Sometimes when we think of learning, we think in terms of subjects like math, science, and reading, or we think of skills, like sewing, cooking, and carpentry. Some of the most important learning we do is learning life's lessons.
I happen to believe that everything that happens to us is an opportunity to learn. Sometimes we are not willing to learn what the opportunity can teach us, and sometimes, we don't even see it as an opportunity, but rather as an obstacle, blocking our way.
This past month, I have had many opportunities to learn. Moving from one home to another seemed to be filled with challenges that I was not prepared to meet. There was so much to do, and time seemed to move so quickly. I felt that I already had a "full plate" of responsibilities, and suddenly I had more. My "plate" was overflowing. Items I wanted to keep did not fit in the new home. Things I thought my daughters had outgrown, suddenly became things they could not bear to give away. Everywhere I turned, it seemed that some company needed money for a deposit, or a final payment. I had a number of income producing jobs scheduled for the summer months, and one by one, they were cancelled, for a variety of reasons, all of which were beyond anyone's control. Then, the flu hit, and before I recovered from that, I tripped over one of the many things waiting to be moved, and broke my toe. The final blow was when my computer crashed. I had no idea how my daughters and I would get through the summer.
Well, here we are. We did survive. And I learned. Some lessons were easy, and some were very difficult. Some lessons I was excited to learn, and others I struggled to avoid. But life is a determined teacher. If you avoid a lesson one time, it will just be presented again.
I learned that I had to take time to rest. If I pushed myself too hard, I made more mistakes. I was grumpier. I became more susceptible to accidents and illness.
I learned to let others help me. That can be hard at times. We don't want to impose or tax a friendship. We want others to see us as capable and strong and organized, but sometimes, there is just too much for one person to do.
I learned that there are times when I am tired, physically, but I can continue a bit longer without problems, but when I am tired mentally and/or emotionally, it's more important for me to stop, to give myself a chance to gather my thoughts and regroup. It seems easier sometimes to push on and get the job done, but I learned that doing that when I am not mentally and emotionally ready, can be a mistake.
I learned that even big companies can be very understanding, if you explain your situation. In the past, I sometimes felt that most companies only cared about getting their money, and I would have been hesitant to contact them when things were challenging. This time, I made phone calls, explaining that it was a challenge for me to pay them the full amount by the date they were expecting it. I let them know that I fully intended to pay, but because there were so many expenses involved in this move, I needed just a little extra time. Without exception, every single one said, "No problem."
So here I am, not only surviving, but feeling positive and happy. If I had not learned the lessons that life presented to me, I am sure I would still be struggling. Many times, what we see as problems, are really opportunities to learn, and if we learn, our lives will become easier.
You may be facing some challenges, too. They may involve your health, your family, homeschooling, your home, your financial situation, or maybe you are facing challenges in several of these areas. Look for the lesson that is being presented to you. Take time to think, to rest, to allow others to help you. In almost every case, you will someday be looking back, and thinking about the times you thought you wouldn't survive, and yet you did. It can be difficult to see the possibilities when we're in the midst of a tough situation.
Help your children to learn the lessons that life presents to them, also. No matter how wonderful it sounds to be able to travel through life free from problems, those problems are an important part of our growth. They give us the skills we need to live life more fully, and with more confidence.
So, thank you to everyone who helped me in any way to survive this month. Thank you for supporting me and for encouraging me. Thank you for helping me learn!
A little bit older, and a little bit wiser,
“To live remains an art which everyone must learn, and which no one can teach.” ~Havelock Ellis
“I count life just a stuff to try the soul's strength on.” ~Robert Browning
“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on.” ~Robert Frost