Monday, 14 July 2014

Life-learning

Image c/o agnidevi.deviantart.com

I have a college degree, I spent another 3 years studying performing arts and dance. I use none of it daily.
I spent 21 years of my life in formal education, full-time formal education. I'm only 36! Isn't that crazy?!!
And what do I do each day? I cook, clean, play with my kids, go to the park, go to the shops, read, blog, surf the net, chat to friends... you get the picture.
Could you say my education was wasted?
Would you say I shouldn't have bothered, if I was going to end up a stay at home mom?
I have a friend who loves to remind me I could have been a doctor. She has introduced me to people like that!
What do I want to do with my life?
I want to enjoy it, to love my family, to laugh, to eat good food, to be healthy, to travel and learn, to see the world, to meet as many people as I can, to pick up new skills, to understand as much as I can about people and their motivations, to hear as many stories as I can...
I am most definitely a life-learner. I think we all are nowadays, well, most of us.
We hold all the information at our fingertips, we can Google any question from our smartphone and get the answer right then and there.
Is this a bad thing? Should we have to go to the library and look it up in a physical book?
I think not. I think getting the answer quickly helps us to move on to assimilating the information and using it where necessary.
Case in point.
Cooking. Without the internet we'd still be eating pasta twice a week. It was my failsafe quick dinner, filling and cheap, and probably quite low on the scale of nutrition. My default pasta dish was mac and cheese with maybe tinned sweetcorn.
Now I've learned that the white pasta I was so fond of has no nutritional benefit at all. It is empty calories, sitting in our guts giving us a heavy bloated feeling.
These days I cook most of our meals from scratch, usually in the slow cooker. Today's was a black bean chilli, served with sauteed potatoes and grated cheese. It was one of the nicest dishes I've ever made, with fresh grated ginger root and turmeric, cumin, and a host of vegetables that keep us healthy.
I have learned so much about nutrition I could never go back to serving mac and cheese twice a week. In fact we haven't eaten pasta in months. If I'm looking for a bulky pale carbohydrate I'll choose potatoes instead, mashed or baked, full of vitamin C.
So life-learning happens all the time.
This is just a small example, but a pertinent one. I'm loving being a life-learner, and I don't have a clue what area I'd like to specialise in, if any. All of it, all of life.
In the future I would like to do birth work of some sort, be it doula-ing, midwifery, birth support of some sort, I'd like to study horticulture and nutrition, and be a life-coach. I'd like to style mamas who feel they're stuck in a rut. I'd like to have a book published, take great photos with a good camera, travel through Asia. I'd like to learn more languages, and use them in context. I'd like to study Latin, overcome my fear of heights, get more sporty. I'd like to act, sing and dance, I'd like to compose music, make films. I'd like to interview women I really admire and hear their life stories, I've three in mind that I'd love to spend a week with. I could go on and on. I'll chip away at this for the next 50 years, probably learning most of it myself, maybe doing some classes or courses, I'll never stop learning.
It's all about the journey.

2 comments:

  1. This post is great. I admire you for what you say about learning everyday, I read your blog weekly so I know you do lots of things, you are energetic and passionate about learning everything. You demonstrate this all the time for the most important thing is you respect everybody's choice of life. Most of the staying at home moms I know are just that, staying at home doing nothing else that complaining about their situations and taking about how bad the "working out" mother are. Sad. Well done you. Love your blog!

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  2. Dear Maria, thanks for the lovely words and for taking the time to leave a comment. I do try to respect everybody's way of life, and I increasingly see how judgement is so damaging, as we can never know all the reasons behind someone's decisions. Are you in Ireland? I hope you can find more positive mothers to hang out with, all the mothers I know (mostly through La Leche League) are very supportive of each other, whether working or stay at home. Thanks again, it's great to get feedback! X

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