My physio therapist and I were chatting during my treatment yesterday, as we usually do - chatting about this and that but mainly about personal relationships.
I have always been a seeker after knowledge - this from being a very small girl. I always loved doing school essays, doing the research, writing the words and looking what sort of mark I got (usually a good one because I put in so much time on research).
This attitude did not leave me when I left school. I left at sixteen - because my parents, who were in their early forties when I was born, really could not afford to keep me on at Grammar School any longer. Looking back now of course I know that I should have stayed on and gone on to further education. But that view is with hindsight and also with the attitude of my generation. I was the first child in our family to go to Grammar School and conditions for my parents were not easy.
But once I had left school and got a job (in the office of a family member who was a Building Contractor - where I stayed until I married) I happily continued to study - first O levels (they were just being introduced) and then A levels and then, when the Open University was started up, a Humanities Degree. I absolutely loved the study, the essays and the marks I was getting.
After that came Teacher Training and a life in Teaching, rising through the ranks to a position of Senior Mistress in a Comprehensive School and taking charge of a Unit for English as a Second Language. Another degree followed, taken in my spare time.
It was at this point that my Mother questioned why I was doing all this. By this time she was a very old lady and she couldn't understand why I felt the need to keep pushing forward. I said something to her which I have always regretted, when I told her it was because, unlike her, I wanted to be interested in more than just my children.
Talking to my Physio yesterday, we got on to this subject and I found that she had the same urge as I did in my young days - this urge to learn. this urge to keep pushing ahead. We also found that both of us had been up against questioning as to its being necessary.
My warning was to say nothing which you might regret. Once said - it is there for ever, and however much you regret saying it, it cannot be unsaid.
My friend P, who may well be reading this, had a good saying for this and it is a saying well worth bearing in mind as you go through life:
"Three things never return: the spent arrow, the lost opportunity and the spoken word."