Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Old dog, new tricks


I was helping my youngest daughter write out a little daily to-do list this evening and I had the opportunity to learn a bit more about how she's learning to read and write. Personally, I don't remember doing anything more than eating glue in Kindergarten, but she's working hard on her reading and writing. 

As she was writing, she kept drawing pictures around certain letter groups. At first I thought she was just having fun. I soon realized it's a little trick they're using at school to remember the sounds certain letter combinations make. The image above shows a few of them. 

Just like with everything else we do in life, you gotta start somewhere. Life itself is no different. A common problem I see with this though is that we are often too eager to rush through the beginning stages merely for the sake of getting to the later stages faster. Relax. Slow down. Enjoy.

Physically, we are eager for our bodies to grow so we can be bigger, stronger and faster. In the blink of an eye, we go from being eager to grow to trying to control how fast we're growing. In my case, I'm struggling with a case of Furniture Disease. (My chest is sliding into my drawers.) I used to joke that I ran out of growing taller ability and started working on width instead. However you look at it, the early years' race out of the gate turns into riding the brakes as we get older. 

An eagerness to learn is a great quality to have and retain throughout our lives. The youthful drive to learn everything about anything builds our knowledge base and adds to the overall wisdom we have in our later years. The key here is to remember to pass that knowledge and wisdom on to others while you're still able. Before you get a chance to blink again, you'll find yourself forgetting half of what you learned. The old phrase about "forgetting more about 'xyz' than you'll ever know" becomes more of a cry for help than a boastful brag. 

I'm beginning to think the "circle" of life is more like a bell curve instead of a circle. Kind of like a dragster racing off the line, hitting top speed and then slamming on the breaks. Or in real people terms, it's like how the hair on my head went from bald to blonde to brown to grey...and will probably return to bald one day. Enjoy those "sweet spots" in the middle of the bell curve...the highs in life. 

Keeping that in mind, the sweet spots or highs in life don't necessarily mean the crazy, wild and fun times. Snuggling with kids on a lazy afternoon rates pretty highly with me. Personally, I think nap time doesn't get the priority it deserves. We fight naps in our younger years only to wish we could have mandatory naps later in life...or at least the opportunity to take a nap when we want. 

Live your life today and take your time. Enjoy each and every day as it passes rather than racing to get to next week, next month or next year. Just like with my daughter's hard work and determination to learn to read and write today, now, this minute...it will come with time. There's no reason to force it. As far as I know, she'll be writing better blogs than me by the time she's ten years old. 

Here endeth my learning and teaching opportunity for today. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my rambling nonsense. The fact that you made it this far means there may just be hope for you in terms of learning how to slow down and appreciate the mundane in everyday life. Until next time....