When I originally created The Swing Set, I wanted the opportunity to share the advice of those who had already been there, and done that. I knew that I could ask my interviewees anything, and they could relate in some way.
During my most recent interview with Lee, we talked a great deal about her wisdom and experience with many areas of life. These conversations didn’t quite fit into my story about her, but I felt they deserved to be shared.
So, with that said, here is The Swing Set’s first Q&A post:
What advice would you give to someone who is newly married?
“Don’t be volatile at the same time. If one person is upset, stay steady, and give them a chance to work through it. If you’re both out there grabbing for what you want at the same time, you’re not going to get anywhere.”
“We trusted each other. That’s a biggie. T-R-U-S-T. If you can’t trust that person, let ’em go. Don’t let ’em lie to you once. We did not lie to each other…Now I didn’t always tell him everything, but I didn’t lie.”
Your two older sisters never married, by choice. After watching how they lived, what advice would you give to someone still waiting for “the one”?
“In this day and age its open field. There are so many wonderful things to do. They had great lives. They enjoyed themselves. They had opportunities and they took opportunities. Now some people don’t take opportunities…but that isn’t what it has to be. It can be whatever. It can be all kinds of things.”
What advice would you give to new parents?
“A kid has to know the ropes. A kid has to know the limits. A kid has to know that they’re accepted. I think what happens to kids now sometimes is they don’t know the limits and no one is telling them ‘no’. Sometimes you’ve got to say ‘no’, or ‘We don’t do that. This is our house and this is what we do.’ We did that a lot. ‘This is our house, we don’t do that here.’ ”
You were a teacher for many years. What about teaching did you love so much?
“It was fun. It was creative. You could have your lessons from one year and refine it for the next and see how much better it was. You could see how the kids were progressing. All kinds of things are rewarding about teaching. Anytime you teach anything, if somebody gets it, you’ve been successful. I think I was a pretty successful teacher. I think I wasn’t particularly that first year, but I lived through it. You just don’t start out with the experience that’s going to help you later, you just don’t. And there isn’t any way of getting it without going through it.”
If you could go back to any age, what age would it be?
“I’m having a good time now. I would love to have my husband here, but I’m having a good time. I’m a pretty good bridge player, and that’s a success. You need to feel successful no matter how old you are. You’ve got to have some successes here and there.”
What are a few pieces of advice that you’d want to share with your grandchildren?
“Everybody has some regrets. You can’t avoid regrets because you never get things perfect the first time. Everything is a learning situation. It’s great if you can enjoy the learning part and not be dissatisfied with yourself.”
– You can read Lee’s complete story here