Saturday, 24 July 2010

An Old Entry from an Old Blog

Last year I blogged for my college, on their website. I'm copying over one of my favortie posts, because sometimes I feel I need a reminder of what it was like to be in Scotland and let the little things go. The lesson I talk about in the post is something I really want to try to work on and bring back into my life. So here is the old post:

Long walks in the rain leave plenty of time for reflection. Yesterday, on my way home from Uni, I thought about my professor’s description of the Scots as “messy” and about how much whining I’d done about the Scottish way of doing things.
I’ve come to realize that the “messiness” I strongly rejected with every American bone in my body, is actually something to strive for. The Scottish have got it figured out. None of these people care that it’s raining on their nice clothing. What the heck can they do about it? Nothing. And they realize this and have embraced it. Instead of going around in sweats on dreary days, like I do back home, the Scots go about as if nothing is different. They can’t change it, so why worry?
“Why worry” seems a common thought among the Scots. I’ve heard it so often since I’ve been here. The way I am, I want to know things now, I want things to follow a logical system. I want to know things are taken care of. Well, that’s not quite how things are done here. “It’ll work out,” “It’ll happen,” “It’ll take care of itself” are all things I’ve been told, when I’ve been stressed about something, like signing up for classes. The attitude here is much more, “You’ve done your part, let it be.” It has to be a much more stress free way to live.

Without having to worry about things in life that really don’t matter, or aren’t the most important, they focus on what really matters–life’s pleasures, like spending time with family, walking through beautiful gardens (even in the rain), savoring a hot chocolate with brandy, eating ice cream (even when its cold), picnicking in Edinburgh, and at least in Glasgow, alcohol.

I see children everywhere. Small children play in the gardens during their parents’ lunch break; older ones go off to eat lunch alone. Instead of rushing to different activities after school it seems like the family congregates in the park. Children are allowed to play outside for recess, in the rain. I was never allowed out for recess if it were raining. And why shouldn’t they be allowed? Children love to play in the rain. It’s just not a big deal here.

Walking everywhere is not a big deal either. I walk about a mile to class everyday, sometimes further. My friends and I have started to calculate distance, based on how far something is, in addition to the mile we already walked. So if it’s two miles from home, we say one.

I hope this attitude will seep into other areas of my life. I want to be more appreciative of the little things, and to be able to let go of things that don’t matter. But, I don’t think that it’s something I can control. I just have to let it happen.

So, I want to try to reiterate this way of thinking into my everyday life. I think I will find it useful later when I am a newlywed  and recent grad.

I want to think hard and see if there are any "lessons" I can pick up from the Korean culture as well. I'll get back to you in a later post on that one. If you'd like to browse through the old blog and read about my time in Scotland and my college focused life, go here. Some of the last entries overlap with things I blogged about here.


  1. Just wanted to say hello from Southern Comfort in a Northern Life! You posted a comment about the Kindle. I LOVE IT! You can put pdf files on it, get newspapers delivered, get blogs delivered, and you asked about the screen. It took me a few days to get use to it but I love it. I can change the font and that helps with my eyes. I won't ever give up books but it sure is handy to just browse the stop (on the Kindle) and have the book sent to you in about 10 seconds. I highly reccommend it.

  2. This is reminiscent of the Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. We all worry so, so much over things we have no ability to influence. It's hard to put this into practice, but it really is a much wiser, saner way to live ....

  3. Yenta Mary- Thanks for reminding me of that prayer. I'd heard it before but I'm not sure when/where.


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