Monday, September 23, 2013

Student of Life

Recently – now that the shine has worn off the new school year – the kids grumbled one morning, “You're so lucky you don't have to go to school anymore.” Ha. I initially reminded them that I long ago traded school days for full-time work days; but lately I’ve realized that every day I’m still learning. Only now? It’s more a case of being a “student of life,” rather than middle school, or high school, or even college. My ability to learn and apply said knowledge is tested each and every day, not on paper, but in application. For example…

(A) I learned that the school will send a note home when a child decides for himself to not wear his winter coat in January (despite my thoughts otherwise), because he thinks it’s “too bulky.”

(B) I took this knowledge and proceeded to harp, nag and threaten to ground said child if he goes to school without his coat again.

A+B= (C) Child wore coat for the remainder of winter, stayed warm at recess and I didn’t fear CPS would show up at our front door. Live and learn, people. Live. And. Learn.

The phrase “You learn something new every day,” is really more a form of reality to me. Another example… yesterday I took on the task of reorganizing/purging/cleaning our garage, which is really more of a place where all the excess in our lives goes to die. It’s also the favored place for our house to seemingly vomit on itself, leaving random items strewn everywhere. Here are the things I learned in just a short hour-and-a-half:

• The elusive little field mouse that took up residence last winter/spring was able to carry a staggering amount of wild bird seed to almost each and every storage shelf.

• Same field mouse designated the area underneath a Little Tykes wagon as his toilet, as well as a lunchbag-sized insulated cooler. Also? My North Face winter boots. Grrr.

• I am almost certain that I will now likely contract hantavirus from contact with mouse turds.

• My dear husband is henceforth banned from buying motor oil unless he first uses the generous supply he’s amassed by forgetting he already bought enough motor oil for a dozen oil changes.

• The same goes for weed killer.

• Sawdust from the table saw will fly into the air and gently settle everywhere. Everywhere.

OK. So these aren’t things that will put me in the same league of intellect as Einstein, but they were things I learned – some, much to my dismay. (Ahem,… bird seed, sawdust, mouse turds in my boots.) The point is, there is always something to discover and learn every day. And when you do stumble upon these little nuggets of information, you react and adjust your sails to either fix a problem or take it in stride and carry on.

Similarly, as I enter week #2 in the Living & Active challenge, I am faced with learning new things about myself and the capacity that I have for increasing my wellness and spirituality. I am learning that some weeks, it’s going to be a genuine challenge to carve out four, 25-minute (minimum) workouts. My usual workouts come in at about an hour, start-to-finish; or about 30-35 minutes if it’s an early morning and Jeff needs to leave for work. Still… the days when he’s at the station for 24 hours and I’m Alpha Parent, I’m lucky to find 25 seconds to use the bathroom in peace, let alone 25 minutes to throw down a workout.

But I’m learning…