Coffee With

Dr. Judy

Past – Present – Future

by Judy Richardson | Published November 11, 2021


It occurred to me today why I want to spend so much time revisiting the happy times of the past. It seems to me that now as I am approaching the age of 80, I would rather look back than contemplate my future which most certainly not be many more years. So I watch the old movies. Listen to old music and think about the good times of my childhood and youth.

I remember the challenges of being a parent of a blended family and the joys of holding my grandbabies when they were tiny and just born. I have watched as my children made their way in the world with pride, patience, and gratitude that they have grown up to be loving and caring human beings.

I can look back to special moments with my father and mother, now no longer with me but still there in my memory and heart. It is funny but my many years as a teacher and leader in public education I can remember the very first students I taught as a beginning teacher and the most recent adult learners I truly enjoyed teaching before I retired. You never forget those moments when you see the light of understanding in your student’s eyes an know “they got it.”  

I remember my many mentors and collogues who worked so hard to make a different in the lives of our students. Our experience with the emerging technology of computers and interactive video were just a shadow of where technology has taken us today. I was always anxious to learn more about the new tools for teaching and learning. Today, ten years after I retired from teaching, technology continues to change at warp speed. (Hope you picked this term up from Star Wars or Star Trek) Lucky for me my children and grandchildren are keeping up faster than I am.  Only recently I discovered how to see my saved passwords in the iCloud on my phone and that those chat helpers on websites are actually “chat bots.”

I have always considered myself to be a life-long learner but can’t help regretting that my life is gradually getting shorter and there is still so much I want to learn.  One of the joys of retirement and now living alone since becoming widowed is to have the luxury to go where you want to find new things to learn. I have explored geology, anthropology, and archeology. Still living alone often leads me to the comfort of reliving well -loved memories of the past. Perhaps the pandemic has made it more difficult. My pets, my close family and my love of drawing and painting have filled many hours. Music of any era and any artist are readily available. Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, and the Beachboys can join us any time of the day.

New books continue to crowd my shelves and I am now reading about my Scandinavian and Scottish ancestry.

All of you looking at the backside of 70 and facing 80 take heart. Never in your life was it more important to live everyday as if it might be your last. Wake up in the morning with gratitude you can start a new day and make the most of it.

Also posted in The Good Ole Days