How many of us remember the day when we realized we might not know everything our kids need to know? Or, worse, when our kids finally realized it? For me it came sometime at the beginning of fifth grade. My daughter was having issues with her math homework and showed it to me. I admit, I stared at it long and hard for at least five minutes until I finally had to turn to her, her eyes wide and hopeful that mommy would help, and I had to tell her I just didn’t understand and we’d have to ask Dad. I remember her sighing. God, I hated that sound! I want to always be able to fix everything, but I couldn’t – I simply didn’t know how.
It made me think. At what point is it okay that we stop knowing? Or more importantly, to stop learning? I decided there is no point. As long as we live and breathe on this earth, I believe it’s essential we always consistently try to learn new things. Besides it keeping our minds young, it gives us more breadth of character, more outlets and interests. I meet a lot of people who tell me, “I have no interests and nothing I want to learn.” I am rendered utterly speechless. Nothing? You wish, dream, hope for nothing? There’s nothing on this earth you wouldn’t like to learn or try or do? They must be the happiest people in the world you would think, but I bet they’re not.
So, I decided I’d like to keep learning, no matter what it is. I have all these bucket lists I’m slowly checking off. Some are physical, some are professional, some are just for fun. Bootcamp classes are going well (as long as my back holds), I started a food blog with a good friend of mine called www.battleyum.com where we pick ingredients in a “chopped-like food challenge,” cook them, our family rates them and we blog about it. I take sign language classes so I can hopefully be more helpful in some deaf school chats to discuss FLYING TO THE LIGHT, and last night…. well, I started math classes at the place where my daughter gets tutored twice a week. There are only three classes scheduled in total and apparently I’m the only parent that signed up, but I’m there. The teachers last night were surprised more parents didn’t sign up and I had to tell them it was probably out of sheer embarrassment. Come on, what adults will admit they don’t know 5th grade math (or, gulp, 4th?) Apparently, a lot of us, but I must have matured enough in my years to suck up my embarrassment and humility to tell them I needed help and if they ever gave a math class for adults, I’d like to give it a go. If we walk around timid and shy all day, we’ll never get anywhere. I wrote a book and some folks will like it and some won’t and that’s okay. My blog? Some will like it and some won’t. I realize I can’t please everyone and that’s just how it is. Writing is an open forum. It’s like artwork; it’s subjective. Everything I do is out in the open to be judged and dissected, but if I don’t put things out in the universe, then it just stays hiding under my bed, and I don’t want to hide.
So yes, math classes at 45 years old. We went over orders of operation, the four kinds of fractions, percents, exponents and a few other things. Apparently I haven’t forgotten as much as I thought, though apparently I do everything the completely LONG way. It’s correct, but technically I could be better. Next week we’re doing integers (not sure what that means yet), triangle and circumference equations and whatever else they wish to throw my way. And you know what I say?
Bring it on! Now tell me what you’re doing to keep learning – I’d love to hear.