Monday, August 24, 2009

Fun Monday-Learning

Oh, my gosh!! In the last three days I’ve hired a contractor to rip out part of my bathroom, partially remodel my kitchen and fix a bunch of stuff I can’t begin to list. I’ve looked at faucets, tile, granite and appliances until my eyes have glazed over. I’ve splashed paint samples on the wall, eaten meals, gone to church, tried to book plane tickets and suffered through a computer virus that shut down the Hula-gen desktop. All of this means I’m way behind on my Fun Monday post and left with very little time to do it. I hope our lovely hostess, Faye, will forgive me for being so slow and so brief.

Her topic this week is life long learning. Specifically:

Do you still think of yourself as a student? A lifelong learner? If so, what would you like to learn? Something job related to improve your work performance? Technology skills to keep up with the modern times? Personal financial management skills? Stress management strategies? Playing bridge? Belly dancing? Writing? Better blogging? Speaking another language? Car maintenance? DIY home improvements? You get the idea--the list of learning options for adults is endless. Are you currently taking a class or online study? What is this experience like? What are you learning? If not actually in a class, how do you learn something new? Tutorials on computer or TV? How to books? One on one with an instructor or coach? Practice on your own?

Hang on to your hats, boys and girls. This one will be fast. (Sorry, I have to see a man about some grout.) I do consider myself a lifelong learner, but only recently did I come to that realization. I think it’s important to continue learning something new, and if you look closely enough you’ll usually learn something new every day. I’m not taking any official classes right now, but one of these days I hope to return to the classroom at the art school that just opened in my community. It’s something I dabbled in at college and would like to pick up again during that magical phase of my life known as “someday when I have time”. I’d like to take digital photography classes first and then pick back up on some pottery classes I had in college, specifically throwing porcelain. I’d like to go back to doing community theater. I haven’t done that in years, and it’s something I miss. I’d like to be a better actor and learn more theatrical history in the process.

I’d also like to learn more about the world, and I think the best way to learn that is to see it with my own eyes; so hopefully, I’ll get to travel more in future years and in the process, learn a new language and a lot of geography. And don’t laugh, but I have this urge to learn how to lay brick. I don’t know why, but it appeals to me for some reason, and I want to know how to do it. I don’t know when I’ll squeeze that in or how I’ll go about it, but it’s on the list.

That’s the future. What am I learning now? This past year has been a real learning year for me. It’s been packed with life lessons. Between the alcoholism of a friend, Sissy’s mental illness and suicide and Papa T.’s dementia, I’ve had a lot of life choices thrown at me. It’s been stressful but oh so enlightening. I’ve learned a lot about me, especially during my Al-Anon sessions. Basically, what I’ve learned is that I don’t’ know me as well as I thought, and I’m not nearly as perfected as I thought. I’ve come to realize I am a very flawed being who has a long way to go before I can claim to be “good” or “smart” or “right”…whatever those words mean. Things I now know:
-I’m not always right.
-I don’t know everything.
-I have no right to judge others because my flaws are no better than the next guy’s.
-A lot of stuff isn’t any of my business.
-Sorry is a very big word.
-I shouldn’t be so stingy with grace if I expect to get a little myself.
-Life isn’t fair. It never will be, and I should get over it.
-A lot of sh*t just doesn’t matter.
-I shouldn’t sweat the small sh*t. It doesn’t matter.
-Time is an incredible gift. It should not be squandered.
-And neither should love.

Most of all I’ve learned that I have a lot more to learn. About me. And family. And the rest of the world. And that I should get off my arse and get to studyin’.


ChrisB said...

You've had a tough year and it seems you still have a lot on your plate to cope with at the moment. So don't be too hard on yourself!

I agree with you about travelling to learn more about the world, that's why I've been packing in as much as I can afford while I'm still fit enough to enjoy the experience.

karisma said...

This year, you have learned a lot more than some learn in a lifetime. You have posted some very wise words there. Words that most should take heed of. You should be very proud of your achievements. Big hugs and smoochies xxxx

Susan DeAngelis said...

Ah, we all have a lot to learning -- when learning stops is when we should worry...

Just Breath... :)


Sayre said...

I have dealt with (and still do) with those things you've listed. Except the suicide. We've been spared that so far. But family members with alcohol issues, mental illness and dementia are becoming all too familiar. The lessons you've learned will stand you in good stead when dealing with regular people too. Nobody is perfect - that's why we need to stay open to continuing our life education until the day we die.

Janis said...

Things have been a little rocky in your life lately but you seem to cope with whatever is thrown your way. Your learning list is quite long and a good one at that. Thanks for Sharing and Happy FM. BTW I am hosting next week so come on over and sign up this wed. :)

Faye said...

You have been through the refiner's fire this past year HG--and came out stronger on the other side. The thing that I appreciate so much about blogging is see how all of us are dealing with the same challenges at one level or another. And, yours being the last learning post I've read today, I see that we also share a lot of the same interests and dream of spending time throwing pottery or acting in community theater rather than seeing a man about grout! Not that making your home a beautiful haven is any less important.

Thanks for finding time in the midst of studying paint chips to participate in FM this week.

Lil Mouse said...

you have deep thoughts. thanks for playing fun monday! it was fun!

The Church Lady said...

You are so right that we learn something new every day making us all lifelong learners.