to be or do anything I wanted to do … but choose wisely. No one can do everything-so start prioritizing because no one can do it all.

This advice came from a woman with a college education in 1903 in rural South Carolina, taught school, became a farmer’s wife and sent all four of her children ( two boys and two girls) to college during the Great Depression! Not advice to be taken lightly.

She knew better, than anyone, that education was the key to success in life and that was her gift to her children-the key to unlock doors to a better life.

As a little girl I loved maps and geography and loved daydreaming about traveling the world one day! * I mostly daydreamed through math. Still, even back then, I understood time well enough to figure out that most people wouldn’t have enough time to accomplish this feat … especially with families and jobs. A choice had to be made.

My imaginative side wished humans could be created in puzzle pieces so we could send parts of us off to travel the world …leaving the central piece to marry and have a family! It was a good daydream!

The reality, of course, was challenging. But even with a family and raising children as a single parent, my dreams came true… I could have some of my dreams but not everything. I had to choose carefully.

But isn’t that what life is all about… learning to balance dreams with responsibilities, laughter with sorrow, good times with challenging ones, having it all with having enough and then realizing enough is everything?

So until tomorrow… Let’s remember to define everything as something very important to us … as in life and love mean everything to me!

Or as in the beauty of my garden flowers mean everything to me!

My much loved garden!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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