Monday, September 9, 2013

Role Models

In life we often look to people who inspire us, who we aspire to, and think to ourselves, "I'd like to be like "her/him/them".

Sometimes we don't have to look far at all to find role models.  I see them in the school yard as mums greet their children or kiss them goodbye, I see them when my friends lovingly describe their husbands or children.  I see them in my parents-in-law with a love filled 50 year old marriage.  I see them in my online world with clever successful writerly friends, generous mentors, and battlers who keep trying.

I see them in the friendly butchers who dice my chicken thighs even though the shop is busy.  I see them in my lovely blog readers who kindly leave comments.  I see them in friends posting gorgeous images on instgram of places they've run, sights they've seen, clever and stunningly beautiful.  I even talked about it once before here with my lovely bakery people 

Role models provide a motivation and an urgency to be different, to try harder, to be more, to be less.  We learn lessons, we change behaviours.

My neighbour in her early 70's lives alone.  After a year of living next door to her, I still don't know her name after that initial mention of it 12 months ago.  What is that - there's a time when you have the chance to ask again but once that door is slammed shut - what do you do to find out?  Steal some of her mail, get one of my kids to ask, ...own up?  Worse, she always calls out a cheery "hello Lisa" to me.

She's had some work done on her place recently.  Some wooden fence railings and decking were replaced.  Today I saw her  - 'Hello Lisa!", "hello....", she had set up an elaborate painting system with long fence railings stretched out over her drive way, blue paint dripping onto the ground, paint brush in her hands.  She was getting busy and painting her fence railings for when the nice young men came back later this week.  Often she's out gardening, I scurry past my own garden death zone as she nurtures hers.  She is purposeful, she is energetic, she is in her 70's and not restrained by that.

I'm guilty of making excuses, for being lazy, for being a victim.  But I only need to look out over my fence to get the motivation I need to be none of these things.

We are surrounded by role models - who are yours?

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